Loris Capirossi Explains New Tire Supplier Parameters: Intermediates To Return, Allocation To Increase Slightly

05/07/2014 @ 11:12 am, by David Emmett4 COMMENTS

Loris Capirossi Explains New Tire Supplier Parameters: Intermediates To Return, Allocation To Increase Slightly Friday Jerez Spanish GP Tony Goldsmith 05 635x422

The tire allocation for MotoGP is set to be expanded when the new tire supplier takes over from 2016. The numbers of tires supplied to each rider will be increased by one or two tires per rider, and each rider will have the option of three different compounds front and rear.

But perhaps the most welcome change will be the return of intermediate tires to MotoGP, for use in practice conditions which are too dry for rain tires, but too damp and dangerous for slick tires to be used.

The expansion in number and compounds was a contributory factor in Bridgestone deciding to pull out of MotoGP, the series safety officer Loris Capirossi told us. “We started talking with Bridgestone in the middle of last year to understand the situation, because as everybody knows, the contract finishes at the end of 2014,” Capirossi said.

“We told them the situation is like this, we have to try to modify that part, we have to try to increase a little bit the number [of tires], we have to try to make the intermediate tire, just some points. Like Carmelo [Ezpeleta] said, we were talking and talking, but in the end Bridgestone decided to stop.”

Capirossi expressed Dorna’s gratitude to Bridgestone for agreeing to extend the contract for a single year through 2015. “We talked to Bridgestone again about continuing for one more year, because it is important for us to work on [the tire situation]. Bridgestone understood our situation, and decided to stop at the end of 2015,” the Italian said.

There are three main candidates to replace Bridgestone, Capirossi said. “We are already talking officially with Dunlop and Michelin. We are talking unofficially with Pirelli also, but we haven’t received an official request yet. That [process] is still going on until the 22nd of this month. Then the process will be closed on the 22nd, and Dorna and the MSMA will decide what is the best way to go.”

Capirossi ruled out any return to open tire competition, as well as any radical shake up of the tire supply regulations. “We don’t want to change the rules,” the Italian said. “It will still be a mono tire rule. We don’t want to make 100 types of tire.”

The new tire supplier would have to put considerable effort into development, however. “When you start working with a new supplier, it’s difficult, because we have to work really hard in the beginning to try to find the best solution for everybody. We have asked [the candidates] for many things, for development we asked for a lot of tests. We are just waiting for their answers, for their plans, so we can start to work.”

That work will be an intensive exercise for whoever is awarded the initial contract, especially in the run up to 2016. “We will have to prepare 100 different types of tire to start the development, to find the best solution, the best tire working for all of the bikes, like Bridgestone did in the last couple of years. This is the target we wanted to follow,” Capirossi told us.

Though Dunlop, Michelin, and Pirelli have all expressed an interest in becoming official tire supplier, Michelin is widely tipped as the favorite to win the contract. The French company has stepped up its test program recently, with riders testing Michelin’s 16.5″ slicks in Italy and France in recent weeks.

Photo: © 2014 Tony Goldsmith / TGF Photos – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. Dan says:

    One wonders if Randy de puniet and Suzuki could offer their services to Michelin as far as testing goes.

  2. L2C says:

    Already sounds like it will be Michelin. I think I recently read on Emmett’s blog that Dunlop didn’t really want the job. And if Pirelli are still dragging their feet at this point, they’re not likely to be seriously interested either.

    But what do I know, the meetings and negotiations are probably just as complex as the tires that need to be produced. Box of chocolates and everything.

  3. I’m not surprised about the return of the inter. Pirelli offers inters in WSBK and, by all accounts, they absolutely fit the bill. Instead of having people sitting in the pits when conditions are too wet for slicks and too dry for wets, get ‘em out on the track for the folks who have paid their money to sit in the stands already!

  4. crshnbrn says:

    Michelin would be the logical choice since they were producing tyres for MotoGP bikes as late as 2008, but they would have to be a glutton for punishment to return after they were abandoned for Bridgestone, and after the lashing Bridgestone has taken since being the sole tyre provider to MotoGP. I’m a little surprised that Dunlop and Pirelli are also interested in taking the abuse.

    With a sole supplier for tyres, the manufacturer has a tendency to be taken for granted when things go right, and used as a scapegoat when they don’t. Riders and teams are less likely to site a tyre manufacturer as the reason for a poor performance if there is more than one tyre manufacturer to chose from. That would mean the rider or team chose the wrong brand.

    “Capirossi expressed Dorna’s gratitude to Bridgestone for agreeing to extend the contract for a single year through 2015. ‘We talked to Bridgestone again about continuing for one more year, because it is important for us to work on [the tire situation]. Bridgestone understood our situation, and decided to stop at the end of 2015,’ the Italian said.”

    I was wondering when someone was going to recognize Bridgestone stepped up by agreeing to supply tyres after their contract was up at the end of 2014 and provided their replacement more time to prepare.

    And no, I don’t run Bridgestone tyres.