US MotoGP: Tyres to blame for big crashes, says Valentino Rossi

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Valentino Rossi believes the lack of dual compound tyres available under new MotoGP rules contributed to massive crashes suffered by 2009 title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner in a chaotic end to Laguna Seca qualifying.
The Italian’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo and Ducati star Stoner crashed within second of each other with just three minutes of the session remaining.
Both high-sided and both conceded that a lack of temperature in the right-side of their Bridgestone tyre had been the cause.
Dual compound tyres, where one side of the tyre is much softer than the other, were readily available previously in MotoGP. But they were axed at most tracks and Bridgestone only plan to race them at critical tracks like Phillip Island where dual compound tyres are essential.
Rossi, who ended qualifying in second place, said: “For me the main reason for the crashes is that we don’t have dual compound rear tyres like last year. Jorge and Casey crashed on the right side and when you have to try for qualifying you have to push from the first lap and it can be quite dangerous like today with not so much temperature. Maybe for today the tyre was too hard to have enough grip.”
Rossi, who will start tomorrow’s 32-lap race with a five-point lead over Lorenzo and a nine-point advantage over Stoner, said he hoped both would be fit to ride.
The 30-year-old added: “They were too very bad crashes and I hope that Casey and Jorge are fit enough tomorrow to make a good race. In the past we have seen riders with a big
 injury make good races and score good points, so we need to understand. 
It looks like Jorge is worse than Casey, so we need to understand how much 
they are fit for the race.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt