Bridgestone to investigate MotoGP rear tyre destruction
The general manager of Bridgestone Motorsport’s Tyre Development Department, Shinichi Yamashita has promised to investigate personally the reason why chunks of rubber fell off riders Valentino Rossi’s and Ben Spies’ medium compound slick rear tyres at round seven of MotoGP 2012. Hiroshi Yamada – manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department, also apologised on behalf of the company: “I am sorry that some riders experienced tyre problems during the race. We are now investigating the issue and will report back to teams with our findings at the next race.” The Dutch TT, held at Assen, on Saturday 30 June 2012 was won by Casey Stoner, who capped an impressive weekend for the Repsol Honda team to take his third win of the season ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa in warm, dry weather.
Stoner made the race-winning move on lap seventeen and continued to push hard to take the checkered flag 4.965 seconds ahead of Pedrosa and the reigning champion now sits level with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo in the championship standings as the luckless Spaniard recorded a DNF after an incident on the first lap. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso notched up his second podium of the year with a hard-fought third place, while Randy de Puniet finished in an impressive eighth place to claim CRT honours and close the gap to his Power Electronics Aspar teammate Aleix Espargaro in the standings to just one point.
Track temperatures hit 40°C during the race, which was more than 20°C warmer than last year’s Dutch TT, and tyre selection was similar to qualifying, with all riders selecting the harder front slick option for its greater cornering stability. Rear tyre choice was more varied with thirteen of the twenty riders selecting the softer rear slick. Spies and Rossi, whose tyres were severely damaged by as yet undetermined causes, were both riding on the harder medium slick tyre.
Yamashita said: “Unfortunately a few riders experienced a problem with their rear tyre today and we sincerely apologise to those riders affected. We have commenced a full investigation into the matter and I will personally take the affected tyres back to Bridgestone’s Technical Centre in Japan tomorrow where they will undergo detailed analysis to determine the cause of this issue.”
Following his promise to launch an investigation into the tyre damage, Yamada said he was keen to move on to the next race: “We now look forward to the next Grand Prix in Germany as a huge crowd is always present at Sachsenring and with a German rider back in MotoGP, I expect the atmosphere will be amazing!”