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MOTOGP NEWS 

Bridgestone: Tyre war too close to call

Bridgestone believes the fight between itself and Michelin in MotoGP this season is too close to call at the moment.

Although Michelin appear to have a current advantage in qualifying terms, the performance between the two tyre manufacturers is expected to fluctuate at each race.

And that is why Hiroshi Yamada, the manager of Bridgestone's motorcycle department, thinks it is hard to make too many predictions about who will come out on top.

"It is tougher than ever to say who will be the competitive force in each GP," he said. "We have a totally new tyre line up for this season, partly as a result of our usual year-on-year development, and partly to adjust the tyres for new character of the 800cc machines.

"We are confident in the work that we have done in Japan and in testing since last season, but the target is always moving. We are acutely aware that our rivals are always using their vast experience of top tier motorcycle racing in a bid to stay one competitive step ahead."

And, as autosport.com revealed last week, Yamada confirmed that Bridgestone are developing a new front qualifying tyre to help improve performance over a single lap.

"Qualifying looks set to be an interesting battle this season if the results of the forty-minute shoot-out in Jerez are anything to go by," he said.

"At Bridgestone, we certainly acknowledge that there is work to do on our qualifying tyres to enhance one-lap performance. Based on the results of winter tests, we put together a specific development plan for qualifying tyres, which we have already started to work on.

"The new 800cc machines demand a lot of emphasis on the front tyre to combat the increased cornering speeds, so we are working on the front tyre in qualifying to make it work in harmony with the rear."

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