MotoGP Jerez: Post-Race Tire Tech Talk

Jerez MotoGP

The second round of the 2010 MotoGP season was another thriller, and resulted in a new lap record, a new fastest total race time and the second closest podium finish of the 800cc era.

Jorge Lorenzo overcame a drop back to fifth position to chase down long-time leader Dani Pedrosa as the two Spaniards went head-to-head in front of their adoring home fans. It was on the last lap that Lorenzo was able to make his move, brushing fairings with Pedrosa to take the lead as Valentino Rossi closed in third, the top three split by just 0.89seconds across the line.

Every rider used the hard compound front Bridgestone slick, and every rider with the exception of Aleix Espargaro used the harder of the two available rear tire options (the medium compound).

Below is a quick Q&A with Tohru Ubukata, the Manager of Bridgestone’s Motorcycle Tire Development Department for MotoGP.

What can you say about the performance of the improved rear slick compounds after this weekend?

Bridgestone MotoGP: "I am happy because we were able to see two benefits of our improved rear tire compounds here in Jerez – improved peak grip leading to a new lap record, and increased durability leading to a faster total race time. Of course warm-up performance was never going to be an issue with the high track and ambient temperatures in Spain, but still I can say that we received positive feedback from the riders.

Bridgestone MotoGP: "There was also a good overlap of performance between the harder and the softer rear tires. Although every rider apart from Aleix used the harder option for the race, on Friday and Saturday there was a good mix of riders using both compounds. We saw that the harder option could be used and worked well when the track was cooler, during free practice two on Saturday morning, and that the softer option gave good performance even when the track temperature rose by 17 degrees Celsius by Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session."

Did the high track temperature affect tire performance?

Bridgestone MotoGP: "The nature of the circuit is such that it allows little time for the tires to cool down between corners so residual tire temperatures are quite high, but tire performance was good, as shown by the new lap record. Wear rates were as expected, and the fact that Jorge set his personal best time three laps from the end of the race demonstrates good durability and consistent performance."

Was there anything new for the one-day test after the grand prix?

Bridgestone MotoGP: "We continued our developmental front slick tire testing, providing each rider with one test tire in addition to their normal test allocation. In-season testing is very limited so I’d especially like to thank the teams and riders for their support of Bridgestone in testing these tires to allow us to gain valuable data that will be important for future tire development."

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium