Valentino Rossi bemoans new Bridgestone tyre direction

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Valentino Rossi says he is mystified why a new range of Bridgestone rear tyres will be introduced for the 2014 MotoGP world championship.

The Italian spent the majority of the opening day of the second test in Sepang working on the set-up of his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 to work with the new generation Bridgestone tyres.

A stiffer construction to help with temperature management has been introduced for this season, but initial impressions have been less than favourable, with Rossi one of several riders complaining about a loss of edge grip compared to the 2013 tyres.

Rossi was only seventh fastest in Sepang today, with his best lap of 2.01.349 leaving him just over 0.5s behind surprise pacesetter Alvaro Bautista.

The 35-year-old said: “The biggest issue for us in this test is to try and adapt the M1 to the new tyres. In the first test we had some problems with the 2014 tyres, especially with the soft, but the situation is like this and they (Bridgestone) have already decided. This means we have to try and adapt the bike. We have less edge grip because the tyre is stiffer and on the bike this is the feeling. In the first test I had a lot of problems with the soft because I did a race simulation with the hard and it was not so bad. Today we worked a lot on the soft and it was already better, not very good like the tyre of last year but not so bad. I am down in the rankings because I don’t put in the soft at the end so we can put in a 10-lap run with the hard and I am seventh. If I also put in the soft at the end I can also go in 2.00 and be in the first three.”

Rossi said he was surprised that the decision had been taken to introduce the new rubber and he said: “As always something happened that we can’t understand. We only understand when it is already done. So when you are already f*****d. It is very bad when you are f*****d and you don’t feel nothing before (laughs).

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt