Bridgestone strengthened its position as a market-leading motocross tyre manufacturer after David Thorpe, Britain's most decorated rider of all time, labelled them as "amazing."
In a huge breakthrough, Bridgestone tyres will now appear on all the bikes at Thorpe's Honda Off-Road Centre and Honda Adventure Centre, too.
Every rider at Thorpe's elite Buildbase Honda Motocross Team will also compete on Bridgestone's Battlecross tyres, including prolific competitors Tommy Searle, Jake Nicholls (MX1) and Steven Clarke (MX2); inflating the brand's presence at the highest level of the sport.
The Buildbase Honda partnership alone represents Bridgestone's most significant association to date in the sport. Searle is Britain's latest GP star with 14 career GP wins in the MX2 class and ranks third in total victories across channels and multiple world champions, including Jeff Smith and David Thorpe. Teammate Jake Nicholls has also raced in the premier motocross championship since 2007 and established himself as one of the most talented riders in the sport.
Thorpe's decision to embark on a holistic partnership with Bridgestone was confirmed after Buildbase Honda recorded a series of impressive results in the MX2 class last season on Bridgestone Battlecross X10, X20 and X30.
All of Thorpe's Honda Off-Road Centre bikes will use the new Battlecross E50, which features a soft compound specially developed for superior grip and high traction power. The tread pattern incorporates advanced block positioning and works with the E50's Castle Block technology to maximise edge effect and deliver extra traction.
Meanwhile, all bikes at the Honda Adventure Centre will use another prominent Bridgestone tyre, Battlax Adventurecross AX41. This updated trail off-road tyre meets adventure riders' requirements. The increased off-road traction and grip are due to a state-of-the-art block design and positioning, while the use of a high-strength compound ensures durability and a long lifespan.
Bridgestone impressed us most because their tyres assist riders of all abilities – from beginners at the Off-Road Centre right up to Tommy (Searle) and Jake (Nicholls) at the elite level of the sport.Dave Thrope , Honda Off-Road Centre
"We invest a lot of time and money in our Buildbase Honda bikes to be as competitive as possible, and all of that means nothing if you can't put the power to the ground—and that’s why tyres are so important and why we’re working with Bridgestone.
"We just think that Bridgestone has gone about things in the right way for some time. They have got some great new products and a great team around them. When they feel that they have developed something special is when we decide to get involved, because we don't use anything sub-standard.
"We want to bring any technology that’s advantageous to the team, and Bridgestone's tyres fit that category. It’s exciting times for Buildbase Honda, and it’s exciting times for Bridgestone too.
"Whether it’s the AX41 for the Adventure School, the E50 for the Off-Road Centre or the Battlecross range for the team, the tyres will assist us in getting the results we want.
Five years ago, Bridgestone barely had a presence in the motocross tyre sector. Since then, the company's presence has grown tremendously and expects it to rise in the years ahead.
Bridgestone is already boasting more winners on its Battlecross range than ever before, thanks to some astute individual rider partnerships. At the same time, its title sponsorship of the Bridgestone British Masters was the best attended to date—averaging 350 riders across every race weekend.
Bridgestone's marketing team leader Mark Fereday said: "Working with a legend of the sport (Dave Thorpe) is hugely significant for everyone at Bridgestone. To receive so much positive feedback about our products cannot be underestimated and is something we don't take for granted. It's the ultimate endorsement and reinforces our claim to be a leading player in the motocross world with some of the best premium products available.
"The future looks bright, and we are so excited to be working with Dave at his Honda Off-Road Centre, Honda Adventure Centre and the Buildbase Honda Motocross Team. To see our name on the sidewalls of so many incredible bikes will be a red-letter day for everyone associated with the business."
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In 2018, we announced that three of our tyre plants in Spain – Bilbao, Puente San Miguel and Burgos – had begun sourcing 100 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources.