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Bridgestone to consider asymmetrical compounds for 2010 Laguna Seca race

Bridgestone to consider asymmetrical compounds for 2010 Laguna Seca race

Ubukata puts Lorenzo and Stoner crashes down to cool tyres and circuit layout.

Low tyre temperatures were a key factor in two crashes that shaped the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend, with falls for Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner coming in qualifying when both had new rear slicks placed on their respective bikes. Bridgestone are currently analysing data from the Laguna Seca round, and will consider a change in strategy for the 2010 visit to the American track.

“The temperature data we collected from last year’s race allowed us to predict that the temperature differential between the left and right shoulders would be only a few degrees Celsius, and we based our tyre compound selection for the weekend on this data,” said Motorcycle Race Tyre Development Manager Tohru Ubukata when pressed on the asymmetrical tyre issue.

“This year’s tyres are designed with a much wider temperature operating range than last year’s so we chose to bring the single compound to Laguna because we believed they would be suitable for the conditions. Our temperature prediction was correct, and the difference between the shoulders of the rear tyres was very similar to that experienced in Mugello and Assen, where we also used single compound tyres.

“I support our tyre choice this weekend, but of course as part of our continual development process we will carefully analyse all our data from the weekend and consider asymmetric tyres for Laguna next year,” he continued.

The length of the Laguna Seca circuit meant that riders had to perform more laps in order to get their rubber up to temperature, a situation that goes some way to explaining qualifying falls on fresh rubber and the falls in the early stages of the Sunday race. Ubukata also noted the varied topography of the track as a major challenge.

“Tyres naturally generate peak grip when they are properly loaded, but in turns three and ten in particular it was harder for the riders to load their rear tyres because the corners are downhill, meaning the weight transfer is towards the front of the bike and away from the rear tyre, giving less rear grip. There are fewer right-handed corners at Laguna which meant that the right shoulder of each tyre was not used as much throughout the lap. The right shoulder also cooled between right-handers, especially as the ambient temperature was relatively low.”


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