Qatar Grand Prix, Losail: Bridgestone Race Review
Starting from pole, Lorenzo got an excellent start and led into the first corner and was never headed, going to cross the finish line 5.990 seconds ahead of his teammate Valentino Rossi who made a valiant charge through the field to claim second place. The final rider on the podium was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the MotoGP™ rookie losing out to Rossi by just 0.211 seconds. Claiming CRT honours at Qatar was Power Electronics Aleix Espargaro, the reigning CRT champion placing eleventh ahead of his teammate Randy de Puniet.
Track temperatures were cooler again today with a peak of 23°C and though the wind reduced in intensity compared to yesterday, there was still a significant amount of sand on the tarmac. As track conditions were quite dusty for the race, all riders opted for the softer rear slick to ensure maximum edge grip in the tricky conditions, while all but two riders – Bautista and Pesek – selected the harder front slick. Despite the less than ideal track conditions, the overall race time was five seconds faster than last year and Marc Marquez’s quickest race lap of 1’55.445 was just three-tenths short of the race lap record.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard; Rear: Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 22-22°C; Track 23-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The tyre combination that was most popular during practice and qualifying proved to be the best choice for the race, with all but two riders selecting the harder front slick paired with the softer rear. The track temperature was cooler than yesterday and this combined with the dusty track made the softer rear slick the option that would ensure the best combination of edge grip and rear drive. The softer rear slick still offered enough durability for a race distance and it was pleasing to see that despite the less than ideal track conditions, the overall race time was almost five seconds quicker than last year. Overall, I am happy with tyre performance over the first race weekend of the season and it was excellent to get the season started with such an exciting contest.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport Press Release