Five-time 500cc champion Mick Doohan has supported Honda's decision to switch Dani Pedrosa from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres for the rest of 2008.
The news that Pedrosa would make a mid-season change of tyre brand stunned the MotoGP paddock, especially given Honda's long relationship with Michelin.
But Doohan - who spent his whole top level career with Honda - said he understood the move given the team's current situation.
"I think that's the way it should be," Doohan said. "He's their main hope and I think that's maybe what Honda need to do."
He praised Pedrosa for providing the impetus behind the change.
"They need some direction as at the moment they don't seem to have any direction," he said.
"At least someone's leading the show and trying to produce some results; that's got to be a positive in my mind.
"They've lost too many key players. First of all Nicky (Hayden), although he's a great rider, he didn't have a lot of depth of experience when he joined the team so through no fault of his own he inherited a team that was departing, so it's not a really good position to be in. And then Dani came in from a 250 so he's also in the same thing.
"The team, although they're a bunch of really nice guys but I don't think there's any leaders amongst them and I think that Pedrosa got to basically be as strong as he possibly can and then drive the team the way it needs to be driven.
"The rider generally is the key component of the team. If the rider can't make a decision for then nobody else is going to be able to make a decision for him."
He believes the decision reflects positively on Honda.
"I think it's a good sign really," Doohan continued. "At least Honda have decided they need to get some good results. They need to get some podiums and they need to get back up the front.
"At the end of the day they are a racing team as much as Honda is a business, it's also HRC as the Honda Racing Corporation. They are there to win races; at the end of the day they got to win races.
"It's a shame that Michelin right at this point in time aren't particularly good. They have such a depth of experience behind them that it must only be a minor problem that's stopping them producing a tyre that's capable of them competing on the same level as the other manufacturer, but for some reason they haven't got it together, but saying that if your handlebars aren't at the same level then you've got to get them right."
Doohan thinks Pedrosa will need time to acclimatise to the Bridgestones, but believes Honda's decision to give Bridgestone runner Shinya Nakano and Gresini Racing a 2008 specification bike earlier in the summer will ease the transition.
"You're going to have to adjust the bike to work with the tyres because the construction is completely different than what they are with the Michelins," he said.
"I'm sure that with Nakano's team being on Bridgestone they've probably got a little bit of understanding of how they work, but I'd be amazed if he's up the front next weekend. It would be great if he was, but you need a bit of testing before the team can get their head around the tyres."
The Australian legend thinks the tyre change will revive Pedrosa's 2009 title prospects.
"He was a strong favourite for this year so you'd hope he was a strong favourite for next year," said Doohan.
"He was going good up until Germany up until that problem, but then those problems have compounded since then with tyre issues at Laguna so whether Michelin have fallen off or Bridgestone have made it two completely different playing fields... But saying that (Jorge) Lorenzo finished second on Michelins at Misano so they're obviously not completely out of the picture.
"I guess if his mind's not into what he's riding then he's not going to do what he's got to do so hopefully it'll put his mind to rest and on the Bridgestones he'll hopefully get some results, get some confidence going into next year and hopefully put Honda back on top."