Rossi’s Bridgestone Decision “Difficult to Understand” – Weber
According to an article published in the Italian magazine Motosprint, Michelin’s Jean-Philippe Weber could not readily comprehend the logic behind the decision made by MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi to switch to Bridgestone for 2008. The director of motorcycle racing commented that “this decision of his is difficult to understand, but that’s what he’s decided. It could be a good or a bad choice, we’ll see in a while.”
Weber added that “there were many changes (with the Michelin tyre) in 2007, so many that it was almost a revolution… In my opinion things changed at the end of the season, as far as we are concerned, but Valentino felt that the problem was just the tyre, not something else. Maybe this is a good analysis, or maybe it isn’t.” Further comments to the effect that many factors – even “psychological ones” – can greatly influence a rider’s performance, were also printed in the Motosprint article.
Remarking on Michelin’s reaction to Dorna’s former proposal for a single control tyre in 2008, Weber said: “At Michelin we enjoy competition and so the plurality of the players; a single tyre is not part of our philosophy. But there was a moment of great tension, when we started asking ourselves whether we should stay or leave. We were very worried that Ezpeleta really wanted the single tyre and we didn’t know what to do.”