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Single tyre rule for MotoGP in 2009

After continuing speculation in recent weeks, the Grand Prix Commission has confirmed that there will be a single tyre supplier in the MotoGP class from next year.

The decision, taken on Sunday morning at Motegi, was taken by the commission for "safety and cost reasons".

The Grand Prix Commission, comprised of Dorna chairman Carmelo Ezpeleta, FIM's Claude Danis, IRTA's Herve Poncharal and MSMA's Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), took the unanimous decision after escalating speeds led the sport to consider ways of reducing speeds.

However, it also follows the recent Czech Republic GP, where Michelin runners were uncompetitive in all conditions, which precipitated Dani Pedrosa's mid-season switch from Michelin to Bridgstone.

Exactly a year ago, at last year's Motegi race, MotoGP rights holder Dorna proposed a switch to a single tyre supplier for the 2008 season after Bridgestone's dominance of the 2007 season.

But a month later, after discussion and a couple of outbursts, Dorna withdrew the proposal. Valentino Rossi took advantage of this to switch from Michelin to Bridgestone, and is currently leading this year's championship after making the switch.

Possibly in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the decision reversal, proposals to supply the tyres must be handed to the FIM and Dorna by October 3, just five days away, with the final decision being announced by the Grand Prix ComMission on October 18.

In response to the decision, Michelin issued the following statement:

"The decision to move to a single tyre supplier for the 2009 MotoGP World Championship is a major change to the regulations of a series that was created in 1949.

"Michelin notes with interest the reasons given by the governors of this sport to which Michelin remains very committed after many years of involvement.

"Michelin is examining the opportunities offered by these new regulations and will make an announcement in the next few days as to whether or not the company will tender to supply tyres to the premier class championship that Michelin has won on 26 occasions since 1973."

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