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Bridgestone gain valuable insight from Qatar Test

Bridgestone gain valuable insight from Qatar Test

The official MotoGP tyre supplier made available to teams at the official pre-season Test the slick compounds which will be on offer for the opening race at Losail. Valentino Rossi also gave an experimental front tyre a run through.

The final pre-season Test in Qatar offered not only teams and riders the opportunity to fine-tune their set-ups ahead of the season’s start on April 11th at the Losail International Circuit, but also gave official tyre suppliers Bridgestone the chance to roll out the slick compounds that will be used in the first Grand Prix of the 2010 season.

Bridgestone presented medium and extra hard front slick compounds and medium and hard rears for the 17 riders in attendance at the Test, and the feedback on performance was good in the trying conditions of the desert-based track.

Sand caused some problems in the first session on Thursday, but the extra front and hard rear tyres – both harder compounds than were available for last year’s race – helped to combat the issue. Even as the track got cleaner throughout the two night-time sessions the harder options were favoured by the majority for their extra durability.

The Test’s quickest rider Casey Stoner’s lap of 1’55.353 was just under half a second faster than his best race lap from 2009, and Bridgestone Tyre Development Manager Tohru Ubukata was very pleased with the results gathered.

“During the two days of testing in Qatar we saw good and fairly consistent conditions which allowed us and the teams to gain data on all of the available slick tyre specifications that we will bring to the Qatar GP,” he explained. “Both options of front and rear slick are working well, although almost all the riders preferred the harder options. The track conditions were much improved on the second day because of the cleaning effect of a day’s running, but we can see that the track was still not perfect: Casey’s fastest lap time was 0.1s slower than his qualifying time from last year, and even at the end of the test the harder option tyres were favoured for their extra durability as the track was still quite sandy and slippery. Many riders completed long runs though, and durability was good despite this so I am happy.”

Another interesting aspect to Bridgestone’s work in Qatar was the use of another new front tyre, which World Champion Valentino Rossi provided some feedback on in Friday evening’s session.

Ubukata continued: “Again in Qatar we offered an experimental front tyre, though a different spec to the one we tested in Sepang. I would like to thank Valentino and the Fiat Yamaha Team for using this tyre in Qatar and providing some very important and valuable data that will not only help shape the future direction of our MotoGP tyre development, but also of our Battlax production tyres.”

MotoGP, 2010

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