Capirossi says Bridgestone tyres are first priority in new role as MotoGP safety advisor
|By Michele Lostia and Sam Tremayne||Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 10:02 GMT|
Loris Capirossi says improving the safety of MotoGP's Bridgestone rubber is his chief priority in his new role as safety advisor to the championship and its promoter Dorna.
The 38-year-old Italian, a veteran of 14 years in MotoGP/500cc and 22 years of racing, retired at the end of 2011 and was then offered an advisory role in matters of safety by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.
Capirossi says he has no regrets over leaving the sport, and that he intends to use his new position to help improve safety - with the hardness and durability of Bridgestone tyres his primary concern.
"Carmelo told me 'on the subject of tyres, you decide, feel free to get angry', so I've used this power immediately," Capirossi told Italy's Motosprint.
"My meeting with the Bridgestone people at Valencia was tough. I told them that certain things won't be accepted anymore: the tyres are too hard and therefore too dangerous, so they must be changed.
"The tyres situation in 2011 has never been clear, so in 2012 I will choose the tyres for the riders. I mean I will do it personally: I will go by the bunch of tyres and pick them myself.
"There were problems with serial numbers too: with that number you can figure out when the tyre was built. A tyre built two years ago can't go as quick as one built last week. Some riders had the new tyres and some other the old ones. That's not okay, that must be fixed: I want the last rider to have the same possibilities the first one has."
Capirossi said that his position as a Dorna outsider will also be an advantage, as it will permit him to be free of compromising issues like politics of economics.
"There's something important everybody must know: I want to do what I'm doing now in order to make life easier for the riders," he declared.
"I've accepted Dorna's proposal with one condition: I must be allowed the chance to do things with passion and without being overpowered by economic or political interests.
"Even though Dorna will pay me a retainer, should I be told to do something against the riders' interests, then I won't do it. This must be very clear."
On his own retirement, Capirossi said he has no regrets on calling time on his career after 2011, and that even the lure of competitive machinery may not have been enough to reverse his decision.
"Only a few riders can afford to decide by themselves when to quit," he reflected. "Usually a rider quits because he gets hurt or because he doesn't have acceptable offers anymore.
"I'm still healthy and in my final weekend as a rider, I was even offered some interesting programs. And I'm talking MotoGP, not CRT. But I replied 'no thanks, it's over', and the fact that I took this decision myself allows me to be serene and happy.
"It's been said that many riders even get into depression... Honestly, I don't care at all about these things: I'm delighted I've quit because I know I've taken the right decision at the right time.
"I was a rider for 22 years, it was enough by now. It was almost impossible to have a competitive bike, so I would have ended up going to the races just to make up the numbers, and someone as proud as I am can't accept that. Perhaps with a very competitive bike I wouldn't have quit, I can't say for sure, but I've learned that you can only be realistic and you must have no regrets.
"In 2011 nothing could be done, absolutely nothing. When things worked, I could at most go back home with an eighth or ninth place, and that was not what I was looking for. That's why I grabbed the chance and said 'gentlemen, goodbye'."