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Bridgestone provide perspective on tyre battle

Bridgestone provide perspective on tyre battle

The subject of hot rubber has been highly topical in recent weeks in MotoGP and in this short interview Bridgestone´s Hiroshi Yamada gives his views on the current situation.

Bridgestone´s Motorcycle Sport Unit Manager Hiroshi Yamada answers motogp.com´s questions in the Misano paddock, as the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini gets underway.

Riders recently met to discuss measures to improve safety. What role can the tyre manufacturers have in this aspect?
Safety issues are a little bit difficult for us, because they are talking about reducing cornering speed. Of course, we can reduce the cornering speed from the tyre side, if we reduce the grip levels then it will reduce automatically I think. But I don´t know if this is linked to safety or not, because in wet conditions grip is much less than dry of course, so we can´t say if wet conditions affect safety or not, so I am not really sure what to say on this.

Do you expect additional demand for your tyres next season, and how many riders could you theoretically provide tyres for next year?
A single tyre rule is being discussed for next year. Of course, our stance is the same as last year, that we would like to continue with competition, with the current regulations. We have eleven riders which is almost the maximum for our capacity.

Working with Shinya Nakano and the prototype 2009 Honda RC212V satellite bike, what have been the main priorities and how does it relate to your own plans for next season?
Nakano used the works bike at Brno. We couldn´t prepare special tyres for him there because we didn´t know the character of the new bike. He got good results and he got a good feeling from the tyres anyway. Basically we used the same tyres as we had used with Shinya before. I think the character of the new bike is better than the old one, but I don´t know yet in which aspects it is better. In fact from a tyre point of view it is not so different to the current bike.

Can you explain the small modifications that have been made to the Misano track since last year and whether they will affect tyre performance?
They have made a change to the third corner and the total length of the track is longer, but this won´t make a massive difference from a tyre perspective. Last year we got good results but we never know what will happen because Michelin try very hard of course, so I just hope we can have a good race on Sunday.

What do you expect to be the key factors in achieving competitive performance this weekend?
Last year we didn´t get much dry practice time because of the rain. From the data we did manage to gather last year we found that the track was a bit slippery, and there was not so much grip consistency. We don´t know how it will be this year, but this is not an easy track for us.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, GP CINZANO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI

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