Jerez Circuit’s “Diverse Corner Layout” a Challenge for Bridgestone MotoGP Tyre
Following the postponement of the Japanese Grand Prix (thanks to a certain Icelandic volcano), Bridgestone is heading back to the scene of its pre-season testing in Jerez, Spain this weekend for the second round of the 2010 MotoGP Championship. The Jerez circuit is “a good test circuit because of the diversity of the corner layout”, says Tohru Ubukata, manager of Bridgestone’s Motorcycle Tyre Development Department. “This means that we require a tyre with a very balanced character to provide good handling from low speed to high speed and from flat corners through changes in elevation,” Ubukata continues.
The company will make its medium and hard (front) and soft and medium (rear) slick compounds available for the first foray into Europe. The only difference from 2009 is that the rubber compound of the rear slicks has been improved to offer a wider temperature operating range, says the manufacturer. The medium rear slick tyre was used in Qatar but, with Motegi being rescheduled, this is the first time that the new soft rear slick will have been used in competition.
Jerez has eight right-hand corners and five lefts, though the balance is such that the track makes use of each shoulder of the tyres equally. Bridgestone expects the track temperature to be higher than that seen in Qatar, as last year it reached 45 degrees Celsius during the race. This makes warm-up performance less of a concern as the tyres will naturally warm faster but it does test the overall temperature operating range as the tyres can reach a higher peak temperature.
Last year the Spanish Grand Prix delivered the third different winner from the first three races of the 2009 season. Valentino Rossi won his first of the year followed by 2008 winner Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner in third. On his way to victory, Rossi set a new lap record and a new total race time record, demonstrating the sustained pace he was able to achieve using hard compound front and medium compound rear Bridgestone slicks.
Hiroshi Yamada, manager of Bridgestone’s Motorsport Department commented: “It is strange going straight to Europe after the Qatar Grand Prix, and for us it is a shame that our home race in Japan was postponed. We had prepared various events for riders and fans alike during the weekend so it is a shame. I have never heard of a GP being cancelled so close to its scheduled date, but of course we understand the situation and fully support the decisions and swift action taken by Dorna, IRTA and the FIM.
“It is always exciting to start the European season, and I hope that after the thrilling race in Qatar we will see more exciting competition in Jerez. The Spanish Grand Prix is always popular with many fans coming from all over Europe, and it is also a valuable event for us as the Spanish market is important to Bridgestone’s European activities. I hope that we will have no delays to our travel schedule from Japan and that we will see a good race.”