Bridgestone Farewells Motocross WGP
Bridgestone Europe has announced it will cease supplying tyres to teams participating in the Motocross World Grand Prix championships after the 2007 season. After a decade of top-level motocross, including three world titles, the company has decided to concentrate resources on MotoGP track racing from 2008.
“With an increased number of MotoGP teams riding on Bridgestone – including new world champion Casey Stoner with the Ducati Corse team – and a year-round development and testing program, Bridgestone has reluctantly decided to stop supporting the FIM motocross world championships and concentrate resources on MotoGP,” said Gunther Podevyn, senior manager Motorcycle Tyre Products, Bridgestone Europe.
Bridgestone entered WGP motocross in 1997, supplying teams in the 500cc category in a championship that included three classes at the time. Further contracts with 125cc and 250 cc teams soon followed. Bridgestone’s first world championship came in 2001 with Britain’s James Dobb winning the 125cc title on a KTM motorcycle. Belgian Joel Smets, also riding a KTM, then won the 500cc event on Bridgestone tyres in 2003. Bridgestone triumphed a third time in 2006 with Christophe Pourcel claiming the FIM MX2 250cc world championship with the GPKR Kawasaki Team.
In 2007 Bridgestone supported eight MX1 teams, including Kawasaki with Sébastien Pourcel, who finished 4th in the world championship, and 6 MX2 teams, including Kawasaki with 3rd placed Christophe Pourcel.