MotoGP: Rossi and Stoner Differ on Opinion Over Tire Rules

Casey Stoner in Qatar MotoGP World Championship leaders Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi highlighted contrasting aspects of the new single-tyre rule, when asked to reflect on the first race of the all-Bridgestone era. 

Stoner took a 7.7sec lights-to-flag victory over Rossi in the Qatar season opener on April 13, which was delayed by one night due to torrential rain at Losail. 

“It is very difficult just with two tyre [compounds available],” said Rossi. “It requires another way to work on the bike, but sometimes [two compounds] is not enough. 

“In Qatar, maybe for us it would have been better to race on Sunday, for the conditions of the track and temperature,” he continued. “We struggled more on Monday night. The condition of the asphalt and a higher temperature made a lot of difference.” Valentino Rossi

But Stoner pointed out that, even if the limited range of tyres provided are not ideal, any problems are now similar for everyone. 

“It’s nice knowing that everyone else is on the same tyres to be honest. You’re quite sure of what everyone else is capable of,” said the Ducati Marlboro rider. 

“If your tyres are running out in a certain period of the race, then everybody else is going to be in a similar position to a certain degree – their setting might mean they can last a little bit longer or the opposite – but you have a rough idea of what everybody is capable of. 

“In Qatar we struggled a bit with the conditions, they were quite hard on the tyres compared to the test, and I think this circuit should be a bit easier on them,” added the Australian. 

Round two of the 2009 season takes place at Motegi this weekend, a circuit where – unlike in Qatar – there has been no winter testing. 

“Everybody is coming here a little bit unknown, we haven’t tested here so we’ll have to wait and see how the weekend pans out,” said Casey. “I think Bridgestone have done their homework and we should have tyres that maybe last a little bit longer at this circuit. 

“We’ve been pretty happy with how the bike is going, but like I said we haven’t tested here so we have to make sure it works on this characteristic of track,” added the #27. 

Rossi’s victory over Stoner in last September’s Japanese Grand Prix handed the Italian his sixth premier-class title. 

“Last year we struggled in practice but on Sunday I was very, very fast and it was a great victory,” said the Fiat Yamaha rider. 

“It looks like the M1 with Bridgestone tyres is fast and competitive at this track. So we will see from tomorrow 

“This weekend we have to understand the temperature, because it’s April, and the weather. We will also have to work with just two tyre options, but we are confident,” he declared. 

First practice at Motegi takes place on Friday afternoon. 

Source | Crash.net

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