The Czech Republic Grand Prix at the Automotodrom Brno is round 11 of the championship and starts the second half of the MotoGP season after the mid-year break. The grand prix is the 22nd to be held at the track, which has hosted every race since 1987, except in 1992.
Replacing the original Brno road race, the circuit’s nature is undulating but fairly evenly balanced between right- and left-handed corners thanks to a number of flowing right-left kinks: there are eight right and six left hand corners. It was resurfaced in 2008 and as a result is now more abrasive, necessitating hard and extra hard compound front Bridgestone slicks.
By contrast, because of its flowing nature the medium and hard compound rear Bridgestone slicks have been selected. The circuit is the second longest of the season at 5.4 kilometres, but due to the balance between rights and lefts neither edge of the tyres is placed under any particular stress and temperature is maintained throughout the lap. The track’s elevation changes and the mix of positive and negative camber throughout the lap are demanding of both bike setup and the riders.
Brno has been a very successful circuit for Bridgestone in recent years. A Bridgestone-shod rider has taken victory for the last three seasons, twice with the Ducati Team with Loris Capirossi in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2007, and last season with Valentino Rossi and Fiat Yamaha. What’s more, the top eight riders last season were all on Bridgestone tyres.
Hiroshi Yamada – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit
“I think we are all looking forward to going racing again after the much deserved summer break, and Brno has traditionally been a good circuit for Bridgestone as we have been very successful there in recent years with three consecutive wins. Of course, as the series’ sole tyre supplier there is no question that we will win again this year, but for us the challenge is to ensure that we supply tyres and a tyre service to enable the riders to put on another great show. We have seen some fantastic races so far this season in the single tyre era, and the championship is still close at the front so I’m sure we’ll continue to see more nail-biting competition. The Czech Republic Grand Prix comes just after a MotoGP demonstration for the fans held in Vienna that I am pleased we were able to support.”
Tohru Ubukata – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
“Brno has a long lap but an even balance of left- and right-handed corners so we will bring symmetric compound tyres again. Since it was resurfaced in 2008 Brno has become a more abrasive circuit, so we will bring harder front tyres this season to cope with the loads generated through the fast and flowing corners. The circuit is characterised by its undulating nature and flowing corners that require a great deal of finesse from the riders. This also places a premium on bike setup so that each rider package can use our tyres to the optimum. This is especially crucial on the more abrasive surface where excess sliding can accelerate wear. The weather on race weekend is often unpredictable and can use all of our tyres’ wider operating ranges, but this is something we are used to from the last few races!”