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Bridgestone content with Qatar tyre performance

Bridgestone content with Qatar tyre performance

Japanese manufacturer reflect on first single-tyre race weekend.

The first ever single-tyre MotoGP race was a far-from straightforward affair for rubber supplier Bridgestone, with temperatures different to those of the previous year’s race and recent test in Qatar. The addition of an extra twenty minutes on track and a sandy surface left many riders with adjustments to be made, but Bridgestone’s Race Tyre Development Manager Tohru Ubukata was happy with the company’s adaptation to the delayed desert race.

“The Qatar night race was one of our most difficult tracks last year because of the cold night-time temperatures and the abrasive nature of the sandy track, so we came here this year knowing it would be challenging for our tyres again,” said Ubukata. “However I am happy with the way our soft and medium compound slicks worked this weekend and I believe the wider operating range of each tyre offered a more consistent level of performance this time. Also I was encouraged that our tyres coped well on this week's sandy conditions.

“All the riders favoured the medium compound. Our soft compound suffered graining on the sandy track with the heat and abrasion, but the medium compound worked better in these difficult conditions. Even with the medium compound tyre we had no problems with warm-up performance which was our main problem last year, so it shows the work we have done on widening the operating range of this year’s tyres.”

Bridgestone did not provide any extra rubber for the re-organised Monday race, and Ubukata was impressed by the durability of the existing tyres for overtime work.

“I believe we made the correct selection of two compounds for this first race, and I believe that these options also were ok for the teams. With just 20 tyres per rider, every team had sufficient to complete the race weekend, even though it was extended by one day, so I think new regulation is working ok. All teams were able to complete Monday’s warm-up and race using their original allocation of 20 tyres per rider. The warm-up was run twice as all riders completed it on Sunday as well, so this caused some extra mileage and I think some riders would have liked to have had more front tyres, especially of the medium compound, but tyre strategy is a decision for the teams. This is also a very unusual circumstance, but it shows there is sufficient flexibility in the new single tyre regulations,” concluded the Japanese manager.


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