New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Stoner success marks Bridgestone milestone

Stoner success marks Bridgestone milestone

Bridgestone-shod Casey Stoner and Ducati's 2007 World Championship title marks the first ever premier class win in the Japanese tyre firm's sixth year of MotoGP participation.

Bridgestone-shod Casey Stoner and Ducati's 2007 World Championship title marks the first ever premier class win in the Japanese tyre firm's sixth year of MotoGP participation.

Stoner's success is the culmination of a dream debut season with Ducati, which has seen the 21-year-old Australian take eight race victories onboard his Bridgestone equipped Ducati Desmosedici GP7.

For Bridgestone, it is the realisation of many years of dedication and hard work, and has ensured that the company's impressive motorsport CV can now boast a premier class two-wheeled World Championship to add to its enviable list of four-wheeled triumphs, including the pinnacle of four-wheeled racing, Formula 1.

Bridgestone's MotoGP career was carved out from its humble beginnings as tyre suppliers in the 250cc and 500cc classes of the All Japan Championships in the 1980s, but it was not until 1991 that Bridgestone's foray into World Championships commenced - as the manufacturer embarked on a 13-year involvement in 125cc Grand Prix racing.

Along the way, Bridgestone tyres helped 125cc riders to amass 30 race wins and 85 individual podium results up to and including its final season in 2003. Bridgestone also concurrently supplied tyres to a handful of private teams in the 250cc class in the mid-1990s.

In 2001, Bridgestone undertook inaugural track tests of 500cc specification racing tyres, at a deserted Jerez in southern Spain.

Bridgestone supported two teams and three riders in its debut MotoGP season in 2002, with Juergen van den Goorbergh and the Kanemoto Racing team, as well as Nobuatsu Aoki and Jeremy McWilliams in the Proton Team KR, run by three-time 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts Senior.

Highlights of the debut season were a best race result of fifth scored by Van der Goorbergh in Phillip Island and a debut pole position on Bridgestone tyres scored on the same weekend by McWilliams.

Bridgestone continued to supply three riders in 2003, their final year in the 125cc championship. Both Aoki and McWilliams stayed on with the Proton Team KR but the Pramac Honda team opted for Bridgestone tyres with Makoto Tamada.

Tamada would set some of the landmarks for Bridgestone's participation in MotoGP starting in the 2003 season, with the first ever podium finish at Rio. Tamada finished an encouraging third, just seven seconds from the race winner, Valentino Rossi.

In 2004, Bridgestone's portfolio of teams and riders began to take a familiar shape with the Kawasaki and Suzuki teams coming on board. Tamada also continued with the renamed Camel Honda team for what would be his final season on Bridgestones.

Tamada took the first two victories on Bridgestone MotoGP rubber in Rio and on home soil at the Motegi Twin Ring. An additional podium result in Estoril helped Tamada to sixth in the championship, while Shinya Nakano took the first Kawasaki podium on Bridgestone tyres with third place in Motegi.

In 2005, Ducati Corse took the decision to switch tyre manufacturers and chose Bridgestone as their technical partner to join Suzuki and Kawasaki as Bridgestone-equipped teams.

All three teams enjoyed podium success with Olivier Jacque taking a career-best second place in the debut Chinese Grand Prix and Kenny Roberts Junior enjoying a trip to the rostrum in Donington Park, but it was Loris Capirossi aboard his Ducati who shone in Bridgestone's fourth season.

The Italian veteran scored two consecutive pole-flag victories in Japan and Malaysia which helped him to sixth place in the end-of-season standings.

Last season, Capirossi went even further and had it not been for the now infamous Catalunya crash, he may have mounted an even greater assault on the championship title. He kick-started his season in style by claiming the first ever Bridgestone-shod win on European soil with victory in Jerez.

Capirossi followed that up with impressive podium results in Qatar, Le Mans and Mugello to lead the championship moving into the Catalan round. Once fully recovered from injuries sustained in that accident, which also took out several other riders, Capirossi returned in style to claim victories in Brno and Motegi, as well as a thrilling runner-up slot in Malaysia. He ultimately took a hard-fought third place in the championship with three wins.

The improvements made to Bridgestone's range of MotoGP tyres was made more evident across its three teams with Nakano taking a second-placed podium finish for Kawasaki in Assen and Chris Vermeulen laying claim to second place for Suzuki in the rain at Phillip Island.

As a stand-in for the season finale in Valencia, Troy Bayliss stunned the paddock with a victorious ride to take the number of wins on Bridgestone tyres to four, double the number of the preceding year and the combined number of podiums to 11.

Over the 2006-2007 winter numerous changes were made to offer Bridgestone an even greater MotoGP challenge than ever before. New tyre regulations were introduced restricting the number of tyres that a rider can use during the race weekend to just 31 pre-selected tyres (17 rears and 14 fronts).

At the same time, bike technical regulations were changed to reduce engine capacity from 990cc to 800cc. Bridgestone also expanded its number of supplied teams from three to five and the number of riders from six to ten. For a tyre manufacturer with such comparative inexperience, Bridgestone had set its hurdles high.

Among the riders new to Bridgestone in 2007 were Honda Gresini duo Toni Elias and Marco Melandri, Pramac d'Antin rider Alex Barros and Ducati's new recruit Casey Stoner.

Stoner's early wins in Qatar and Turkey set him on course for a championship assault that would be insurmountable with eight victories, equalling to the total number scored on Bridgestone tyres in the previous five seasons, and five pole positions.

Honda Gresini scored its first Bridgestone-shod podiums with Elias in Turkey and Motegi and Melandri in Le Mans and USA, Pramac d'Antin took a surprise podium in Mugello with Barros, while Bridgestone veteran Capirossi enjoyed continued winning success in Motegi and further podiums in Turkey and at Sachsenring.

Suzuki has also enjoyed its most successful season in the MotoGP era with seven podiums courtesy of its rider pairing John Hopkins and Vermeulen - with the latter taking a well deserved and popular win at Le Mans.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Casey Stoner

Other updates you may be interested in ›