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Bridgestone reviews successful Mugello round

Bridgestone reviews successful Mugello round

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Masao Azuma provides in depth analysis of Round 5 of the 2013 MotoGP™ World Championship.    

Excellent conditions greeted riders at the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM with the dry Mugello tarmac reaching a peak of 44°C on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, ensuring the teams had plenty of relevant set-up data for the 23 lap race.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo rode an inspired race, winning his third race in a row at the Italian circuit ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow.

Tyre conservation and tactics were as crucial as ever to those podium results at a demanding circuit and Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department’ Chief Engineer Masao Azuma explains why it was important for the Bridgestone rears to feature a heat-resistant construction last weekend.

"After the new 1000cc MotoGP machines were introduced last year," commenced Azuma, "Bridgestone reviewed its tyre severity rating for every circuit on the calendar. These ratings are based on the number of right and left-handed corners, the type of asphalt used and many other factors that contribute. Using this rating system, Mugello has always been one of the more severe circuits in MotoGP for tyres, but the increase in loads generated by these heavier, more powerful motorcycles increased the stress endured by tyres at this circuit to a point where the heat-resistant construction was needed."

"As a result, we decided that for this year, the best decision for the safety of the riders was to supply all our rear slicks at Mugello in our heat-resistant construction."

He went on to explain the process behind the supply of the specific tyres provided for the Claiming Rule Teams at Mugello, stating, "As we are supplying rear slicks to the CRT riders this year that are one step softer than the works riders, it means for the first time our soft rubber compound was used on the right shoulder of a rear slick option at Mugello. The use of this soft compound on the right shoulder means we decided to use heat-resistant construction for the CRT-specific slicks for safety reasons as well, and the results were as we expected; quite positive."

"Some riders do notice a slight difference in grip from the edge of the tyre with this heat-resistant construction compared to our regular slicks, however, the performance these tyres offer is still extremely high. Proof of this point was that new qualifying and race lap records were set at Mugello last weekend using the heat-resistant rear slicks."

Given that the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM was held earlier in the year than usual this time around Bridgestone had to consider several factors in preparation for the Mugello round.

"Reviewing the historical data we could see that generally track temperatures at Mugello are quite high, but this year not only was the race held earlier, mainland Europe has experienced unusually cool weather this spring," continued Azuma. "We considered these factors when deciding on our tyre allocation for the Italian Grand Prix, particularly for the front slicks. In fact, we waited until the Wednesday before the race weekend to lock in our front tyre allocation, as we wanted the most accurate predictions of what the weather would bring."

Press release courtesy of Bridgestone Motorsport  

MotoGP, 2013

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