Pedrosa Switches Tires

Press Release | August 31, 2008

Following his fourth place finish in today’s San Marino Grand Prix, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa made a shocking switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tires for the final five races of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship. The move was first announced by Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of Dorna, the GP rightsholders, on Spanish television from the 13th round of the MotoGP World Championship. Michelin fell into line to try to avoid a single-tire rule for next year. Weber said Michelin has an agreement to supply one of HRC’s riders for next year. From the next race, the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, the Honda pits will be split down the middle, the way Yamaha is now with Valentino Rossi (Bridgestone) and Jorge Lorenzo (Michelin). The move was also pushed by sponsor Repsol, according to Repsol Sporting Sponsoring Director, Arturo Sus, who said, “On behalf of Repsol, we´d like to thank Michelin for their understanding of the situation and the way that they handled it. Having said this, our role as the main sponsor of the Repsol Honda team is to push the team, factory and even the rider when we think we have to push to get the results we expect to get from our investment in racing. “For Repsol it was not good enough, and we decided to push Honda to do anything to get Bridgestone. It was not easy for us, Honda and Michelin of course. A decision like this implies some other movements and we thought it was the right thing to do. We talked to Michelin after Brno to agree on the fact it was the best decision for everybody.” The Michelin statement follows: `For 24 years Michelin and Honda have worked together at the highest level of motorcycle racing. Together the two companies have won 14 premier-class World Championships. The two companies fully understand the importance of the `feeling´ between the rider and the equipment he has at his disposal, especially tyres. Despite making an excellent start to the season and leading the World Championship going into the German GP, during the last few races Dani Pedrosa has made it know to both Michelin and Honda that he doesn´t feel at ease with the tyres that Michelin have offered him. Honda and Michelin believe that rider confidence needs to be at its maximum if the rider is to fully exploit the tactical potential of the tyres. In these circumstances Michelin and Honda have therefore decided not to equip Pedrosa with Michelin tyres for the remainder of the 2008 season. Pedrosa comments: `I thank Michelin and Honda for their mutual understanding and for agreeing to my personal demands. I am very conscious of the fact that I have made some excessively negative comments about Michelin tyres, even though Michelin helped me make an exceptional start to the season.´ Both Honda and Michelin hope that MotoGP World Championship will continue with a multityre brand regulation in 2009, Michelin will equip one of the Repsol Honda’s two riders for the remainder of the 2008 season.´

By Press Release