Riders hit out at single tyre proposal
|By Jonathan Noble
||Thursday, October 11th 2007, 12:22 GMT
Leading MotoGP riders have hit out at the proposal by series organisers Dorna to make the championship a single tyre formula next year.
Dorna tabled the idea in Japan last month and are expected to announce for definite at the Malaysian Grand Prix whether or not they will press ahead with the rule change.
With MotoGP tyre manufacturers having already expressed scepticism about the move, now the riders have joined in with harsh criticism of the idea.
Speaking ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, MotoGP championship leader Casey Stoner said: "I've said over and over and over again, that this is a prototype championship. The bikes are built just for this championship; these tyres are built for this championship. If we bring in a single tyre rule, then you bring in single manufacturer bikes, and then we are racing the R6 cup. It will not be the championship it used to be.
"It's always been like this so it should just stay like this. I just think there has been one different season and everybody wants to jump ship and nobody can handle it."
Stoner suggested certain riders, believed to be Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, had pressured Dorna into making the proposal following criticisms about Bridgestone's dominance.
"(The people who run the championship) already know our opinions. It's going to be decided, basically without our opinions anyway.
"There's always been a couple of riders in this championship who really make all the decisions, and the way things go, maybe it's to suit better certain people.
"Depending on which tyre company we end up with, if we did go to a single tyre rule, then basically everyone's not working to improve themselves, so there's going to be a lot of favouritism. And you don't know if you're getting the same grade of tyres as other people, as happened in the past, I think it's been proven.
"Basically, how are they going to control the single tyre rule, what company, who's favourite and who's not?"
Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen added: "I think Casey has said it all really. I agree completely. I don't think this championship should be a single tyre rule. It's prototype racing.
"I know with Pirelli from the Superbike side, once it went single tyre the development stopped, and it didn't continue for two years, and that eventually gets back to everyone. They won't be in a position to come to MotoGP for a long time because of that.
"If we go single tyre as well, which tyre will it be on? Do those tyres suit every bike? Is a Ducati going to suit a Bridgestone and a Yamaha be hopeless? Are they going to complain then? There's so many things to consider."
Honda Gresini rider Marco Melandri believed that the racing would be no better with a single tyre manufacturer, even though some races this year have been boring.
"The race will not be more fun than now, because Superbike is not more fun than us with a single tyre," said the Italian. "I don't know who can guarantee for us that the development of a tyre can be the same for every kind of bike.
"If they make a tyre that works well for some but not for others, then we could lose the season. In a world championship you have to have the best riders, the best manufacturer of the bike, and you should also have to find the best manufacturer of the tyre. I think for a long time it was only Michelin, for maybe 10 years, and that was not funny, so I don't really like it."