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Tyre suppliers make special preparations for Portugal

Tyre suppliers make special preparations for Portugal

The bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal being the first 2008 round to take place at a venue where there was no winter testing, and the Estoril weather conditions providing additional challenges for tyre suppliers Bridgestone and Michelin, both companies had to plan diligently for this weekend.

The bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal being the first 2008 round to take place at a venue where there was no winter testing, and with the technically difficult Estoril track and Atlantic coast weather conditions providing additional challenges for tyre suppliers Bridgestone and Michelin, both companies had to plan diligently for this weekend.

Although the permitted allocation of slick and intermediate tyres per rider was increased from 31 to 40 over the winter, Bridgestone and Michelin now prefer not use up the allocation by using intermediate tyres and have been developing wet tyres which can perform at high levels with varying levels of moisture on track.

Their calculations are therefore crucial on a drying wet track, with wet tyres not subject to supply restriction and `any tyre with a land to sea ratio of less than 20%´ being deemed a slick tyre.

Friday´s action at Estoril saw Bridgestone riders have the better of the morning session on a wet track, while Michelin were more successful on a dry track in the afternoon, at a circuit where in normal conditions the French company have had strong results in the past.

Bridgestone´s MotoGP Coordinator Thomas Scholz told motogp.com, `We expected the weather conditions to be quite difficult for everybody with it being April and the weather being quite changeable, so we have brought a wide range of tyres, especially some new modified wet tyres to cope with every type of condition.´

`No team, no rider really wants us to prepare intermediate tyres because it automatically reduces the number of available slick tyres. That´s why we have developed special tyres that can run in conditions where it is not 100% wet and it´s getting dry.´

Meanwhile, Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing, provided an explanation of his firm´s approach to wet-dry conditions saying, `Here we didn´t bring any intermediates, we have a range of harder and softer wet tyres. We have to analyse lap times closely and work out when to switch to a slick tyre.´

`Intermediates are useful in testing, but no so good in races. Usually you would start with wet tyres or slick tyres and we have never had a situation where you could start with intermediate tyres that would last the whole race.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE ESPAÑA

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