Bridgestone damaged MotoGP’s image by not being properly prepared for the new surface at Phillip Island, according to leading riders.
Both Bridgestone and Moto2 supplier Dunlop were caught out by the new asphalt at the Australian Grand Prix venue last weekend. After worrying tire wear problems in practice, the decision was taken to reduce the MotoGP race from 27 to 19 laps, with a mandatory pit stop for a bike with fresh tires on lap nine or 10.
The race proved to be one of the most exciting of the year, but Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi — who finished second and third — said that did not mean the problems should be overlooked.
“On TV it might look in the end like everything was so cool and so exciting,” said Pedrosa. “But I can tell you, for the teams it was a little bit of a nightmare.
“It was a shame, it’s not a good image to have to do these things. Next time they should have to have a test or to spend a day or two working with the surface.”
Rossi agreed that Bridgestone was at fault for not scheduling a full tire test at the circuit. It based its preparations on information from teams and the World Superbike event at the track.
“If a racetrack has a new surface, it should be compulsory to do a test for the tire, and with good, fast riders,” said Rossi. “If not, it’s useless.”
The seven-time MotoGP champion also hit out at Bridgestone’s general performance this season.
“Bridgestone have to make more effort to improve the harder tire,” Rossi said. “The harder tire this year has never worked for anybody. In all the races everybody is forced to use the soft because the harder tire doesn’t work.
“I hope Bridgestone makes more effort to give riders two options with good tires that work every weekend, because this year it’s never happened.”