Bridgestone boss Hiroshi Yamada has dropped a massive hint that the Japanese factory will strike a deal to supply tyres to Valentino Rossi in 2008.
Rossi’s switch after his frustration with Michelin saw him demand a move to rivals Bridgestone was the talk of the Phillip Island paddock last weekend, and Yamada confirmed that supplying tyres for one more rider next season was achievable.
Bridgestone currently supplies to ten riders, and was reluctant to increase its involvement if, as expected, plans for a one-make tyre were scrapped.
Just days after accusing Rossi of being the prime instigator in convincing Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta to propose a one-make tyre rule next season, Yamada said it would be hard to reject a Yamaha approach to clinch an exclusive deal for the Fiat-backed rider.
Despite Michelin’s pledge of significantly improved tyre performance for next season, assurances have failed to convince a disgruntled Rossi.
Yamada told MCN: I think it would be possible to supply one more rider. It would be very, very difficult but we could do it.
Yamada denied Bridgestone had received any official request to equip Rossi’s factory YZR-M1 next season but said it was a ‘big honour’ to be linked with the seven-times world champion.
“I would be very happy if Valentino wants to use Bridgestone tyres. We are very happy to hear this. It is a really big honour for us, “added Yamada.