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Bridgestone pleased with chance to test in various conditions

Bridgestone pleased with chance to test in various conditions

The final preseason test of the year gave Bridgestone an opportunity to work in a wide range of conditions at Jerez.

One of Bridgestone’s key objectives this year as the sole tyre supplier in MotoGP is to provide material for the premier class grid suitable for the full range of conditions and they certainly had the chance to gather data across a varied set of circumstances as the weather changed rapidly over both Saturday and Sunday at Jerez.

Sunshine and heavy rain showers on the two days of the MotoGP Official Test gave the riders the chance to ride on a wet track, a wet-drying track and a dry surface, testing the two compounds of slick tyres and the single compound of wet tyre which Bridgestone provided.

The Japanese company brought front tyres in medium and hard compounds, and rear tyres in soft and medium compounds, with each rider receiving four sets of slicks on Saturday, and three sets on Sunday. In addition, each rider received four sets of wet tyres over the two days, though of course, the riders will not be provided with ‘qualifiers’ or intermediates this season.

The Jerez track has been resurfaced since last year’s Spanish GP and the MotoGP riders were complimentary about the new asphalt as they rounded off the 2009 preseason in Andalusia.

Casey Stoner of course put his Bridgestone tyres to the best use, finishing the test 0.719s ahead of any of his rivals with a hot lap of 1’38.646s, though even he was unable to challenge the 1'38.189s pole position time from last year’s GP set by Jorge Lorenzo on a Michelin qualifier.

Bridgestone’s Motorcycle Sport Unit Manager, Hiroshi Yamada, summarised the test saying, “As the sole supplier our aim is to make each tyre suitable for a much wider range of conditions than last year, and I think we saw over the two days that we achieved that so I am very pleased with the result of the test.”

“Casey again looks impressive and it is good to see both Suzukis running well, but I am also pleased for Mika Kallio who was sixth fastest in official practice in his rookie season. Now we have finished winter testing and team feedback on our tyres has been good so we are looking forward to a good first race in Qatar in two weeks.”

His colleague Tohru Ubukata, Manager of Motorcycle Race Tyre Development, meanwhile, already has an eye on next year’s material. He added, “We had all weather conditions at the weekend, and it was the first wet test for the 2009 specification wet tyre. The slick tyres have been run in cold to reasonably hot conditions and both compounds worked well across the range. We have seen that with only two slick compounds and one wet compound offered to each rider our tyres can deal with these conditions with a good level of performance that I am very happy with. I’d also like to thank all the teams for their cooperation in our 2010 development programme, as we have now finalised our 2010 specification compounds.”

MotoGP, 2009

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