Catalunya Grand Prix, Montmeló: Bridgestone Debrief with Shinji Aoki

 In MotoGP, News

The Catalunya Grand Prix took place under dry conditions on Sunday with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo winning his second successive race ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso to consolidate his position at the top of the MotoGP™ standings.

Weather conditions on the Friday and Saturday of the race weekend were very warm with track temperatures hovering in the mid-50°C range though for Sunday’s race, early morning rain and cloud cover resulted in much cooler track temperatures for the race.

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

Q&A with Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

Catalunya is very challenging for tyres, particularly on the right side of the rear tyre. How did the 2012 specification slick tyres with their revised construction cope with these tough operating conditions?
“Even though our 2012 specification rear slick tyres feature revisions to both construction and rubber compounds to give riders enhanced warm-up performance and improved rider feel, tyre wear was not an issue for either of the rear slick tyres we brought to Catalunya. The combination of rubber compounds we selected for both the softer and harder asymmetric rear tyres at Catalunya were a good match for the unique demands of the circuit and provided predictable grip levels over the duration of the race.”

The new specification front slick tyre that was introduced at Jerez will become the standard front tyre from the next round at Silverstone. Did many riders use it at Catalunya?
“For the race all riders decided to use the hard compound front slick tyre as this provides better stability under heavy braking which at Catalunya with its two long straights is very important. We offered this hard compound option in the new specification front slick tyre last weekend and fifteen of the twenty-one riders selected this option for the race. The feedback we received on the new specification front tyre was that it provided a better feeling from the front-end, particularly in corner entry.”

“From the next race at Silverstone the new specification front slick tyre will become the standard offering and will be offered in a wider range of compounds and I am looking forward to seeing how riders utilise this greater availability of the new front slick tyre.”

Both Friday and Saturday were quite warm but Sunday brought morning rain and cooler conditions. Did this affect tyre performance during the race?
“The cooler conditions didn’t have a negative effect on tyre performance as we developed our 2012 specification slick tyres to operate effectively and give predictable performance over a wider operating temperature range. Even though some riders reported poor grip levels on the circuit, the lap time of the first lap was nearly one second quicker than last year and the race pace for the first half of the race was also better than last year and this data suggests our 2012 specification tyres performed very well at Catalunya.”

Source: Bridgestone Motorsport

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