There’s no doubt that Bridgestone’s experience in MotoGP is paying off with technology gained from the highest level of racing trickling down to its production tires. In the span of nearly nine years, the company went from also-ran to become the dominant tire in MotoGP, forcing the top riders to switch because they knew it was a critical component in their world title aspirations. And that same progress could be seen in its production sport tires for public roads. Each succeeding generation has shown a major leap in performance, and their abilities are easily a match for their competitors.
But with the previous BT-003 DOT racing tire now three years old, Bridgestone saw it was time to update its ultimate performance rubber. Thus Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations has introduced its latest-generation DOT racing tire, the Battlax Racing R10.
Boasting a new tread pattern utilizing “three-dimensional” grooves that have varying angles of cut (instead of just a straight vertical groove, the outer portions of the tread siping have flatter cuts of varying angle and width), the R10’s land/sea ratio is obviously even more biased toward a slick than the BT-003. The 3-D grooves are claimed to provide excellent grip under acceleration and stable handling under hard braking, with the angled groove arrangement enhancing tread rigidity and the soft carcass construction allowing quick warmup and good traction under less-than-optimal conditions.
New crown profiles and tire construction are said to provide improved turning and line-holding under acceleration, with the vertical tread grooves in the rear offering good feel and enhancing slide control; the front vertical grooves at specific angles are claimed to help feedback, especially entering turns.
Updated rubber compounds now give higher flexibility in varying conditions, meaning less compound and construction choices are necessary than in the past (which somehow rings familiar from the advantage Bridgestone enjoyed in MotoGP over its competition). At press time, the current lineup is comprised of a 120/70ZR-17 in Type 3 (medium) compound, and two rear sizes (180/55ZR-17 and 190/55ZR-17) in both Type 3 (medium) and Type 2 (hard) compounds. Bridgestone reps feel confident these will handle nearly all conditions without a problem.
The Bridgestone Battlax Racing R10 will only be available through select race tire vendors, and in North America only.