Bridgestone Score 15th 2008 MotoGP Victory
Bridgestone has concluded its 2008 MotoGP season with panache in Valencia, Spain setting the company up for next year, when the manufacturer will take on complete tyre provision duties for the series. Casey Stoner took his Bridgestone-shod Ducati to the win, while Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and this season’s World Champion, Italian rider Valentino Rossi, made up the rest of the podium. Rossi’s third-place, which he took impressively from a starting grid position of tenth, meant that he set a new points record for a MotoGP season with 373. Australia’s Stoner (280) and Spain’s Pedrosa (249) made up the rest of the season-ending top three.
Hiroshi Yamada, Bridgestone Motorsport’s Motorcycle Sport Unit’s manager, told motorsport journalists, “I could not have asked for a better way to end this successful season for Bridgestone. Casey rode a faultless race and thoroughly deserved his sixth win of the season. Together with Casey and Ducati, we have taken wins at the beginning and end of this season… We enter a new era for next season with a sole tyre supply regulation, but it has been a great pleasure for Bridgestone to have been part of a competition scenario with our rivals [Michelin] in MotoGP since 2002. After such a long season, I would like to thank each and every one of our riders, teams and their staff for a tremendous support this year, and to all Bridgestone staff at the track and at the factory for their invaluable individual contributions. Tomorrow marks the first day of testing in preparation for next season and we will surely have another big challenge ahead of us.”
Tohru Ubukata, Bridgestone Motorsport’s manager of Race Tyre Development added, “I am pleased with the performance of our tyres in today’s Valencia Grand Prix after a complicated weekend. The wet weather on Friday and Saturday greatly reduced the possibility to evaluate our slick tyre range so we were left with just 20 minutes of warm-up to prepare for the race. We worked hard with our teams to allow them to select the most suitable tyre for the race distance and most riders were able to push hard throughout the 30 laps. Track temperatures were hotter today than at any other point over the weekend, so most riders preferred a hard spec rear tyre to help with the durability.”
Stoner commented, “We couldn’t ask for much more than to finish the season like this. This weekend has been largely affected by the weather. We were struggling a bit to find the best set-up yesterday and also to identify the best tyre for the race. We found a good solution and were quick in warm-up this morning. The bike worked fantastically throughout the whole race, as did the tyres, and it is fantastic to sign this season off with a win.”