News 14 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Bridgestone says Sachsenring tough on tyre wear


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Round nine of the MotoGP calendar takes the field to Germany and the Sachsenring circuit for the first half of another back-to-back pair of races.

It is the third race in four weeks, meaning Bridgestone’s logistics have had to be faultless to deliver almost 1800 tyres comprising four different compounds to the right place at the right time.

The German Grand Prix is the second race of the season to which Bridgestone will bring asymmetric rear tyres. These will be the same specification as used for the Catalan Grand Prix  – the hard and extra hard compounds. However, due to the anti-clockwise nature of the German circuit, here it is the left shoulder that is harder. The circuit consists predominantly of left-handed corners, most of which are long and relatively fast. This uses the left shoulders of the Bridgestone slicks much harder than the right, necessitating harder compounds on the left side of the tyre for increased durability and a softer compound on the right for better grip at a lower operating temperature.

Sachsenring presents riders with two slow right-hand corners at the start of the lap but then a series of fast lefts sweep onto the back straight and to the finish, interrupted only by the fast right-handed kink of turn twelve. There are ten left-hand corners and only four right-handers, and the temperature differential between the two shoulders of each tyre is sufficient to demand the use of Bridgestone’s asymmetric rear tyres.

The weather at the venue can unpredictable, but last year a wet and cold weekend played into Bridgestone’s hands as Bridgestone-shod riders dominated the race and claimed the top four positions. Casey Stoner took pole and the race victory for Ducati, giving Bridgestone their first win at the Sachsenring. Valentino Rossi finished second in his first wet race since switching to Bridgestone tyres, Chris Vermeulen was third to give Suzuki their first podium of the season and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alex de Angelis was fourth in his first wet MotoGP race. Bridgestone-shod riders filled eight of the top ten positions.

Sachsenring has the second shortest lap of the calendar, just 61 metres longer than a lap of Laguna Seca, however the race covers the shortest distance of the year, totalling just 110.13km.

Hiroshi Yamada – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit

“Last year was a good race for us at Sachsenring and one in which our wet tyres clearly worked well, bringing our first victory at the circuit with Casey and taking eight of the top ten positions. We struggled a little at this race two years ago when the conditions were dry, although Loris still finished second, but I am looking forward to hopefully another dry race this year. I am sure that now all riders are using our tyres, we will see another good and close race whether wet or dry. Sachsenring is special for us because our fitting team is based nearby so it is like a home race.”

Tohru Ubukata – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

“Sachsenring’s  anti-clockwise  layout  means  it  has  a  greater  number  of  left-hand  corners,  so  to  best  suit  these conditions we have chosen our asymmetric rear slicks for the second time this season. We saw that the hard and extra hard compound asymmetric Bridgestone slicks worked well in similar conditions in Catalunya, so I am confident of their performance at this circuit. Here we see a great disparity between left and right corners which means that the difference in temperature between the left and the right shoulders of the rear tyres is significant, far greater than that in Laguna Seca. This is why we always planned to bring our asymmetric slicks here. “As  we  approach  the  second  half  of  the  season,  we  will  see  a  greater  number  of  uses  of  the  asymmetric  rear Bridgestone slicks. As well as Catalunya and Sachsenring, we will take them to a further four races.”Ghost Game video Christopher Strong psp

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