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Bridgestone left with a lot more work to do in Qatar

Bridgestone left with a lot more work to do in Qatar

Whilst reactions from the MotoGP riders after the Official Test in Qatar have assumed an almost unanimously positive tone, one point for concern featured in more than a few post-event reviews.

Whilst reactions from the MotoGP riders after the Official Test in Qatar have assumed an almost unanimously positive tone, one point for concern featured in more than a few post-event reviews.

The low track temperatures of the Losail International Circuit at night have created an atmosphere of uncertainty amongst the premier class grid, unsure of how hard to push their machines and exactly how much grip is at their disposal.

The disparity in temperatures between those experienced in previous years and at the 2008 Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar make the race perhaps the most crucial of the year in terms of tyres, with both Bridgestone and Michelin having delicate decisions to make regarding their compounds for the race based on very little information. The formers Motorcycle Sport Unit Manager Hiroshi Yamada is well aware of the task ahead, but feels the Japanese company are well equipped to deal with the increased demands.

Since the first Qatar GP back in 2004, we have tried very hard to improve the performance of our tyres for the Losail track and we obtained a successful result last year because of the overall strength of the rider-bike-tyre package with Casey (Stoner) and Ducati. We will face a completely new challenge at this years event mainly because of the night-time track temperatures, which are going to be over 20°C lower than last year, analyses the Bridgestone boss.

Based on our initial forecast and on last weeks test, we expect track temperatures in the region of 15°C this weekend, which means we will be using softer specification Qatar compounds compared to last years event. However, last weeks test was our first experience of such low track temperatures at Losail and the results from the test were not as positive as at other winter testing venues, such as Sepang or Phillip Island, so it is clear that we have a lot more work to do here.

Aside from being the first night race and the opening race of the 2008 season, the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar also marks Bridgestones first race as provider of tyres for all five MotoGP bike manufacturers. Yamada acknowledges the extra pressure placed on the company as a result of their transformation from underdogs to favourites, but believes that a high work ethic will help them live up to the hype.

There will undoubtedly be more expectation on us to provide race-winning tyres now, because we proved last season that we could do it, and this is always our aim. However, with the competition being so close, nothing is guaranteed. Nobody can place more pressure on us than we place on ourselves, and it is this motivation to succeed that drives forward our development.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

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