San Marino Grand Prix, Misano: Bridgestone Preview
There’s no rest for the MotoGP paddock as it travels from Indianapolis last weekend straight to Rimini and the Adriatic Coast for the San Marino Grand Prix on 4 September.
The Misano World Circuit is twisty and quite stop-start in nature, although there is a very fast section from turns ten to thirteen. Consequently riders spend a lot of time on the brakes meaning that braking stability from the front Bridgestone tyres is crucial. Confidence in rear grip is especially important through turns six, ten and sixteen, which all lead onto sections of straight.
The circuit isn’t particularly demanding of Bridgestone’s tyres, although it is harder on the right shoulder than the left because of its clockwise direction and in particular the complex of turns ten to thirteen which is a high speed right-handed kink called Curvone that leads into a series of increasingly tightening right-handers. Here, high-speed stability and edge grip is at a premium and riders must have the confidence to fully commit.
Last year Bridgestone selected symmetric tyres for Misano but this year the allocation has been revised to use asymmetric rear slicks which offer a softer compound left shoulder for improved warm-up performance and increased rider feeling.
In keeping with the new tyre regulations introduced during the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the medium and hard compound front slicks have again been selected for Misano with the addition of the third soft compound option for cooler conditions.
After a time away, MotoGP returned to Misano in 2007, but the circuit layout was changed slightly at turn three in 2008, increasing the track’s length to 4.226km. Bridgestone has a great track record in Misano since the circuit’s return to the calendar in 2007. Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner took pole and won in 2007 on Bridgestone tyres in the era of tyre competition, in 2008 (last year of tyre competition) and again in 2009 Valentino Rossi set a new lap record on his way to victory, and last year Dani Pedrosa set another new lap record.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Misano will bring mixed memories and emotions for many, including myself, but it is a circuit that Bridgestone have always been strong at with consecutive new lap records in the last three years. In the absence of tyre competition the laptime is our benchmark and, combined with developments to the machines each year, I believe this shows we are not resting on our laurels with tyre development. We always see a very passionate crowd at Misano, and hopefully we will give them a good show as the title fight hots-up with only six races of this season remaining now.”
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“The track surface at Misano is smooth and offers relatively low grip, but it has a twisty layout so the tyres spend a lot of time leant over and don’t have a lot of respite each lap in which to cool down. Ambient conditions are also usually hot so in our compound selection we must strike a tricky balance between grip and durability. This year we have selected asymmetric rear slick tyres for Misano and I believe, based on tyre performance at other races and rider feedback, this will be a step forward in warm-up performance on the left side and rider feeling and confidence, and in achieving the right balance.
“The fast right-handed Curvone corner is where the tyres reach their highest temperature, particularly the rears, and because of the high speed good stability is critical. A strong centre section of the front tyre is also required for good stability under frequent and sometimes heavy braking. It is also important for every element of the bike, rider and tyre package to work well here because with the nature of the track meaning tyres have little time upright in which to cool, it is easier to overheat them.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport