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Bridgestone step up to Le Mans challenge

Bridgestone step up to Le Mans challenge

The Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP will provide the premier class riders with asymmetric rear slick tyres for the first time this season at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.

Bridgestone will provide the premier class with asymmetric rear slick tyres for the first time in the 2010 season at Le Mans this weekend, in response to requests from riders during last year for greater use of the multi-compound slicks.

The same asymmetric specifications as last year will be available – medium, hard and extra hard – but the incorporation of an improved soft and medium compound rubber will widen the temperature operating range of each.

Only the harder of the rear slick options in Le Mans will be asymmetric (the medium option), combining soft compound rubber in the left shoulder with medium compound rubber in the right. This will provide added durability for the French circuit, which has nine right-handed corners and four left.

The softer option rear slicks are the same as were used at the last round at Jerez, and due to the history of rain affecting Le Mans Bridgestone have selected the soft wet tyres for the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.

“Le Mans is a slippery and smooth circuit and run at a time of year when the track temperature is low, so softer compound tyres are required to generate good grip,” explained Bridgestone Tyre Development Manager, Tohru Ubukata. “The circuit has quite a stop-and-go nature which can bunch the field, although the last part of the lap is high speed and requires absolute confidence and commitment. The lateral loads placed on the tyres are relatively low, but good stability from the front tyre under braking is crucial.”

“The circuit has an asymmetric layout that uses the right shoulders harder than the left, especially on the exit of turn nine, so Le Mans is the first circuit that we are bringing asymmetric rear tyres to this year, in the form of the medium spec only. The soft spec rear tyre comprises soft compound rubber in both shoulders; the same as we used in Jerez.”

Ubukata also discussed the provision of a wet compound as well, adding: “The weather has historically been very unstable at Le Mans which of course has a significant impact upon bike settings and tyre choice. Our wet tyre compounds remain exactly the same as last year, and again we will bring the soft spec to France, so at least the manufacturers will already have set-up data for this situation.”


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