Bridgestone Favours Hard Slicks for San Marino MotoGP
Hot, humid conditions in San Marino on the first day of its Grand Prix have produced a favourable reaction to the hard compound Bridgestone slicks amongst the field. Whilst both options were used during the free practice session to get a feeling for the available grip and balance from each, it was on the harder slicks that the best times were recorded.
The Fiat Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo set the pace with the Italian topping the timesheets 0.5 seconds off his 2008 lap record after the hour of practice. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso finished third and fifth respectively, either side of San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alex de Angelis. Tohru Ubukata – manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department – tried to explain why, despite the relatively low levels of grip presented by the Misano circuit, the fastest time today was set on the hard compound slicks. “The hard compound slicks were generally faster today because the ambient and track temperatures were quite high; the conditions were almost the same as we saw during the race here last year when the ambient was 34 degrees Celsius and the track was 49 degrees.”
“The track is also quite bumpy in many of the braking areas, so it is common for the rear tyre to lift under heavy braking. This means that front tyre stability and grip is crucial to give the riders confidence. This is another reason that the hard compound front tyre was favoured for its increased compound stiffness and therefore stability. If the conditions remain the same then I can say that the hard compound slicks will clearly be the favoured choice, but the weather over the next two days is expected to get much cooler, by around ten degrees Celsius, so in this situation we can expect to see more of a mix between the harder and softer options depending on rider preference, ” he concluded.