For the second weekend in a row Bridgestone’s wet tyres were put to the test by changeable weather conditions at Donington Park.
The hour-long first free practice session started with heavy rain and a very wet track following a midday downpour, but by the end a dry line had emerged around most of the lap. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa finished at the top of the timesheets, recording his fastest lap on his last of the session. Second was Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner, who also set his fastest time on his last fast lap. As the track became continually drier, every rider recorded their best effort right at the end of the session.
All riders used the soft Bridgestone wet tyre for the duration of the session. The only rider to run on slick tyres was Hayate Racing’s Marco Melandri, who did so in the closing moments. The Italian opted for the soft compound slicks right at the end of the session, but he did not have sufficient time to record a fast lap before being shown the chequered flag.
All riders completed the session using just one set of tyres, and Briton James Toseland demonstrated the durability of the Bridgestone wets by completing a 30-lap stint on a single set, equalling Sunday’s race distance.
Tohru Ubukata – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
“In just one session we saw all conditions from heavy rain and standing water to a dry line round almost all the circuit and I am very pleased that our wet tyre was able to perform well throughout. In such varied conditions, our wet tyres were really able to demonstrate their wide operating range, working well in all conditions as the track’s grip characteristics continually changed. Our focus has been to make our tyres this year work over as wide a range of conditions as possible, and I am satisfied this afternoon that we have achieved this. The warm up performance our wet tyres showed in the very wet conditions was good, and they also proved their durability in almost dry conditions so I am very happy. By the end of the session just the two hairpins in sector four were still wet and this is why our wet tyre was favoured by all riders.”