Motegi MotoGP reaction: Bridgestone delight at Casey Stoner’s MotoGP title
Casey Stoner’s sixth place in a rain-hit Twin Ring Motegi clash secured him a first premier class success after Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi’s disastrous 13th.
And the Aussie also secured Ducati’s first MotoGP triumph in only their fifth year in the premier class.
There were also huge celebrations at Bridgestone as they won a MotoGP world title for the first time, which was made all the more sweeter as it came on home soil in Japan.
An emotional Hiroshi Yamada, who was in tears at the end yesterday’s 24-lap race, said: “It was a fantastic day and I really have no words to describe it.
“I’m very happy we have done this achievement with Ducati, because they joined us when perhaps we were not the best tyre in MotoGP. This is the third year and I’m sure without Ducati we would not have had such good results, that’s 100 per cent sure.
“I want to say thanks for their effort and their great decision in 2004 to work with us.”
Hiroshi Yamada said he had got so emotional after the race as his mind cast back to some dark days for Bridgestone in MotoGP. One of the worst moments was when Shinya Nakano suffered a tyre blowout at 200mph on the Mugello straight in 2004.
Since then Bridgestone has grown in prominence in MotoGP, and this season they have emerged into the dominant tyre brand, winning 10 races against Michelin’s five.
Yamada said: “I remember many things from the past, bad things that happened to us.
“Many people worked together with us and I remembered all the faces of these people and all the effort they put in after bad memories like Mugello in 2004 with Shinya’s big crash.
“My head was spinning. When Casey crossed the line I was so happy. It was a very difficult race and hard to know what was going on.
“Before the race in the wet I had confidence in Casey but when it started to dry out then I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“Once Rossi passed Casey I though ‘shit, we are not going to win the championship in Japan.’ But God was on our side.”