Jorge Lorenzo hails Bridgestone performance

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Jorge Lorenzo has joined a chorus of former Michelin riders to praise the performance of Bridgestone tyres as he prepares for his debut campaign on the Japanese rubber.

Lorenzo was reluctant to talk in detail about Bridgestone tyres until the end of 2008, as he was effectively still a Michelin contracted rider.

But after tests in Valencia and Jerez, the double world 250 champion said: “I like them (Bridgestone) a lot, especially Bridgestone’s front tyre, which they have achieved over several years of hard work.

"It is a factory with a lot of hunger and in the end they were able to dethrone a giant, which is what Michelin were, even though I don’t know what would have happened if the championship had stayed the same.

"What is clear is that Bridgestone is an impressive company and right now they have control in the championship. As far as rider feedback from the tyres is concerned, they are really good, especially under braking, you can brake very, very late.”

Lorenzo also believes Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta had little alternative but to introduce a controversial single tyre rule for 2009.

Lorenzo reckons the disparity in performance between Michelin and Bridgestone at an ever increasing number of races was having too much of an impact on the spectacle of MotoGP.

Michelin only won three out of 18 races last season and had high profile disasters in Laguna Seca and Brno where it failed to allocate competitive tyres to its rider’s.

This was later followed by the ignominy of Dani Pedrosa demanding a switch to Bridgestone with five races remaining.

Asked for his thoughts on the single tyre rule, Lorenzo said: “It is definitely not the ideal solution because it is always better to have more companies involved in the championship but the fact is that it is impossible to establish a consistently level playing field over the course of the season.

"There was a lot of difference from race to race. Sometimes Michelin were better, sometimes Bridgestone… in the end it tended to be Bridgestone so I think the only option Dorna could see, and I am in agreement, was to cut their losses and make a championship with just one brand of tyres.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt