News 5 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Bridgestone reports on tyre selection for America

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Jorge Lorenzo claimed pole for tomorrow’s US GP, finishing  0.167 seconds ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi. Both Fiat Yamaha riders used a hard front Bridgestone and a medium compound rear. Completing a front row of the usual suspects, Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner was third but opted for hard compound slicks front and rear.

Two very close battles followed to make up the remainder of the top ten. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa won the battle for fourth, in which he, teammate Andrea Dovizioso and San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Toni Elias were separated by just 0.033 seconds. Colin Edwards win the second battle for seventh position for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. The gap from the Texan to tenth position was just 0.172 seconds at the finish of the hour-long session.

The Bridgestone slick compound choices made by the top ten in qualifying were varied. The Repsol Honda riders used Bridgestone’s hard front and medium compound rear slicks, whereas Elias, Edwards and Hayden opted for the same softer option rears but with the softer front too. Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi combined a hard front with a hard compound rear, the same choice made by Stoner.

The track started at a temperature of just 26 degrees for the morning’s cloudy second free practice but rose to 48 degrees for qualifying. Lorenzo’s pole lap, set on race tyres as is every qualifying lap this year, was just under 0.2 seconds from the race lap record, a 1m21.488 set last year by Stoner on his Bridgestone-shod Ducati machine.

Tohru Ubukata – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

“Laguna Seca is a tricky circuit as the weight transfer of the bikes is different from corner to corner. The right-handed turns three and ten are downhill so this makes it difficult to load the rear of the bike on corner entry, but turn six for example is uphill so the weight transfer is totally different. Also, turns three and ten use the right shoulders of the tyres heavily after a series of left-handers, so temperatures in these shoulders are lower and this adds to the difficulty of these corners, in which Casey and Jorge crashed today. I wish them well and I hope that they will both be fit for tomorrow’s race. “Jorge completedalmost a full race distance on a single hard compound rear tyre during the session with good consistency so this shows well for tomorrow. The conditions today were almost the same as yesterday and we expect more of the same tomorrow for the race.”Powder Blue film

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