MotoGP To Be A Spec-Tire Class in 2008?

The bosses at Dorna, owners of the MotoGP race series, have proposed the introduction of a single tire rule for all MotoGP bikes in 2008. CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said “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”.

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This is likely in response to the new kid in tire-town, Bridgestone, and their incredible success in this year’s MotoGP World Championship. Long-dominant Michelin has had a bit of success this year, including taking the top three qualifying spots in this week’s MotoGP race at Motegi Japan. Nonetheless, Bridgestone has dominated the podiums this year, with Casey Stoner and his Bridgestone-shod Ducati winning eight races so far.

“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” continued Ezpeleta.

The issue of tires in MotoGP has been on everyone’s lips this season. HRC President Masumi Hamane said that Honda was hopeful of securing Bridgestone tires for 2008. There are rumors that both outgoing world champion Nicky Hayden and unlovable elf Dani Pedrosa
have requested to ride on Bridgestone next year.

Bridgestone have said they do not intend to supply Honda with tires next year. However now the possibility exists that Bridgestone will supply tires for every MotoGP team in 2008. Of course, every tire maker will be asked to submit a proposal.

Spec tires became the rule in World Superbike a few years ago. Despite initial fears of “dumbing down” the series, and one season of slower lap times, the spec Pirelli tires have become quite good in recent years, and WSB has had extremely close and exciting racing.

Formula 1 (cars, dontcha know) has also adopted a one-tire rule this year, with all teams running Bridgestones.

Your friends at MotorcycleSmack.com are not sure how we feel about having a one tire rule in MotoGP. We were very skeptical about spec tires in World Superbike, but that has proven to be a good thing for the racing. While we believe no harm would come to MotoGP racing if it adopted spec tires, we don’t believe the problem is serious enough to warrant such a move. After all, Michelin dominated the World Championship for many years, and Bridgestone has ruled the podiums for only 1 year. Michelin is a huge, powerful organization that shouldn’t be counted out quite so quickly. And while Dunlop hasn’t had significant success in MotoGP, who’s to say they won’t be competitive in a year or two.

It’s too early to say where the trend is going. We say let’s see what happens next year before declaring that everyone must run the same tire.

One Response to “MotoGP To Be A Spec-Tire Class in 2008?”

  1. Cain says:

    Really enjoyed this article. Just wanted to say thanks and keep up the good work.

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