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With a new asymmetric front tyre introduced this weekend by Bridgestone and new rear tyres provided for the teams - further to the preseason test at Phillip Island - the riders had plenty to try on Friday at Phillip Island.
Cool temperatures also played a part as a number of riders were caught out on day one of the Tissot Australian Grand Prix, with several riders such as Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro, Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Iannone suffering crashes in which they lost the front end.
motogp.com’s Friday Tech Talk video sees pit lane reporter Dylan Gray speaking to Bridgestone’s Carmine Moscaritolo about the strategies the riders may consider, the specific factors affecting the riders’ choices and the performance of the front and rear tyres available. Meanwhile, Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi give their perspective.
The front tyre options for Phillip Island this weekend are extra soft and soft symmetric front slicks, as well as the new soft compound asymmetric front slick. Lorenzo explained that his crash had been suffered whilst using the new asymmetric front which has been introduced for the first time on Friday.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider said, "The asymmetric tyre was probably too hard for the conditions. It was the 32 (compound type) on the left and the centre and 31 on the right. So I couldn’t put the weight of the bike on the 31. I was a little bit on the centre, on the hardest part of the tyre and the bike just closed the front without any warning. You have to learn from it and try to decide on the best tyre for tomorrow, because probably if the temperature was a little bit higher the asymmetric would be a good option."
Rossi had been about to try the asymmetric front when Lorenzo suffered his crash and with his team he ultimately decided to stick with the extra-soft front.
The Italian explained, "At exactly the point we put the front tyre on the bike Jorge crashed. So we decided to wait and see if he had crashed because of tyre problems. We decided to continue with our tyre. So I hope the softer tyre on the front is enough for the race. It depends on the conditions but I feel very good with that tyre. We will see tomorrow if we have to try the asymmetric."
Regarding rear tyre performance on Friday after tyre wear issues last year and a subsequent specific tyre test in March Bridgestone’s Moscaritolo commented, "Overall when we look at the new track surface and how abrasive it is at what is already a very demanding circuit, the new specification rear slicks we’ve brought here do have a little less performance. That’s the trade off when you are looking for a more durable tyre. But actually the level of performance is quite consistent. We could see that some riders, like Valentino Rossi after 20 laps was able to set his quickest times. That’s a very positive outcome for us because even though the overall lap times might be slower the level of performance over race distance is quite consistent and that is important for rider safety."
4 years ago