The final pre-season MotoGP motorcycle racing test concluded in Qatar tonight just three weeks before the Losail circuit hosts the opening round of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship.
Bridgestone brought the same slick tire compounds to the test as will be used for the grand prix, which performed well in the unique challenges posed by a night race at a track located in the desert.
The circuit was dirty at the start of the test as the surface was strewn with sand, and initially this caused some riders to experience slight graining. This occurs because the sand on the track makes the surface slippery yet abrasive.
To tackle this issue Bridgestone supplied teams with the extra hard compound front slick tire, and the hard compound rear tire; both harder compounds than were available for last year’s Qatar Grand Prix.
The track got cleaner throughout the test, but it was still the harder option front and rear tires that were favored for their extra durability and ability to cope with the circuit’s abrasive nature.
Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner recorded the fastest lap of the test, 0.5seconds faster than his best race lap from last season, ahead of Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.
Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso finished third after two days of running.
Tohru Ubukata Speaks… Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
"During the two days of testing in Qatar we saw good and fairly consistent conditions which allowed us and the teams to gain data on all of the available slick tire specifications that we will bring to the Qatar GP. Both options of front and rear slick are working well, although almost all the riders preferred the harder options."
"The track conditions were much improved on the second day because of the cleaning effect of a day’s running, but we can see that the track was still not perfect: Casey’s fastest laptime was 0.1seconds slower than his qualifying time from last year, and even at the end of the test the harder option tires were favoured for their extra durability as the track was still quite sandyand slippery. Many riders completed long runs though, and durability was good despite this so I am happy."
"Again in Qatar we offered an experimental front tire, though a different spec to the one we tested in Sepang. I would like to thank Valentino and the Fiat Yamaha Team for using this tire in Qatar and providing some very important and valuable data that will not only help shape the future direction of our MotoGP tire development, but also of our Battlax production tires."
MotoGP Overall Test Times (combined fastest times from the two days)
1) Casey Stoner – Ducati Team – 1m55.353s (Fri)
2) Valentino Rossi – Fiat Yamaha Team – 1m55.402s (Thu) +0.049s
3) Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda Team – 1m55.879s (Fri) +0.526s
4) Ben Spies – Monster Yamaha Tech – 31m55.954s (Thu) +0.601s
5) Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – 1m56.115s (Fri) +0.762s
6) Loris Capirossi – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP – 1m56.195s (Fri) +0.842s
7) Jorge Lorenzo – Fiat Yamaha Team – 1m56.504s (Fri) +1.151s
8) Randy de Puniet – LCR Honda MotoGP – 1m56.504s (Fri) +1.151s
9) Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech – 31m56.540s (Thu)+1.187s
10) Mika Kallio – Pramac Racing – 1m56.767s (Fri) +1.414s
11) Aleix Espargaro – Pramac Racing – 1m56.897s (Fri) +1.544s
12) Alvaro Bautista – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP – 1m56.898s (Fri) +1.545s
13) Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – 1m56.935s (Fri) +1.582s
14) Marco MelandriSan – Carlo Honda Gresini – 1m57.222s (Fri) +1.869s
15) Hector Barbera – Paginas Amarillas Aspar – 1m57.223s (Fri) +1.870s16
16) Hiroshi Aoyama – Interwetten Honda MotoGP – 1m57.251s (Fri) +1.898s
17) Marco Simoncelli – San – Carlo Honda Gresini – 1m57.379s (Fri) +2.026s
Weather: Thu: Dry, Fri: Dry. Ambient 28-23°C; Track 33-25°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Extra Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard