In 2008, Bridgestone became MotoGP’s first official tire supplier. In 2016, that relationship will end, says Dorna.
Bridgestone actually started supplying tires to MotoGP racers back in 2002, but in those happier days, there were several other manufacturers also playing the same game, meaning tire selection had even more to do with racetrack results. Then, in 2008, Bridgestone was given a monopoly – if you were racing MotoGP, you were going to use their tires.
That move wasn’t without some controversy, as some racers who had to switch over found they couldn’t get the same results with Bridgestone’s rubber – some teams suffered greatly. There has been some sqawking in the years since, as riders aren’t always happy with Bridgestone. Incidents like the 2013 Phillip Island race (where Moto2 supplier Dunlop also ended up with egg on their face) and this year’s Austin GP led to some grumbling in the paddock, whether or not it was deserved.
But, like it or not, they’ve still got to finish the season on Bridgestones, and complete the 2015 season. After that, the new supplier will take over. MotoGP has offered the contract up for tender, starting today and running until May 22.
Bridgestone’s press release says “The development and supply of MotoGP™ tires have been a major boost to Bridgestone’s technical ability, and brought a number of benefits that have enhanced Bridgestone’s brand globally. Having achieved the objectives it set out for itself in MotoGP™, Bridgestone will cease tire supply to the series at the end of 2015. Bridgestone expresses its deepest gratitude to the riders, teams and all parties concerned, as well as motorsport fans around the world, for their support over the years.”
[…] y a trois semaines, Dorna a annoncé que leur contrat avec Bridgestone viendrait à terme à la fin de la saison 2015. Dorna a donc relancé le processus d’appel […]
[…] at the start of the month, Dorna announced their ties with Bridgestone, the current tire supplier, would be ended at the end of the 2015 season. They put the official […]
That’s big news. Especially for Ducati, which has suffered tremendously from understeer with the Bridgestone rubber. It will be extremely interesting to see which supplier gets the nod for 2016 and how the various bikes/teams will make the transition. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Dunlop get the deal, since they already supply Moto3 and Moto2.