Valentino Rossi won a sixth premier-class victory on Michelin tyres – his first of 2016 – at Jerez, Spain, having started from pole. The nine-time world champion got the hole-shot on his Yamaha and led into the first corner, increasing his lead over a pack led by current champion Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha and Honda’s championship leader, Marc Marquez. Rossi’s faultless race meant he was never under pressure, winning by more than two seconds.
The recent launch of Bridgestone’s Battlax Hypersport S20 EVO is being supported by a new promotional film starring Valentino Rossi. The multiple MotoGP world champion served as motorcycle tyre adviser during the S20 EVO’s development, and in the film he puts the hypersport tyre through its paces on a Yamaha YZF-R1. The short film can be viewed here.
After what will be fourteen years of involvement, Bridgestone will end its MotoGP tyre supply at the end of the 2015 season. Series organiser Dorna has agreed to extend Bridgestone’s current supply contract, which was due to expire after the current season, for one year, and the company says this will then be its final season as tyre supplier. As was the case when it reported in 2009 its intention to wrap up supply to Formula One, the tyre maker links its decision to cease MotoGP supply to a fulfillment of the objectives it set out for itself in the championship.
Bridgestone and motorcycle racing legend Valentino Rossi recently came together near the nine-time world champion’s home in Tavullia, Italy to collaborate on a promotional film that celebrates their winning partnership. The film showcases how both the tyre maker and Valentino ‘share’ a winning DNA, starting out from humble beginnings before going on to become leaders in the world of motorsport. Viewers are taken on a dramatic journey with both Bridgestone and Rossi, integrating historic and current footage that highlights their shared values and joint successes.
A total of six pan-European competitions will be held and 46 winners will receive a range of prizes, including Bridgestone and VR46 co-branded merchandise. As well as meeting Rossi, the top prize offers two fans the chance to go behind the scenes in the MotoGP paddock.
Round Six of the 2012 MotoGP Championship saw Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo win the British Grand Prix for his third consecutive MotoGP victory. Tyre supplier Bridgestone pronounced itself pleased that the compounds it supplied in its rear slicks allowed riders to perform in milder conditions than may have been anticipated. With rain just about staying clear, track temperatures that were cool for June at 22-28°C were the major concern, but the availability of medium-soft rear slicks, selected by all but Ducati’s Valentino Rossi, allowed the field to combat this coolness. The front soft and medium compound tyres split the riders, including front-runners Lorenzo – on the more durable medium – and Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, who selected the soft, which warms up faster. Bridgestone said that the compounds both “worked well” and the close racing between the front-runners was indicative of both tyres’ quality.
Jorge Lorenzo dominated the field on his Yamaha Factory Racing M1 in a wet French MotoGP to claim his second win of the season, ten seconds ahead of Ducati’s Valentino Rossi, moving him to the top of the Championship standings ahead of third-placed Casey Stoner. All the riders chose to use Bridgestone’s soft wet tyres on front and rear on a cool, sodden track, increasing warm-up performance and initial grip. Bridgestone said the reduced standing water as the race went on resulted in very little degradation, since the majority of riders setting their personal best times in the latter stages of the race.
Avintia Blusens’ rider Iván Silva put in a hot lap on slick tyres during a damp first practice session at Jerez to finish Friday on top of the timesheets. Conditions were neither fully wet nor dry during the first practice session and only eight riders chose to go out. Sporadic rain continued falling throughout the morning session and continued right until the start of FP2. The earlier downpour resulted in enough standing water on the circuit to necessitate wet tyres in FP2.
MotoGP’s final meeting of the season in Valencia was made a difficult affair for riders by inclement weather. Tohru Ubukata, general manager of Bridgestone’s Motorsport Tyre Development Department, said “all weekend the track conditions were neither one thing nor the other. When the track was wet, it wasn’t really fully wet and it dried through the session leaving the teams to chase setup, and when it was dry it was still very greasy. In the race spots of rain fell throughout, which made it very tricky for the riders to gauge the level of grip available, as it was often different from corner to corner, and in such a situation tyre performance is always a compromise.”
Casey Stoner clinched his sixth victory at Brno on Sunday following an early battle with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. Pedrosa crashed out of the lead on the third lap, leaving the remaining two steps of the podium to be fought over by Andrea Dovizioso, who finished second, and Marco Simoncelli who secured his first podium in the premier class. Every rider on the grid used the softer option rear tyre for the race, and almost all riders used the harder option front. The only riders who didn’t were Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista, who was chasing down Valentino Rossi for sixth position when he crashed out, and Lorenzo, who led early on before crossing the finish line fourth ahead of his Yamaha teammate Ben Spies.
Jorge Lorenzo won the latest Italian MotoGP round using Bridgestone’s hard front and rear slicks, overcoming Casey Stoner’s early lead of 2.3 seconds. He also set a new lap record at Mugello, while Championship leader Stoner also lost out to Andrea Dovizioso in the final six laps, allowing the Italian to achieve his best result of the season in front of a home crowd. Round seven’s winner Ben Spies got the better of Marco Simoncelli for fourth position, ahead of Valentino Rossi who finished sixth having climbed from 12th on the grid.
MotoGP’s Czech Grand Prix weekend got underway with Free Practice today, and riders were keen to compare the balance of the slick compounds Bridgestone has provided (hard and extra-hard at the front, hard and medium at the rear. Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo continued his strong form during the first hour-long free practice session at Brno, setting the fastest time by more than half a second, his best coming on the harder variants.
Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department manager, Tohru Ubukata declared himself “happy” about the new lap record time set by Dani Pedrosa and the uptake of the manufacturer’s softer option rear tyre, which was used by nearly half the riders at the Italian Grand Prix – the fourth round of this year’s MotoGP Championship. The race provided the best opportunity for riders to select different rear tyre compounds for the race; whilst every rider chose the hard compound front tyre because of the hot conditions and the heavy braking seen at Mugello, seven riders opted for the softer option rear slick and nine for the harder option. Thus Bridgestone was able to compare the performance of the two rear tyre specifications and prove that both could work well in identical conditions. Dani Pedrosa of the Repsol Honda Team was the runaway winner followed by Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. Perpetual favourite Valentino Rossi was sidelined following his crash during free practice on Saturday morning.
Valentino Rossi won the first race of the season in spectacular style after an intense race-long battle between the top four, comprising his Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo who finished second having fought his way past both Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso, who finished third, and a very close fourth-placed Nicky Hayden. Every rider but Pramac Racing’s Mika Kalli opted for the harder option front Bridgestone slick.
In addition to sealing the MotoGP Riders Championship with his third place at the weekend, Valentino Rossi managed an outright lap record in qualifying on Saturday, suggesting to Bridgestone manager of the Motorcycle Tyre Development Department, Tohru Ubukata that tyre performance had been good: “Yes, in general I am happy with the performance of both our available compounds this weekend, but Valentino’s lap was very impressive indeed. The track temperature at the end of the session was 52 degrees Celsius, yet Valentino set his fastest lap on the softer front tyre and the softer rear tyre which shows that even in the high heat they had a suitable level of durability and good overall performance.