The tire issue just won't go away, and tonight, yet more news comes on the issue. Dennis Noyes of SpeedTV.com is reporting that a new consensus has been reached on the tire rules, which will avert the need to go to a single tire. According to Noyes, the new rules will be as follows:
It seems that the tire issue is going to be with us for a long time to come yet. At the front row press conference, after qualifying at Phillip Island, Valentino Rossi hinted that he still had the option of switching to Bridgestone tires for 2008.
The threatened introduction of a control tire in the MotoGP series has raised more commentary and debate, or should that be argument and invective, than any issue in recent history. The proposal's supporters have welcomed the prospect of closer racing, its opponents have denounced the switch as abandoning the principles of a prototype series and darwinian competition, and raised the specter of innovation grinding to a halt. So when the debate becomes so intensely heated, it is good to inject a little calm and reasoned analysis, and to place the move into some kind of context.
With the championship sewn up, it seems that all the excitement in the MotoGP series now comes from "The Tire Issue." In frankly bizarre statements to the Italian sports daily Gazzetto dello Sport, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta admitted that he had only threatened to move the series to a single tire make to get the tire manufacturers to "put their own personal interests to one side in order to make the championship more interesting."
There's something ineffably romantic about a newly-crowned champion returning to his native soil to be feted in his home race. And at first sight, Casey Stoner would seem to fit that poetic notion just perfectly: a handsome youngster and his beautiful young bride return home after securing the world title in a tightly-fought battle with a grizzled veteran. But cast anything more than that cursory glance at the situation, and the romance disappears faster than a Ducati GP7 down Qatar's front straight.
Battle continues over the proposal from Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta to institute a single tire rule, aimed at putting an end to the perception that this year's racing has been unexciting. Where previously, much of the comment has come for the proposal's supporters, now, a bevy of top riders have spoken out against the idea. According to Autosport.com, Casey Stoner, Chris Vermeulen and Marco Melandri have all rejected moves to a single tire make for MotoGP.
The season's over, isn't it? Casey Stoner is the new MotoGP champion, most of the rides for next year are spoken for, and the only interesting thing left is what brand tire will be shoved down the teams' throats in '08. Might as well cancel the rest of the races and give the boys some time off, right?
Ben Spies, 2006 and 2007 AMA Superbike champion, is reportedly in Japan at to meet with top-level Suzuki executives and to test a GSV-R 800 similar to the one he will ride after the Sepang round. Spies will visit Suzuki headquarters in Hamamatsu and will test at Suzukiâ€™s Ryuyo Testing Grounds. Purposes of the visit are to fit Spies to the bike and to generally familiarize him with the operation of it.
Alex Hofmann has issued a press release indicating that he intends to contest his sacking from the Pramac d'Antin team and "will fight this decision with all legal resources at my disposal." Hofmann goes on to outline why he thinks the team's action was unjustified and attempts to explain his actions at Estoril.
Full text at: http://roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=30410
Borgo Panigale. Monday, September 24th. The day after. I arrive at the gates of the Ducati factory, just two short streets from the main freeway which circles Bologna, at around 5:30pm, just as the day shift starts to head for home. I know I am close to the factory, as I see a grown man in a Ducati cap hurrying round a corner with the look of a child on Christmas morning on his face, his wife trailing indulgently behind.