Valentino Rossi confirmed at Phillip Island today that he has asked for Bridgestone tyres for 2008.
Next season's tyre situation remains undecided after Dorna recently proposed a switch to control tyres and promised to take a decision by next week's Malaysian Grand Prix. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has since played down the possibility of this scheme actually being adopted.
It now seems that Rossi complained to Ezpeleta about the disparity between the rival tyre manufacturers at the United States Grand Prix, where he was unhappy to finish 30.6 seconds behind the Bridgestone-shod winner Casey Stoner.
Autosport.com understands that it is just Rossi and Dani Pedrosa who have specifically asked for Bridgestones, Pedrosa's request coming despite the fact that Honda have used Michelins on their works GP and Superbikes since when they returned to the 500cc class in 1982 before winning the championship with Freddie Spencer in 1983.
Should Rossi receive Bridgestones for next year, the Yamaha rider could remain at a technical disadvantage given the sheer level of data that the Ducatis, Suzukis, Gresini Hondas and Kawasakis have accrued on Bridgestones over the past three seasons.
Rossi gave Michelin a final shot across the bows today in Australia, finally admitting that he had asked for Bridgestones, while at the same time conceding that Michelin is making a considerable effort at present.
"The situation is not very clear now for us because Michelin want to give a really big effort next year to improve the situation," Rossi said.
"They understand a lot of the mistakes from this year and especially with the new (tyre limit) rule it was a bad surprise for Michelin. In their head they may have thought the situation is not so bad but sometimes we have a lot of problems.
"So we have to decide, also we don't know if it is possible to have Bridgestone so the situation is in progress now. So sincerely, we have to decide."
Dani Amatrian, the manager of Jorge Lorenzo, said this evening that the 250cc champion's contract with Yamaha for 2008 guarantees that he is on the same equipment as Rossi.
This means that should the tyre war continue either both works Yamahas have to be on Bridgestones, therefore creating a championship that is effectively Bridgestone bikes versus Honda on Michelins, or that both tyres companies have to continue with their current teams.
This season has already been a year of considerable technical change for MotoGP with new 800cc engines replacing the 990cc units, a restriction on tyres to 14 fronts and 17 rears over all three days, and a reduction from 22 litres to 21 litres of fuel for the race.