Japanese Grand Prix, Motegi: Bridgestone Qualifying Review
Lorenzo’s scorching time was set using the softer rear slick option – the medium compound – in conjunction with the harder front slick, and this proved to be the most popular tyre combination throughout the day. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa will line up second ahead of Monster Yamaha’s Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, with both riders also setting times below the previous pole position record. The best CRT qualifier at Motegi was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro who qualified in thirteenth with a time of 1’47.383.
Both rear tyre options were used today with riders doing race simulations on both the softer and harder rear slicks in FP3 and Qualifying, with the softer rear slick being preferred for the time attack at the end of qualifying due to its greater edge grip. In similar fashion to the free practice sessions yesterday, the harder front slick was used widely today, its greater stability helping with the frequent hard braking zones at Motegi. Track conditions today were conducive to good lap times with a dry track and track temperatures in the low 30°C mark.
Motegi morning warm up takes place at 0940 local time (GMT +9) tomorrow with the twenty-four lap set to start at 1400.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
FP3 – Dry. Ambient 20-20°C; Track 30-30°C (Bridgestone measurement)
QP – Dry. Ambient 22-21°C; Track 32-31°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“We had favourable weather conditions again today and the condition of the track was ideal for qualifying. The good levels of grip on offer and the improved rider feel provided by the 2012 specification tyres meant that the pace today was very fast, both in the race simulations and also the time attack with Jorge, Dani and Cal all setting times below the old pole position record. Tyre choice for tomorrow is still difficult to predict, looking at the results over the last two days it is apparent that most of the field will choose the harder front slick, but rear tyre choice is more open at this stage. A lot will depend on what the track temperature is for the race.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport Press Release