News 18 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Bridgestone reports on opening Sachsenring practice


The opening free practice session of the German Grand Prix started in very wet conditions after a brief but heavy thunderstorm prior to the session’s start. A dry line soon appeared though, allowing riders to gain valuable experience of both Bridgestone’s wet and slick tyres in what is expected to be a weekend of changeable weather.

Every rider started on the hard compound wet tyres, the only available compound of wet tyre this weekend, completing approximately 30 minutes on them before Bridgestone’s slick tyres became faster on the drying tarmac.  All the riders switched to the softer of Bridgestone’s slick tyre offerings this weekend, marked with the white line around the sidewall. With a dampened track temperature after the rain, these were clearly the faster choice.

The laptimes tumbled through the session as the track became increasingly dry. Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner sealed his position at the top of the timesheets with a 1m 22.779s. Even though track conditions were not ideal, Stoner’s lap was 0.3seconds faster than the previous race lap record of the Sachsenring set by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa in 2007. The Spaniard also bettered his 2007 lap record to go second fastest on his final lap. Whilst Stoner was 0.255seconds clear of the field, just 0.462seconds separated Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in eleventh position from Pedrosa in second.

Tohru Ubukata – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

“In these conditions we saw today that our wet tyres and slick tyres have sufficient overlap of their operating range to deal with a wet, drying and then dry track. I’m happy with the durability of our wet tyres as we have seen again that they can be used until the surface is almost dry.

“I’m also satisfied with the working temperature range of our hard compound slicks, the softer option this weekend. In similar wet/dry conditions in Le Mans and Mugello, riders went from wet tyres to our soft or medium compound slicks, whereas here they switched from wets to our hard compound tyres and still the performance was good. Given the cooler conditions, the hard compound slicks were clearly the fastest choice and no riders used the extra hard compound today.”

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