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Rossi: Michelin must improve durability

Valentino Rossi says Michelin must work to ensure its tyres perform better over a race distance if it is to get back on terms with Bridgestone.

The Italian blamed a loss of tyre grip after losing touch with the lead battle in the Australian Grand Prix and falling to third behind the Bridgestone-shod Ducatis.

Yesterday Rossi admitted that he had requested that Yamaha supply Bridgestone rubber for his bike next season, and it is understood that his complaints about tyre inequality were one of the reasons why Dorna proposed the imposition of control tyres from 2008.

If he remains on Michelins, Rossi wants the French manufacturer to put a major effort into its designs' durability.

"For sure we have to do better if we want to try to fight with Casey (Stoner) especially and with the Ducati," he said.

"We've started to work a lot on our engine for next year and we speak a lot with Michelin because what we don't understand is traditionally our tyres are very good to the end.

"This is always a Michelin priority. But now with the 800cc (bikes) we have a lot of times a problem at the end of the race.

"So I think this is the key to understanding how to perform better.

"For sure with Michelin we have to work a lot. In the past the tyres were good to the end and this year we suffer a lot more in the second half of the race."

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta promised a decision on the control tyre issue by next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, but hinted in Australia that the tyre war would probably be allowed to continue.

Rossi said his 2008 tyre situation remained open, but that nothing could be finalised until the outcome of the control tyre discussion was known.

"First we have to wait and see what happens in Malaysia, and after we decide," he said.

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