Features 9 Feb 2009

Moto Talk with Hiroshi Yamada

We take an inside look at this year’s MotoGP tyre allocation sheet with the man in charge, Hiroshi Yamada.

In 2009 Bridgestone begins the first of three seasons as the official tyre supplier to the MotoGP World Championship. This will represent a very different approach for tyre supply to motor cycling’s premier sports category from its previous competitive tyre supply environment. Hiroshi Yamada, Bridgestone Motorsport, Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit, explains some of the differences at of the start of pre-season testing in Malaysia.

How many specifications of tyre will there be in 2009?

We will have four different specifications of front tyre and six different specifications of rear tyre for the season.

How many specifications will there be at each race for each rider?

There will be two specifications of dry front tyre and two specifications of dry rear tyre for use at every event. In addition there will be a single specification of wet tyre.

How will Bridgestone determine the tyre specifications for the season?

We will have to supply tyres for all the circuits we visit from only four front tyre specifications and six rear tyre specifications, so it is clear that there is a change of approach from when we faced tyre competition and we were always making new specifications. In determining our specifications we have to ensure our tyre range can cover all of the circuits, and all of the likely temperature conditions. This means the operating range of the individual tyre specifications is wider than we have seen previously.

How are the tyre allocations determined for each event?

The choice of the two tyre specifications for front and rear each race ultimately lies with Bridgestone. However we will make these decisions based on the data we have accumulated in conjunction with all of the manufacturers in 2008 and from races and tests in 2009. We have extensive knowledge of most of the circuits we visit so we are confident we can make good choices.

Different bikes and riders use their tyres differently – how can you ensure fairness?

We have already worked with all of the current MotoGP manufacturers so we are familiar with the characteristics of their bikes, just as they are familiar with our tyres. Even from the early stages of the end of 2008 tests we received very positive feedback. Also, as our tyres are not developed during the season, the teams can develop their bikes to maximise their performance with our tyres.

How much tyre information do all the teams have so they can develop their bikes?

The teams will receive sufficient data from Bridgestone to be able to develop their bikes during the course of the season. We will work hard to ensure that we are fair in our supply of data to the teams so that the same amount and type of information is available to everyone.

How will tyres be allocated to riders?

Each rider will be allocated their tyres by the FIM who will determine the distribution. This is done in a random fashion to ensure fairness. Each tyre will have its own unique serial number to ensure that they can be monitored.