Yamaha boss surprised at Michelin slump

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Valentino Rossi’s factory Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio has expressed surprise at Michelin’s recent performance slump.

Although Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo claimed a deserved second place in Misano last month, it was largely overshadowed by Dani Pedrosa’s controversial switch from Michelin to Bridgestone for the remainder of the season.

Brivio said he was surprised at Michelin’s failure to significantly improve on its results from a torrid 2007, when Rossi himself quit to join rivals Bridgestone after a series of poor results.

“I’m surprised because I didn’t see a big reaction from Michelin as I expected. We expected a big reaction from Michelin at the start of the season, especially after our change because we thought we had given them great motivation. But the results weren’t that much different and I’m surprised to see that, “said the Italian.

Brivio though has said he would still like to see Michelin remain in the MotoGP world championship, even though a one-make tyre rule for 2009 will be agreed at a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission at the Japanese GP later this month.

“It is a pity to have a mono tyre. For the show it would be better but on the other side, technology should be stimulated and we should have competition. But we can’t lose many years where there is no show or top riders not being able to fight.

Michelin has to promise to be really committed to comeback. I would like to see Michelin have the chance to react and stay.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt