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Bridgestone: From Mugello scare to Brazilian joy

Bridgestone: From Mugello scare to Brazilian joy

Bridgestone: From Mugello scare to Brazilian joy

Bridgestone have experienced a remarkable scale of progression in the first half of the season. However the manufacturer, competing directly with Michelin in MotoGP, have also sampled some very delicate moments so far during 2004, one of which occurred at Mugello for the Italian Grand Prix.

Japanese Kawasaki star Shinya Nakano suffered a spectacular crash on the main straight while touching 300 kph, due to the front tyre bursting because of the high temperature of the asphalt.

Luckily, Nakano did not suffer anything more than a few bumps and bruises. Taking into consideration what happened in Mugello, some riders affiliated with Bridgestones contemplated not contesting the following Grand Prix the week after at Barcelona but finally relented.

The highpoint of Bridgestone's campaign fittingly came after their most hardest. The Grand Prix of Rio at the Nelson Piquet circuit occurred just 28 days after Mugello, and they scored not only their first MotoGP pole position but also their debut win in the class thanks to the efforts of Makoto Tamada.

The Japanese Honda representative completed a fantastic weekend for the firm who saw their rubber holding pole on the front row of the grid after Suzuki's Kenny Roberts had clocked the fastest lap on Saturday. It was the first MotoGP pole for Bridgestone although Jeremy McWilliams had notched the front row standing in the old 500cc series during 2000 at Phillip Island with the Proton KR 3.

"So far this feels like a great season for us," GP Chief Technician Thomas Scholz after the British Grand Prix last week.

"At the start of the year we had some interesting races, and it is true that we also had some times when things were not going so well but soon after we could experience the joy of Rio."

"Makoto Tamada together with Honda form a potent combination, and we must concentrate together entirely on the bike, rider and potential, to grow and develop our tyres to reach the highest level possible."

MotoGP, 2004

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