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MOTEGI, JAPAN, SEPT 22: Spec tires may be coming to the MotoGP World Championship.
In a posting on the MotoGP website, it was revealed that Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta proposed the introduction of a single tire rule in MotoGP for 2008 at a meeting today of the Grand Prix Commission. The proposal was likely in response to Bridgestone’s dominance of the MotoGP World Championship, at the expense of serial world championship winner Michelin. Ironically, Michelin riders took the top three spots in qualifying for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
“We have made a proposal in the Grand Prix Commission meeting today to reach an agreement between all the different tire manufacturers for the use of tires in 2008, owing to the situation in which some factories believe that they can’t have tires which they think are competitive. We thought that the best possibility is to go to a one tire rule,” said Ezpeleta.
“This is only an initial proposal. If the situation is not resolved by Malaysia,” in four weeks time, “then all relevant parties-the FIM, IRTA, and the MSMA-will reflect on the situation and during the grand prix weekend make their final decision.”
The news comes on a weekend when tire companies were front and center. In an extraordinary announcement on Friday, HRC President Masumi Hamane said that Honda was hopeful of securing Bridgestone tires for 2008. This was almost immediately contradicted by Bridgestone boss Hiroshi Yamada, who said that Honda had been told three weeks ago that Bridgestone wouldn’t be able to supply them with tires.
Now comes the possibility that Bridgestone will supply the whole field. If the one-tire rule is approved, all the tire makers will be asked to submit proposals.
Spec tires took hold in World Superbike several years ago, with Pirelli the sole supplier. This year’s Formula One championship is the first under a control tire rule, with Bridgestone the lone manufacturer.
 

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From Soup:

Today at a meting of the Grand Prix commission at Motegi, Dorna's Carmelo Ezpeleta proposed a MotoGP spec tire rule for 2008.
A final decision will be made at the Malaysian race, held Oct 19th-21st.
Tires have been a huge issue in this year's championship. Currently Bridgestone, Michelin, and Dunlop supply teams in MotoGP.
Bridgestone has dominated in 2007 and there's been complaining by some of the Michelin riders as to the standard of their tires this year as the company has struggled to come to terms with the new tire regulations. Valentino Rossi, Nick Hayden, Dani Pedrosa, and Colin Edwards have all acknowledged shortcomings in Michelin's race tires this season.
Rossi has been quoted as saying he thinks the fans would rather see racing that takes one tire brand's superiority out of the equation.
Yamaha already announced their intention to race next season on Michelins. Yamaha's Davide Brivio confirmed this to the press at Estoril last weekend.
Michelin has won every MotoGP championship in the four-stroke era and their domination extends to the previous 500cc two-stroke era as well. The French company has won every premier-class Grand Prix World Championship since 1991.
Bridgestone supply the Formula 1 and Champ Car racing series with a spec tire, plus the IRL under the Firestone brand.
World Superbike has a spec tire rule. Those tires are supplied by Pirelli.
 

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I still think its just michelin crying because they're getting demolished, but I'm all for it. WSBK racing is the best on planet. (AMA supersport is a close 2nd)
 

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I don't think that MotoGP should switch to a SPEC tire right now. Michelin has done very well in the past and are adjusting to the new rules. Bridgestone has probably been operating closer to the current rules in the past couple of years compared to Michelin. I would like to see both in GP for one more year and than let that decision be made.
 

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Not even a whole season is finished yet and people bitch. Look at the last race and this one. Michelin just needed to find its cure and I think they did. Everyone needs to relax and race.
 

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I don't know how I feel about this.

In terms of racing, I think this helps the riders and teams race on a more level field...but, aren't tires part of racing too. At least with MotoGP.

It'll be strange not to see the rivalry. Again, don't quite know I really feel about this idea.

I'm all for seeing all racers just racing...but...I liked the challenges that came with the tire rules. I just don't see why they can't just relax the tire rules back to before and go from there.
 

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I think this is going to be a big mistake on Dorna's part. You can't let one off season for Michelin let you sway into making a big decision like this. Also its not like Michelin aren't trying to bounce back, its pretty evident they have been getting better in the past few rounds.
 

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i say go for it.
look at WSBK...great racing. not saying it would translate to GP...but it shows how good the riders really are.

it'd be nice to have one less variable. control tire means teams and riders will really be going up against....well, each other...not each other's tire.
 

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nice to have the premier racing still able to push the tire tech in all direction though..one brand would have to slow the speed of development ... even if just a little!!

they still end up against the others tires , it just becomes tire choice rather than brand!!
 

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My same response from 1000rr.net:

A spec tire rule are you kidding me? If you want to compete at this level you have to bring your best equipment and best mindset. Bridgestone has done the homework to be successful this season. I find it hard to believe Michelin with all its past success cannot provide competitive tires to their riders. A spec tire rule would only serve to line the pockets of a chosen company.
This is world championship prototype motorcycle racing, the fastest men on the fastest motorcycles. The only rules here should be in the interest of safety.
 

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One side people maybe haven't considered is the logistics of it all - can any of the tyre manufacturers gear up in a relatively short time period to supply enough tyres week in week out to the whole of the MotoGP grid? Production facilities need to be available and these can take time to expand for increased demand of the whole grid.

Then there's the testing work to produce tyres that are equal in performance on all the different bikes out there - Michelin have no experience of Suzuki, Ducati or Kawasaki, likewise Bridgestone for Yamaha and the Repsol Honda's.

Many years back in WSB Yamaha ran Haga on Dunlop and Scott Russell on Michelin tyres and it was a disaster - as neither rider could benefit from the other's set-up information. So no wonder HRC wouldn't let Dani and Nicky run different makes of tyre.
 

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My same response from 1000rr.net:

A spec tire rule are you kidding me? If you want to compete at this level you have to bring your best equipment and best mindset. Bridgestone has done the homework to be successful this season. I find it hard to believe Michelin with all its past success cannot provide competitive tires to their riders. A spec tire rule would only serve to line the pockets of a chosen company.
This is world championship prototype motorcycle racing, the fastest men on the fastest motorcycles. The only rules here should be in the interest of safety.
Right now the open tire rules only serve the interest of tire companies and don't serve the overall health of the series. When you have a tire war and a situation like we have now the ratings of the series drops off. Lower ratings equals less ad revenue and less sponsor value.

Lower ratings also means less favorable TV deals. So instead of getting same day coverage on Speed like we do now, we could be looking at watching the races on Tuesdays or not at all. Conversely, if the ratings for Moto GP were a lot better we could get pre-race, qualifying, and free practice coverage like Formula 1 does.


And that's not even getting into the more important issue of sponsorship. The 4 Japanese factory teams don't rely on sponsorship but Ducati most certainly does and so does all of the satellite teams. Without sponsorship you'll see teams drop off the grid and obviously we don't want to see that.

A lot of people are harping on this whole idea of a prototype racing championship but the fact of the matter is that Moto GP does not exist in a commercial vacuum. If you ignore the commercial side of things the championship dies. Even then, Moto GP is not a pure prototype series in the first place. Fairing design is limited, there's a minimum weight, engine displacement is limited, oval pistons aren't allowed, fuel is limited, and so on and so forth. I don't see anyone complaining about those things. If Moto GP were truly a prototype series with no rules the racing probably would be significantly worse.

At the end of the day people pay to see a race. I doubt 50,000 people would show up so they can see 20 riders do parade laps at speed with no passing.
 

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nice . i like multi suppliers going at it .. it adds another level to the competition∂
 

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I'm surprised that so many were vehemently against the proposed rule change. As was just pointed out, this is hardly a "prototype" championship in the grander sense of the word, as there are a small plethora of imposed limitations.

I, for one, would like to see the single-tyre rule go into effect. Superbike is a perfect example of why it should be done. So are Michelin's decade-plus dominance and Bridgestone's new dominance. Should the championship be decided by a bunch of suits & lab coats? Certainly not. It's bogus.

Look at Stoner: he clearly disdains this idea. Why? For the simple reason that he had the best bike and the best tyre this season, and it so very obviously showed. If you don't believe me, compare his season 1 to his season 2, and don't give me all of that 'rookie year' rhetoric, as Rossi won the title his rookie year.

You also give Rossi Stoner's setup, and you're going to see very different results. I like that the bikes aren't all exactly the same- but there has to be slightly stronger limitations placed on how much effect the engineering has on the overall results.
 

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I'm surprised that so many were vehemently against the proposed rule change. As was just pointed out, this is hardly a "prototype" championship in the grander sense of the word, as there are a small plethora of imposed limitations.

I, for one, would like to see the single-tyre rule go into effect. Superbike is a perfect example of why it should be done. So are Michelin's decade-plus dominance and Bridgestone's new dominance. Should the championship be decided by a bunch of suits & lab coats? Certainly not. It's bogus.

Look at Stoner: he clearly disdains this idea. Why? For the simple reason that he had the best bike and the best tyre this season, and it so very obviously showed. If you don't believe me, compare his season 1 to his season 2, and don't give me all of that 'rookie year' rhetoric, as Rossi won the title his rookie year.

You also give Rossi Stoner's setup, and you're going to see very different results. I like that the bikes aren't all exactly the same- but there has to be slightly stronger limitations placed on how much effect the engineering has on the overall results.
Championships are won by the better team, not an individual rider.

Should we go ahead an limit the budgets the race teams spend so Team KR has a shot at winning a race? After all fair is fair.

The LCR bike is crap, period. King Rossi couldn't win on that thing. Also, Rossi didn't win the championship his rookie year in GP's. Rossi has been on a factory bike since his debut in the 500 class, Stoner has not. Trying to compare what Stoner was on his Rookie year to what Rossi was on is night and day. I'm not claiming Stoner is superior rider but comparing the two is ignorant.

WSBK has a spec tire rule and closer racing, I have yet to see a free practice or qualification for that series over here. The 125's and 250's have some of the closets racing I've ever seen, and more times than not I have to watch the 250's on a Tuesday and the 125's a week later. The bottom line is motorcycle racing will never be as popular here in the states as it is over-seas. Far to many red necks with a "crotch rocket POS jap bike" mentality for it. Making a spec tire rule is not going to change that because frankly Bubba Billy Bob Biff won't give a crap.

Michelin dominated with it's "one-off" over night tires and no one bats an eye. Now people want to punish Bridgestone for doing their homework. How ironic.
 

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Of course the best team wins*- but what has a tire got to do with the team? You can't 'tweak' a tire- you either have the better tire or you haven't.

*When VR dipped over to Yahama, everyone said that no rider was talented enough to win on an inferior bike/team. After he won his fourth-straight (modern) title, they shut their mouths (and he probably would have won in 2006 if his bike hadn't been so wretched).

P.S. When I said Rossi won the title his rook year, I was referring to 2002 and the first revised-format MotoGP season, not his 2nd place debut finish aboard the 500cc Nastro Azzurro Honda in 2000. I meant his first season in the current MotoGP climate, and to call it his rookie season was a technical error.
 
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