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Bridgestone opens its doors to its riders

Bridgestone opens its doors to its riders

Bridgestone opens its doors to its riders

Several MotoGP riders were the guests of honour at the "Bridgestone Motorsport Day" which took place at Bridgestone's technical centre in Kodaira, in the suburbs of Tokyo. Ducati Marlboro riders Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa, Team Suzuki's John Hopkins and the Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann observed some of the serious development work taking place at the Kodaira plant, which employs 3,500 staff and produces some 20,000 car, truck and motorcycle tyres per day.

The plant also houses the top-secret Research and Development department for both the Formula 1 and MotoGP championships. While access to the development department is prohibited for most Bridgestone Grand Prix staff, the riders were given the opportunity to actually witness a test simulation at the facility. During this test the tyres are pushed to their limits, subjected to speeds of up to 350 kph, loads of up to 1000 kg and a variety of camber and slip angles.

"This is our most important facility. Each tyre is tested here for strength and durability, and for its resistance to excessive heat build-up," said Hiroshi Yamada, Bridgestone's Motorcycle Racing Manager. "Within the development department, the F1 and the MotoGP teams work in different groups, but on one level, to ensure a constant exchange of information."

Before the visit, several hundred Bridgestone employees and racing enthusiasts welcomed the riders, who took part in photo and autograph sessions, as well as live interviews on stage.


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