MotoGP: Valentino Rossi admits quit decision motivated Michelin

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Valentino Rossi has admitted that Michelin used his controversial defection to tyre rivals Bridgestone has played a part in the early races of the 2008 season.

Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi goes into this weekend’s China MotoGP in Shanghai looking for his first victory of the season and his first for Bridgestone.

Michelin has dominated the last two races with victories for Dani Pedrosa in Jerez and factory Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in Estoril, and Rossi said conceded that his departure had given Michelin extra incentive to fightback after a torrid 2007 campaign.

Asked if he thought his move to Bridgestone had provoked Michelin’s retaliation, Rossi said: “Yes, it’s possible.

“They work well, they are strong but it would have been better if they had worked a little more last year than wait for this year. But anyway, we will see at the end of the championship.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt