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Hofmann assesses Bridgestone progress

Hofmann assesses Bridgestone progress

Pramac dAntin rider Alex Hofmann is something of a Bridgestone veteran having used the Japanese companys tyres through different stages of development and on different machines, from the very start of their MotoGP involvement in 2002.

Pramac dAntin rider Alex Hofmann is something of a Bridgestone veteran having used the Japanese companys tyres through different stages of development and on different machines, from the very start of their MotoGP involvement in 2002.

The 27-year-old German has had a few twists and turns in his racing career and has frequently crossed paths with Bridgestone. In 2003 he was an official tester for Kawasaki, and then in 2004 and 2005, coinciding with Kawasakis switch to Bridgestone tyres, he was full time in the factory team.

After an injury blighted 2005, with Kawasaki looking elsewhere for riders, he spent 2006 in the same satellite Ducati team he rides for now, but without significant results.

Things have improved considerably in his second Ducati season though, with an upgraded machine and a switch to Bridgestone tyres. Hofmann took his career-best finish of fifth in the rain at Le Mans and despite missing out at Laguna due to his free practice injury the 60 World Championship points he has amassed after eleven races represents his best ever total.

Analysing the affect the Japanese compound manufacturers have had on his career, Hofmann commented: Ive experienced Bridgestone from the beginning. In 2002, when I had no team and no job, I was testing for them at Mugello, on a 500cc. So Ive seen Bridgestone from the earliest stages, when they started in MotoGP, right up until now.

In 2004, we had some good races, but they were pretty limited, down to special conditions. No consistency. For 2005, the tyres got a lot better. They had really good performance, once in a while, but still that lack of constancy to run up front.

Now I am back in 2007, and Ive got to say theyve done an amazing job again. Plus they really adapted themselves well to the 800s. You just have to take a look at the championship standings. Bridgestone is just doing an amazing job now.

Comparing last season with his current situation Hofmann reveals: I was fighting for every last point, and had to really struggle to get my motivation up. If you stand on the grid knowing you dont even have a chance to perform, its pretty bad for you. I knew Ducati were sick of having a Ducati in the front row and one in the last row, so they really committed to this private team.

I knew Bridgestone was going to do a good job. I could judge myself as a rider and though Im not yet on top-three or top five level permanently I know I can improve. So actually I am not surprised by our good performance.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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