MotoGP: Bridgestone turn the knife on Michelin

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Bridgestone celebrated another victory over rivals Michelin in Estoril with final confirmation that next year’s tyre rule tweak would not see an increase in the number of tyres available to riders.

Michelin had proposed an increase in the current allocation of 31 to 40 tyres for 2008, with four more fronts and five rears permitted.

Bridgestone boss Hiroshi Yamada was adamant the current number would remain, and despite coming under severe pressure from Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta to accept Michelin’s proposal, the tyre restrictions will remain at 31 next season.

Hiroshi Yamada, Michelin chief Jean-Philippe Weber and Dunlop boss Jeremy Ferguson met on Thursday night in Estoril, and then again on Saturday morning to agree on a new proposal for the tyre rules that will be formally submitted to Dorna at this weekend’s Japanese MotoGP in the Twin Ring Motegi.

Yamada said he was happy Bridgestone was being punished for its stunning success in 2007, which has seen the Japanese factory dominate rivals Michelin for the first time in their short premier class history.

“I am very happy about this," said Hiroshi Yamada.

“We have agreed the number of tyres will remain the same and as far as I’m concerned that matter is now finished. We never wanted to change the tyre rule.

“From the beginning we have always said there is no reason to change and increase the number. Just a few riders wanted more tyres.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt