Bridgestone: 'Lorenzo did not have tyre problem'

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

MotoGP™ tyre supplier Bridgestone has verified that Jorge Lorenzo did not suffer a rear tyre problem in Sunday’s French Grand Prix. The world champion, suffering a lack of rear grip, fell down the field to an eventual seventh position.

From second on the grid, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider held the same position in the opening stages but soon began to lose pace. The result would mark his worst race finishing position – retirements aside – since his debut premier class season in 2008.

Soon after the race had finished in Le Mans on Sunday, word began to circulate in the paddock that Lorenzo had been suffered from a defective rear tyre.

"It was clear during the race that Jorge had an issue, as he couldn’t keep the same pace as the leading group," says Shinji Aoki, Manager of the Tyre Development Department at Bridgestone Motorsport.

"Immediately after the race he had a debrief session with his tyre engineer where he explained his lack of rear grip. As is always the case in these situations, his engineer thoroughly examined Jorge’s race tyres which were found to be in good working condition. In addition, I examined the tyre myself and personally discussed the matter with the Yamaha engineers and we all agreed that Jorge’s lack of rear grip was not attributable to his tyre."

Aoki stresses that the issue was not a faulty tyre, but more setup-related.

"We received many different comments from the riders after the race on the feeling on the track, even though they all used the same specification of wet tyre and endured the same track conditions," he continues. "In these low grip situations, machine setup is critical as the smallest setting change can have a big effect on performance.

"In any case, it was a shame for Jorge as he was so strong in morning Warm-Up and we all expected a better result from him, but he is a champion and I know he will be back to his competitive best at the next race."

Not since Indianapolis 2011 had Lorenzo finished a race, but off the rostrum. He now sits third in the championship and 17 points in arrears of Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa.

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