MotoGP’s official tyre supplier previews the second round of the 2011 World Championship this weekend, to which it will bring medium and hard front tyres and soft and medium rear options.
Bridgestone are preparing for the first European round of the 2011 World Championship this weekend, as MotoGP arrives at Jerez.
Track temperatures often reach over 40ºC at the southern Spanish circuit although this year’s race is being run a month earlier than last year’s event, and Bridgestone are therefore expecting cooler conditions.
Tyre performance at the track last year was good, with Dani Pedrosa setting a new lap record, and the compound selection (medium and hard front, soft and medium rear) remains the same as in 2010. In fact the medium compound front and rear slicks were actually used in Qatar two weeks ago as well, where the track temperature was around 22ºC – a clear demonstration of the wide operating temperature range of Bridgestone’s slicks.
“Jerez is a technical circuit with a mix of fast and slow corners,” said Hirohide Hamashima, Director of Motorsport Tyre Development at Bridgestone. “It is a good test circuit because of the diversity of the corner layout and this means that we require a tyre with a very balanced character to provide good handling from low speed to high and from flat corners to changes in elevation.”
“The layout doesn’t generate particularly high loads for the front tyre’s centre section, and the left and right shoulders are used equally so asymmetric rear slicks are not required here. The surface is smooth, meaning not bumpy, which is easier for the tyre’s centre section but the grain of the tarmac is abrasive.”
Hamashima continued: “The track temperature during the race weekend is historically high, although the race this year is run one month earlier than in 2010, but coupled with the abrasive surface it adds to the challenge of durability and wear although Jerez is not the most severe from a tyre point of view. Last year tyre performance was good and Dani set the first of eight new lap records achieved last year, so we have selected the same tyres this time around.”