What we all knew was going to happen has finally been made official. Bridgestone has been awarded the contract to supply tires to the MotoGP series as the sole supplier. Here's the FIM statement:
Following a unanimous proposal from MSMA, the Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Claude Danis (FIM), Hervé Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Mr. Paul Butler (Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held today at the circuit of Sepang, unanimously decided to introduce the following change to the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.
Bridgestone will be the single tyre supplier for the MotoGP class for 2009, 2010 and 2011.
However, the full details of the regulations have not yet been released, which could mean that Dorna and Bridgestone are still haggling over details, after the riders' Safety Commission meeting reportedly slammed several of the proposed rules. Bridgestone did issue a formal press release, stating their commitment to safety, cost and fairness.
Bridgestone has today been officially appointed the sole tyre supplier for the MotoGP World Championship for a three-year period starting from 2009.
The decision comes following an announcement in September from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) that MotoGP will become a single-make tyre formula from 2009, and after a subsequent tender process in which Bridgestone was the only tyre manufacturer to submit a proposal to FIM and Dorna.
The specific regulations pertaining to the single tyre contract will be confirmed by FIM in due course.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport commented on today's announcement:
"Bridgestone is pleased that we have been appointed the sole tyre supplier to the MotoGP World Championship for the next three seasons, starting from 2009.
"Although we were sorry to hear that tyre competition would not continue in MotoGP, Bridgestone appreciates the importance of safety and cost in motorsport. We respect the decision taken by FIM and Dorna to impose a one-make tyre rule for next season and acknowledge the safety and cost reasons given for their decision.
"We submitted a proposal to FIM and Dorna in order to continue competing at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, and to continue to be a part of the MotoGP community, of which we are proud to have been involved since the 2002 season.
"We have developed strong relations with manufacturers, teams, riders and personnel in the MotoGP world and are happy to be able to continue a high level of participation in the sport. Even in a single tyre situation, however, we must also guarantee and increase our return on investment from a business point of view, something that we hope to achieve through a close working relationship with all our teams and with Dorna.
"Alongside safety and cost, fairness is another pillar of Bridgestone's involvement in motorsport and we are committed to servicing our teams fairly at all times. Having worked with all manufacturers in MotoGP this season, we believe that we are well placed to offer the fairest possible treatment across all teams.
"We have relished competing on a global motorcycle racing stage with our rivals over the last seven seasons and will miss the opportunity to showcase our technical capabilities against them. In this period of competition, we have improved our performance level step by step and have been immensely proud to have taken the world title for the last two seasons, firstly with Ducati and Casey Stoner in 2007, and this year with Fiat Yamaha and Valentino Rossi.
"Our technical department has already started looking at how best to approach the 2009 season with the desired push for improved safety in MotoGP at the forefront of our development plans. We must make sure that our tyres work safely and competitively at each event, bearing in mind the complexity of tyre performance at each individual circuit and, most importantly, we must ensure that our tyres offer the same performance potential across all teams.
"We have a busy winter period ahead of us in order to best prepare ourselves for the first race of the 2009 season, but on-track preparations will begin as soon as the chequered flag has fallen on this 2008 season with a post-race test in Valencia, the first opportunity we will have to work with new teams and riders."
(c) Bridgestone Motorsports