Catalunya Grand Prix, Montmeló: Bridgestone Preview
The technical layout of the Circuit de Catalunya, the venue for round five of the 2012 MotoGP™ World Championship, is one of the toughest on the calendar for Bridgestone’s MotoGP™ tyres and has produced many memorable races over the years.
Unlike the last round at Le Mans, Catalunya is a fast circuit with an array of right-hand corners that are taken at high speed and large lean angles and as a result, the circuit places greater stress on the right shoulder of the rear tyre than any other course on the calendar.
The intense forces imposed on the right shoulder of the rear tyre at this circuit means Bridgestone will provide asymmetric rear slicks with rubber compounds two steps harder on the right shoulder than on the left for this race. At the front of the bike, the numerous hard braking zones require a tyre with good braking stability, so the medium and hard compound front slick tyres will be available to riders and in case there are unusually cool conditions, the soft front slick tyre will also be available to ensure maximum rider safety. Due to the generally high energy levels placed on tyres at Catalunya, the main wet tyre for this weekend will be the hard compound.
For Catalunya, Bridgestone will offer riders two of the new specification front slick tyre in the hard compound and this weekend’s race marks the last event where limited supply of this tyre will be provided as from the next round at Silverstone, the new specification slick tyre will become the standard offering and will make up the whole front slick tyre allocation.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“I have many good memories of the Catalunya Grand Prix as it has hosted many exciting battles in the past and the crowd is always extremely passionate. This circuit is particularly hard on the right shoulder of the rear tyres, but I am very confident that our 2012 specification tyres are more than up to the challenge. I would also like to welcome back Colin Edwards who will be back on his bike after missing Le Mans through injury.
“Catalunya will be the last time we offer just two of the new specification front slick tyres to riders as this specification will become the standard front slick tyre from Silverstone onwards. In what will be a busy week for Bridgestone, we will be supporting a post-race test on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya and also the test scheduled for next Wednesday at Aragon which was organised as a replacement for the Estoril test after it was cancelled due to wet weather.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Catalunya is one of the most technical circuits on the calendar and is a high-speed track featuring eight right-hand and five left-hand corners that combine to generate significant loads on Bridgestone’s MotoGP tyres.
“The right-hand turns on this circuit are generally fast and create very high temperatures on the right shoulder of the rear tyres, while the left-handers are slow, resulting in a considerable imbalance in the forces sustained across the rear tyre. For this reason, asymmetric rear tyres are a must at the Circuit de Catalunya with the rubber compound used on the right shoulder being two grades harder than that on the left. Additionally, there are numerous hard braking zones at this circuit – particularly at the end of the two straights – and this places considerable stress on the front tyres as well. Overall, the distinctive layout of the Catalunya circuit makes it one of the toughest events on the calendar for tyres.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport