October 01, 2007

Liam is "Tyred", Catching up before Australia

Ever since Laguna Seca, it's been a little crazier than normal for me. At that race, we lost #66, Alex Hofmann, to injury, and have since fielded a number of replacement riders. In a way, it causes you to shift focus, because the team you're used to working with is now different, and there are several uncertainties that this brings. I've always maintained that to be successful in MotoGP, you have to be adaptable, and the situations presented after Laguna definitely challenged myself and the team. I'm back in Barcelona, plotting out my off-season already, and hoping to make the most of it before the 2008 Championship begins. But before any of that can happen, we have three races left this year, and we'll be fielding Chaz Davies alongside Alex Barros at Phillip Island, Sepang, and Valencia.

I'm back in Barcelona, and I've been preparing material for the website this past weekend, so expect to see a ton of photos from the last races in Estoril and Motegi. In the meantime, we might as well speak a bit about the proposed tire regulation changes that could be in store for 2008.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, the main man at Dorna, proposed on Saturday before the Motegi race that the series should move to a one-tire rule, meaning that Dunlop, Bridgestone, or Michelin would be the sole tire supplier, and not only that, the tires used would be control tires, meaning that every team and rider would have access to the same material. It's a very interesting idea, because effectively it would negate any advantage that one team or rider had over another because of specific tire development for them. No longer would Michelin be feeding the "best" tires to Rossi or Pedrosa, and Bridgestone wouldn't make tires that suit the Ducati, Suzuki, and Kawasaki. Instead, a generic set of tires would be available to everyone. There is a huge groundswell from fans around the world who are in favor of such a rule change, but the feeling in the paddock is that this would neuter the bike development and turn the series from cutting edge, prototype racing, into another series where tech isn't the most important thing. Personally, I prefer the competition between all the tire companies, and while this sometimes means that the races are a little boring, without significant lead changes at the front, the balance is always restored and with more time I'm sure the everyone will improve and challenge for the lead. Significant discussions have been taking place on forums around the world, and the rumour now is that it has already been decided that the MotoGP championship will go to a Spec Tire. Just who that will be remains to be seen, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Michelin, or even Pirelli. We wait for the decision to be publicized, which should be in three weeks at the Sepang MotoGP round in Malaysia.


re: Spec Tire.

Yeah, but we don't have to be happy about it, do we? had a poll up last week, and the mix was nearly exact 50/50 with a slight edge to no spec tire.


Hey Liam

Totally agree with you about the tyres. Tyres are important part of the chemistry of MotoGP, and a control tyre would detract from the pinical of Motorcycle sport.

Another reason I favour the existing system si that, in principal, developments made during the heat of battle eventually filter down to road tyres. The greater the competition, the more development, the better the road tyres (eventually) become. A control tyre would effectively neuter this.

Great site, BTW. Enjoy Phillip Island. Hope to say Hi in Sepang.


Screw standardization...the series is about development! Thanks for the input Liam. And best wishes at the next race.

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