Motorcycle Racing News Bridgestone: MotoGP Qualifing Tire Talk Qatar

Bridgestone: MotoGP Qualifing Tire Talk Qatar

Qatar MotoGP Qualifying

Casey Stoner continued his dominant form in Qatar by qualifying on pole for tomorrow’s race, beating his existing race lap record from 2008 and his pole time from last year. His fastest lap came at the end of the session on the harder option front slick and the softer rear.

His second best effort, set on the harder option rear, was only 0.02seconds slower and would still have been good enough for pole, demonstrating the good overlap of performance between the medium and hard compound rear Bridgestone slicks.

Most riders started the hour-long session on the harder option front and rear, the combination that will be most favourable for the race for their improved durability and stability under braking. Almost every rider ultimately went faster on the softer rear tyre though, as expected from short qualifying runs. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa recorded his best on the harder option rear slick though, on the last lap of the session.

The softer option rear tyre provided good traction and therefore laptimes over a small number of laps, but the track temperature was sufficiently high to mean that the harder option provided more durability and consistency over a longer distance and this is why it will be favoured for tomorrow’s 22 lap race.

Tohru Ubukata (Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department) says: “We can see by comparing the times of Casey during the session that the performance of the medium and hard compound slicks is very similar, and this shows me that we have succeeded in developing a new medium compound rear tyre for this year with an even wider temperature operating range.

“Overall the times were good and I am happy with the performance of the compound options we have chosen for Qatar. Both are working well and the laptimes are similar on both specs, but clearly the harder front and rear slicks will be favoured for the race because they deliver superior durability which is an important consideration at this circuit. We saw in qualifying that the softer rear tyre was good for a few laps, but then the performance was reduced by the heat and abrasion, so over a race distance the harder option will be faster.”

Round 1: Qatar GP – Qualifying, Losail International Circuit

1

Casey Stoner

Ducati Team

1m55.007s

Extra hard, Medium

2

Valentino Rossi

Fiat Yamaha Team

1m55.362s

+0.355s

Extra hard, Medium

3

Jorge Lorenzo

Fiat Yamaha Team

1m55.520s

+0.513s

Extra hard, Medium

4

Randy de Puniet

LCR Honda MotoGP

1m55.831s

+0.824s

Extra hard, Medium

5

Loris Capirossi

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

1m55.899s

+0.892s

Extra hard, Medium

6

Andrea Dovizioso

Repsol Honda Team

1m55.963s

+0.956s

Extra hard, Medium

7

Dani Pedrosa

Repsol Honda Team

1m55.990s

+0.983s

Extra hard, Hard

8

Colin Edwards

Monster Yamaha Tech3

1m56.005s

+0.998s

Extra hard, Medium

9

Nicky Hayden

Ducati Team

1m56.163s

+1.156s

Extra hard, Medium

10

Hiroshi Aoyama

Interwetten Honda MotoGP

1m56.227s

+1.220s

Extra hard, Medium

Weather: Dry. Ambient 27°C; Track 29°C ( Bridgestone measurement)

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Extra Hard. Rear: Medium, HardAmbient 27°C; Track  29°C ( Bridgestone measurement)

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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