Guest Blog: Mat Oxley: The best news from Silverstone is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

The best news from MotoGP Silverstone

It was very nearly all good news at Silverstone…

A properly thrilling MotoGP race, reminiscent of the glory days of the 1990s, thanks mostly to Marc Márquez for shaking things up and spurring Jorge Lorenzo to ever greater heights.

motogp race The best news from MotoGP Silverstone

A stunning win from Scott Redding – a kid from a tough background “trying to make something of my life”.

Warm summer sunshine, great crowd and no one too badly hurt in any of the crashes, including that idiotic pile-up at the end of Moto2 warm-up, the kind of accident that can leave people in a very bad way. The guilty party Dani Rivas suffered a fractured shoulder, while one of his victims, Steven Odendaal suffered a fractured ankle.

The only really bad news for British GP fans was Cal Crutchlow’s bruising two days tasting the Silverstone tarmac, gravel traps and grass verges. And his bad news is somewhat linked to the really good news, which is coming up next.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

Back to top


Certainly tire technology makes changes possible without the result being a complete crapshoot, but doesn't the move to a whole new carcass open the door to a complete reshuffling of what bikes work and how?

I am, of course, thinking here of the tantalizing possibility that the new construction is more Ducati-compatible.

It seems unlikely that Bridgestone is going to throw a giant curveball with a tire so different that it works better on a Ducati than a Honda, but different is different, and I'm *most* curious to see how this shakes out.

In any case, if these tires do chuck people down the road less often, that's worth any resulting chassis mayhem, IMHO...

Agreed - however, as Stoner and Pedrosa wanted to retain a stiffer carcass last year (which is Rossi's current preferred choice too, allegedly) it might just help the Honda's go faster! Heaven help us.
If it helps Ducati, that would be nice .....although Burgess said that they couldn't tell the difference and it was only when they got back to the M1 that the benefits of the stiffer carcass were recognised.
It would be good if someone could tell us what it was about those early Bridgestone's that so suited the Ducati - lots of things have changed since then but the Ducati's problems seem much the same, so the answer may be similar now as then.
Given that it was only the fastest riders who could see the benefit of the stiffer carcass at that time it does make me wonder if the production racer will still need a more compliant tyre for some riders.
Bridgestone/someone just need to offer more choice - prototype tyres for prototype bikes and rider preferences (e.g. Elias is someone whose style I miss), but without a tyre war.

I'm still sticking with the biggest problem in MotoGP today is not the fuel limits, not the engine restrictions, not even the amount of money spent, but having spec tires. The issue with the old (pre 2007) regs were that not all riders had access to the same tires, does anyone remember the best race of the last decade when Elias won against Rossi, (I still can't believe how wide he made that Honda) when reportedly he got to use the overnight specials?

Had they stuck with the rules as they were at the start of 2007 (no overnight specials) we would have had a competitive Ducati, the CRTs could have used something that at least made then competitive for the first half of the race, bringing with it the sponsorship that only comes with TV coverage, the factories would still be racing for wins, but at least with extra Monday coming in other teams would have a chance with some new ideas to come up to speed.

It was native and foolish in the extreme to believe that a company with the resources and experience of Michelin would not be able to sort out their issues after the first year

I think you are very optimistic in your view of how the introduction of custom tires would work out. The chances that the tire manufacturers would work with all the teams equally to provide special tires for every bike/rider combination are in reality zero.

The factory teams, in particular Honda and Yamaha, are going to get a wide range of custom tires to select from at each race. The satellite teams may get a few custom tires, but everyone else will get about the same choices they do now. This is the way it was in the past and there is no reason to assume it would be different now. The result would be an even greater differnence between the factory teams and everyone else than there is now. The teams that need the performance advantage of custom made tires the most are the least likely to get them.

Your example of Elias' win actually proves my point. He got to use some extra tires that were made for Pedrosa and the factory Honda. He never got the chance to use the factory Honda tires again.

That issue is easily resolved though, using what is put in place. So it's clear, this is what I propose as rules regarding tires

1. At the start of the season, each team/rider selects a tire manufacturer for the first half of the season, possibly add that the team can swap manufactures mid season
2. All tires offered by the manufacturer are available to all teams/riders, ie. no Honda Factory tires only
3. Each team/rider selects what tires they would like to use on the weekend on the wednesday prior to the race (or Tuesday for Assen) and advises DORNA
4. DORNA acquires all tires from the manufactures for all teams/riders and distributes them on the Thursday, no tires are supplied directly to the team from the manufactures (gets rid of any funny business with manufactures giving the good tires to say Yamaha, and the rest getting the rejects)
5. This is all provided at a fixed price for all teams (or paid for by DORNA, coming out of their funding with a corresponding reduction of funds to the teams)
6. The number of tires available to each rider/bike is fixed for the year (including testing) and the number of tires supplied each weekend is fixed (ie. you can be supplied 10 tires, split frt/rr however the team/rider like)
7. All tires used for race weekends must be from the supply provided by DORNA on the thursday prior to the race
8. All tires used in testing must by supplied through DORNA, or must be commercially available
9. The tires supplied to the teams by the manufactures through DORNA, must be exclusively supplied to DORNA (ie. the teams cannot approach the manufactures directly and purchase the same race weekend tires for testing)

I think that covers it, not really any more complicated then the current arrangement either

Your proposed rules might do the trick, but more likely the tires would be developed to best meet the needs of the big factory teams. After all the big factories buy a lot of tires to put on their road bikes.

If there is more than one tire supplier the situation would be even worse. Each tire manufacturer will want to be on the winning bikes, the most likely bikes to win are the factory teams, so a lot of motivation to taylor the tires to the factory teams. Everyone eles can use them, but the advantage will be to the factory teams.

Tires are such a huge factor in performance that, IMO the spec tire is a critical factor in keeping the playing field somewhat level. It would probably be even better if they stopped changing the tires. Only the big teams have the resources to repond quickly to a new tire. Leave them the same for a few years and let even the smaller teams have a chance to learn how to build a bike to use them.

Let's take Ducati as an example, with Audi money, using the same ties as Honda and Yamaha they still cannot get near them, but with their own tires they won a wc. If it comes down to making the best bike to suit the tires no one but the best funded well have a chance as development costs a lot, especially for that last second.

Secondly, what you said its true, and will always be true, it even is now, with the spec tires suiting the best teams now, and if your not running the same balance, power delivery add then, the tires don't work, so my point is that while there is scope for my proposal to not work, it's still much better (in my mind at least) then the current rules

the problems in mgp are the sum of a number of factors. Fuel limits make it so tire spin is wasted energy creating the need for better tire. the rider now becomes the week link so now we need electronics to supliment their inputs. also, all things being equal, the have a maximpum grip so give engine power greater than that grip and the ecu will dial in whats needed.

the camera (director) work could use some fine tuning.... create a better show by showing us the action... more on boards, slow mo's. less pit boards and more action. if all there is processional racing show us whats going on up close for longer....

just sayin

It would be good if Dorna just acknowledged that there is a problem. If it was being addressed and progressed with a view to making the tyres as good as the bikes/riders need them to be (within reason) no-one would have reason to complain/comment.
It is as if there is a contractual gag on people and teams from saying anything about tyres other than the most innocuous comments. Capirex seems to have disappeared as well - I had hoped that his role with the tyres would be more visible/vocal.
I would like to see Michelin back in the paddock too - they seem to have abandoned 2 wheel road racing.