Termas de Rio Hondo provides new challenge for Bridgestone

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Argentina is the next stop for the 2014 MotoGP™ World Championship as the revamped Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo hosts round three of the season.

The 4.8km circuit is characterised by numerous fast, long-radius corners that are expected to result in one of the highest average speeds of the year. High speeds, hard braking zones and high camber angles of some corners results in this circuit being one of the more demanding for tyres.

The Rio Hondo circuit has nine right-hand corners compared to just five left-handers. However, the left-hand corners tend to be more severe in nature than the right-handers and in particular corners such as turn six and eleven generate high tyre temperatures, so the overall loads placed on the left and right shoulders of the tyres are similar. Rear tyre allocation will be symmetric.

The overall severity of the track means the rear tyre allocation features rubber compounds from the harder end of the scale. Rear slick tyre options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard compound rear slick, while the Ducati and open-class riders have access to the soft and medium compound rear slicks.

As the circuit is a new addition to MotoGP™, Bridgestone’s dataset for the track is limited to that gathered in a test there last year featuring riders Stefan Bradl, Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautista.

As a result, a special front slick tyre allocation will be offered for this weekend’s GP to ensure riders have enough options to deal with the potentially variable track conditions. The riders will be able to choose from three front slick options - the soft, medium and hard compound front slicks - instead of the usual two front options offered per race weekend.

Hiroshi Yamada, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department, commented, “From a racing perspective, none of the factory teams tested at this circuit last year so it will be interesting to see which riders are able to adapt themselves to the demands of this very fast circuit. This weekend will be a busy one for our engineers as they will be tasked with helping the teams get the best out of the tyres at this new circuit.”

His colleague Shinji Aoki, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Division, added, “Our test at the circuit last year shows it is one of the harshest circuits on the calendar for tyres. The circuit is interesting in that although there are nine right-handed corners compared to five left-handed corners, the left shoulder of the tyre experiences higher temperatures than the right shoulder, due to the left-handers generally being faster, more demanding corners. As we have limited data for this track, we have decided to have a special allocation for the front tyres this weekend to ensure maximum safety for the riders.”

TAGS Argentina

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