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Bridgestone to provide asymmetric rears at Montmeló

Bridgestone to provide asymmetric rears at Montmeló

MotoGP tyre suppliers Bridgestone make their asymmetric rear tyres available for the first time this season at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya

With eight right-hand corners, most of which are long and fast, and only five left-handers, most of which are much slower, the Catalunya circuit provides a special challenge for the MotoGP riders at round six, but MotoGP’s sole tyre suppliers Bridgestone are on hand to provide a suitable solution.

The right shoulders of the tyres experience far greater cornering forces at Barcelona than at other venues, meaning they have to be able to cope with higher temperatures. At the same time, the left shoulders must be able to perform at a lower temperature range as they are much less stressed, hence Bridgestone’s plan to provide asymmetric slick rear tyres this weekend.

Furthermore, with the nature of the circuit and the high track temperatures expected for this time of year at Montmeló, a harder rear slick is required. Bridgestone will therefore bring hard compound and extra hard compound rear slicks, though in both rear options the left shoulder of the tyre will feature a soft compound. These asymmetric rears are designed to provide a consistent level of grip throughout the lap.

Bridgestone’s Motorcycle Race Tyre Development Manager Tohru Ubukata explains, “The Catalunya circuit is a technical track with long right-hand corners which increase the temperature on that shoulder of the tyres. The surface is smooth and the stress placed on the tyres’ outer shoulders necessitates hard compounds, especially for the rear. We will bring asymmetric rear tyres for the first time this season as having dual compounds to suit the right and left hand corners is essential for good feeling and performance at this circuit.”

He continued, “Because the left shoulders are not used as much the temperature in them is cooler than in the right shoulders, but the soft compound on the left side allows the tyres to give optimal grip and rider feeling in these conditions.”

Meanwhile, the recently revised 2009 tyre regulations come into effect from the end of this weekend in Barcelona, meaning that every rider will need to inform Bridgestone how many of each compound of front slick tyre they wish to use at the next race in Assen.

This change in the regulations means that rather than every rider being given four of the harder and four of the softer compound Bridgestone front slicks, each can now choose whether they want four of each compound or five of one and three of the other, making tyre strategy even more important.


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