MotoGP: Ducati not worried about Valentino Rossi on Bridgestone tyres

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Ducati boss Livio Suppo said the prospect of seeing Valentino Rossi go to head-to-head with new world champion Casey Stoner on Bridgestone tyres in 2008 held no fears for the Aussie star.

With Rossi seeming certain to run on Bridgestone rubber next season, Stoner said that it would at least take away the excuses if he continued to dominate the Italian again.

And Marlboro Ducati team boss Suppo, “I think it would be interesting to see Casey fighting with the best riders in the world anyway.

"I believe if you look at this world championship with a realistic view there was not Bridgestone domination, but a Casey, Ducati and Bridgestone domination.

"I understand Casey from a rider point of view because everybody said that he was winning because he had the speed at the start of the season.

"After that he was only winning because of the tyres and it looks like nobody wants to admit that the best rider at the moment is Casey. He deserves the title and I totally understand his position because he wants to prove he is the best.

"At the beginning of this world championship everybody thought it was going to be only a fight between Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi. Casey Stoner came up and it takes time to understand for some people that he is making the difference.”

Suppo said he was also relieved that the prospects of a single-make tyre rule appear to have significantly diminished in 2008, with a proposal effectively punishing Bridgestone and Ducati for winning their first world championship.

He added: “If you take away Casey it is a totally different story. Sometimes the gap between two Michelin riders is bigger than the gap between a Bridgestone and Michelin rider.

"It proves in this sport, like it or not, the man makes the difference. Casey was the big difference this year with his package, but this is why we are here, we are here to build up a winning team.

"We’d be punished by a single tyre rule and this is what is really strange to me. It is the first time that Bridgestone won the title but two Michelin guys are second and third, so it is unfair to speak about a domination of Bridgestone.”

Ducati will vote no for the single make tyre rule in both International Race Teams Association and Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association meetings due to take place in Malaysia this week.

That’s prior to the final decision being reached on Saturday night in Sepang following a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission.

“Of course we will vote no. It’s not too keep an advantage but we believe it is better t have competition.

"A single tyre rule is not going to take away this problem. Look at the gap between first and second in World Superbikes. There have been a lot of runaway victories in World Superbikes, “added Suppo.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt