MotoGP: Loris Capirossi backs Valentino Rossi to succeed on Bridgestone tyres

1 of 1

Veteran Italian Loris Capirossi reckons compatriot Valentino Rossi will be a major force to be reckoned with if the Yamaha rider clinches a deal to race on Bridgestone tyres in 2008.

It looks increasingly likely Valentino Rossi will dump Michelin for Bridgestone rubber next season after his failure to mount any serious threat to newly-crowned premier class world champion Casey Stoner.

Loris Capirossi has raced on Bridgestone rubber since Ducati’s factory team gambled on dumping Michelin for the 2005 world championship campaign.

The move paid off handsomely in 2007, with dominant Aussie Casey Stoner winning nine out of 16 races, including four dominant victories in the last six races.

In stark contrast, Valentino Rossi has won only four races this season, and cracks have started to appear in his long-standing relationship with Michelin as the year progressed.

Loris Capirossi, who will quit Ducati next month to join Suzuki’s factory team, told MCN: “When you jump on a different make of tyre you can immediately say if it is good or not.

“You don’t have to wait long and he will know quickly what he needs to do. He won’t have a big problem if he moves, and if he does next year then we will have a very big challenge.”

Triple world champion Capirossi said he understood why Rossi had pushed so strongly to get his factory YZR-M1 equipped with Bridgestone tyres in 2008, saying it was tyres that cost him the chance to have won last year’s MotoGP title.

“I think I lost my world championship because we struggled in some races for 14th and 15th places because of the tyres and I lost the title for nothing,” said Loris Capirossi, who was just 23-points adrift of Nicky Hayden at the end of last season, despite scoring just 19-points in four races after he was involved in the massive first corner pile-up in Catalunya.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt