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Bridgestone stay realistic ahead of Chinese challange

Bridgestone stay realistic ahead of Chinese challange

Following their excellent results at the Grand Prix of Turkey, where Bridgestone equipped riders took the top six places, the Japanese tyre manufacturers arrive in China in an optimistic mood.

Following their excellent results at the Grand Prix of Turkey, where Bridgestone equipped riders took the top six places, the Japanese tyre manufacturers arrive in China in an optimistic mood.

However, the manager of Bridgestone Motorsport's Motorcycle Sport Department Hiroshi Yamada is a realist, and acknowledges the challenges of another journey into the relative unknown in the 800cc era.

In last year's 990cc race John Hopkins was the highest classified Bridgestone rider, the Anglo-American Rizla Suzuki rider starting second on the grid and taking his first ever fourth place finish – still his best result having equalled it twice since.

MotoGP's first visit to China, in 2005, saw Kawasaki's Olivier Jacque cross the line second after a rainy Grand Prix as the highest placed Bridgestone rider of the day.

As with Turkey, this is the third MotoGP visit to the Shanghai International circuit and the first time the teams will put their 800cc machinery through its paces in China.

Yamada played down the success in Istanbul and explained the challenges he and his staff face ahead of the fourth date of the season, commenting: "We are not getting carried away with the performance of our tyres in Turkey two weeks ago. We were very pleased with the competitiveness and durability of our tyres at a track that has previously been difficult for us, but China will present us with renewed challenges."

"As we have seen in previous years, the climate in China can also be quite variable so we will bring a wider range of specifications this weekend to cater for any eventuality. There are two very long straights at Shanghai, one of which is the longest and fastest straight on the calendar at 1.2km long."

"This naturally places a lot of importance on the strength of the engine, but the resultant heavy braking at the end of the back and main straight also places significant demands on the central part of the tyre. The slower corners also require a lot of edge grip from both right and left hand sides of the tyre, although the right-hand side is put under slightly more pressure, especially through the slow and twisty first corners."

"Nobody has tested in Shanghai this year and we don't know what to expect here but after the experience in Istanbul, where the Bridgestone tyres performed so well, I am really optimistic and looking forward to this weekend's race."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, SINOPEC GREAT WALL LUBRICANTS GRAND PRIX OF CHINA

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