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Bridgestone reflect on unique challenges of Qatar

Bridgestone reflect on unique challenges of Qatar

The Losail International Circuit’s desert location, the night racing in Qatar and the demands of the new ‘Open’ class era gave Bridgestone plenty to think about as the MotoGP™ season kicked off.

Bridgestone’s slick compounds available for Sunday’s race were soft and hard on the front, whilst for the rear soft, medium and hard options were available. For the ‘Open’ class riders the rear choice was soft or medium, whilst for the ‘Factory’ participants they would choose between medium and hard rears.

The track temperature for the race was the coolest recorded over the whole race weekend, with a peak recording of just 20°C which brought with it a spike in humidity levels. This resulted in many riders commenting after the race that grip levels were lower than the Warm Up session four hours earlier.

Although conditions were quite cool, only two riders selected the soft compound front slick, with the rest of the grid opting for the hard compound front slick.

For the rear tyre, only race-winner Marc Marquez selected the hard compound rear slick for the race, and the medium compound rear was by far the popular choice, with 15 riders selecting this option. Seven of the 11 Open class entrants selected the soft compound rear slick.

Shinji Aoki, Manager of Bridgestone’s Motorsport Tyre Development Department commented, "The 10pm start for the race in Qatar means we had cool and humid conditions for the Qatar Grand Prix, and listening to the comments from riders after the race, it seems this reduced the grip levels compared to the Warm Up session."

"As expected we had big variation in tyre strategies for the race, with all our front and rear slick options being utilised. I am happy to see that Marc was able to be so competitive on the hard compound rear slick, we made a big development with this option late last year for improved edge grip and the race result today showed it’s a viable race option for this year."

MotoGP, 2014

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