Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Medium, Hard Rear: Hard, Extra Hard (asymmetric)
The seventh round of the championship takes the MotoGP paddock to Catalunya, and to one of the toughest circuits of the season for Bridgestone’s tires, specifically the right shoulders of the rear tires.
The nature of the circuit is predominantly right-handed, and the right-hand corners tend to be fast and long. As the riders carry high corner speed at a high lean angle, and try to open the throttle as early as possible to maximize their drive out of each corner, the loads placed upon the right shoulder of the rear tires increase and cause tire temperature to rise. By contrast, the left-hand corners are fewer and generally slower, subjecting the left shoulders to far lower loads, thus the left side of the tires runs at a lower temperature. To cope with these demands, Bridgestone have again selected asymmetric rear tires for Catalunya, making it the fourth use of asymmetric rears this season. Last year, Catalunya marked the first outing for asymmetric rears, indicating an increasing number of races where Bridgestone are utilizing them.
The asymmetric rear slicks combine a hard or extra hard compound right shoulder, depending on the compound option, for increased durability and consistency at a higher operating temperature range with a soft compound left shoulder for the slower left-handers. This allows them to provide a consistent level of grip and rider feeling throughout the lap despite the imbalance in temperature and load between each side of the tire.
During last year’s race the track temperature peaked at 52 degrees Celsius (125.6 degrees F) and every rider chose the hard front and the extra hard rear slicks. It was also the scene of the thrilling duel between the Fiat Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo whose battle was decided on the final corner. The pair crossed the line separated by less than 0.1 seconds, followed by Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner on the final step of the podium, just 0.05 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“We saw a fantastic race in Catalunya last year and I think everyone will remember the battle between Valentino and Jorge. The circuit is always popular with the fans and with five Spanish riders in the championship we can be sure of great attendance and an exciting atmosphere. Spain is also an important market for Bridgestone and the popularity of the grand prix helps support our MotoGP activity in the region. Catalunya is the final in a back-to-back trio of races which have been busy for everyone, and it is followed by a well-deserved break until the German Grand Prix.”
Tohru Ubukata – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“Catalunya is a smooth but high speed circuit that generates higher temperature in the right shoulder of the tires than the left because of its mostly right-handed nature. Its surface is quite slippery but the loads on the tires are very high which means that we see very high temperatures in the right side of the rear tires. There are eight right-hand corners, most of which are long and fast, and only five left-handers, most of which are much slower so there is a significant imbalance between tire temperatures in the right and left shoulders of the rear tires, and we have chosen our asymmetric rear slicks again to manage this situation. Catalunya is one of the toughest circuits of the season for the rear tires, but we have seen in the past that our pace and tire performance there has been good so I feel confident.”