Bridgestone announces it is to end tire partnership with MotoGP

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Japanese tire manufacturer to provide race rubber to MotoGP for just one more season

Since 2009, Bridgestone has been the sole supplier of tires to the MotoGP paddock but the partnership is about to end. While the Japanese manufacturer and series owners Dorna agreed to another year extension on its current contract, the tire company has announced that it will cease to supply its tires at the end of 2015. The Japanese company first entered the MotoGP paddock in 2002 when the changeover to four-stroke machines was made.

We are proud that we have been involved in a series that continues to grow in popularity year-on-year.

Shu Ishibashi - Senior Vice President Bridgestone Corporation

While there were a number of barren years at the beginning of its involvement with the premier motorcycling championship, its ultimate success came in 2007 when Casey Stoner stunned the world and took the MotoGP title with Ducati who have had a long partnership with Bridgestone. Following another championship in 2008 with Yamaha and Valentino Rossi, Bridgestone then became the sole tire supplier to the MotoGP paddock, something that was never done before.

The last two years have been troublesome however with a number of instances where riders couldn’t retiring from races due to tire wear and the Philip Island round last year was a big stumbling block, as was the second round this year at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas where a number of riders dropped way off the pace and extreme tire wear being visible following the race. New technical regulations that will be introduced in 2016 will also see new tires having to be designed to for this and Dorna has already opened the tendering process for companies interested in becoming the sole supplier from 2016.

Race winner and 2008 World Champion Valentino Rossi signs and authenticates his helmet
Race winner and 2008 World Champion Valentino Rossi signs and authenticates his helmet

Photo by: Yamaha Motor Racing

The official statement from Bridgestone thanked all involved with the MotoGP World Championship. “Bridgestone expresses its deepest gratitude to the riders, teams, FIM, IRTA and Dorna, as well as motorsports fans around the world, for their support over the years. Although it is planning to exit the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the 2015 season, Bridgestone is doing its best to promote motorsport as part of its portfolio of activities.

Shu Ishibashi - Senior Vice President Chief Marketing Officer Responsible for Group Global Marketing, Bridgestone Corporation said, “Since 2002 Bridgestone has invested large amounts of resources into MotoGP, to help us achieve the goal of becoming the world’s foremost tire manufacturer. During this time we have forged a strong and successful partnership with Dorna and the teams, which culminated in our company being the first ever Official Tire Supplier to the championship. MotoGP has proved to be an extremely valuable tire development platform that has helped us introduce highly advanced technologies into our range of road tires, to the benefit of consumers.

The increase in our brand awareness since joining the series has also been an excellent outcome for us, and we are proud that we have been involved in a series that continues to grow in popularity year-on-year. While Bridgestone will withdraw from the MotoGP championship after 2015, we are considering other opportunities to maintain our position of as a key player for motorsports fans all around the world," Mr Ishibashi added.

Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team
Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

General Manager of the Global Motorsport Department with Bridgestone Kyota Futami said the company would work hard in its tire production for MotoGP until the end of 2015. He said, “It is with some sadness that we will make our exit from MotoGP after such a prosperous participation in the sport. Yet, having achieved everything we set out to do when we entered the championship over ten years ago, including sharing in many MotoGP World Championships, our company believes it is the right time to implement an exit strategy from the series.

Over the next two seasons we will continue our world-class level of support to all the teams and riders, and will keep investing heavily in our MotoGP tire development programme. We will continue to push the boundaries of motorcycle tire development over the next two years to ensure that we leave the championship at the end of 2015 in the best way possible,” Mr Futami added

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Breaking news
Tags bridgestone, dorna, ducati, featured, hatch, rossi, stoner, yamaha