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MotoGP Silverstone: Slick Tire Selections


Bridgestone MotoGP slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (asymmetric)

For the first time since 1986 motorcycling’s premier class returns to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix on 20 June. Not only has the circuit not been on the calendar for the past 14 years, the track’s layout has been changed for this year too meaning it will be a new challenge for every team and rider on the grid, and for Bridgestone.

Bridgestone’s task of tyre compound selection started upon Silverstone’s appointment as the host of the British Grand Prix and the completion of construction of the new circuit, and since work has been underway to ensure the best compounds are selected for an exciting race.

Compound selection is a decision based mainly upon the layout and speed of the circuit, the abrasiveness of the tarmac, and the expected track temperature and weather conditions. The new Silverstone Grand Prix circuit has been designed with a fast and flowing layout, leading to the expectation that it will be one of the highest speed circuits on the calendar.

Straight line speed stresses the centre section of the tyres, the rears in particular, whereas fast corners clearly stress the tyres’ shoulders. Silverstone features eight left-handed corners and ten rights, and so demands more from the right side of the tyres. Asymmetric rear slicks will be used to improve durability on the right shoulder whilst maximising warm-up performance of the left shoulder.

The track itself is reasonably abrasive which generates higher tyre temperature and wear. However, the track temperature in the region is expected to be cool, so for these reasons the medium and hard compound slicks have been chosen.

The wide temperature operating range of Bridgestone’s tyres is of great help in selecting the correct two slick tyre compounds for the two new circuits on the calendar this year as this wide range means that the tyres are able to perform well across a broader range of conditions.

Free Practice

Bridgestone MotoGP slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (asymmetric)

After the first hour-long practice session at the new Silverstone circuit, the timesheets show that both of Bridgestone’s slick tyre options are well suited to the track.

Having never competed in the premier class of motorcycle grand prix racing at Silverstone, Bridgestone had to predict the best tyre compounds to use at this circuit using data gathered from Formula One activity in recent years and careful analysis and inspection of the track after construction was completed.

Jorge Lorenzo finished on top of the timesheets completing 23 laps on just one set of medium compound slicks front and rear which shows good durability ahead of Sunday’s 20-lap race.

By contrast, Casey Stoner was second fastest using the medium compound front slick and the hard compound rear, indicating just how closely matched both options are. Third fastest was Andrea Dovizioso using a medium rear, followed by Randy de Puniet who set his best lap using a hard rear.

Track temperature for the session was low at only 22 degrees and the conditions remained dry until the final minutes when a rain shower sent the teams back to their respective garages for the remainder of the hour.


Bridgestone MotoGP slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (asymmetric)

Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo used a medium compound front Bridgestone slick and a medium rear to secure pole position for tomorrow’s inaugural MotoGP event at Silverstone.

The ambient temperature was lower today than during Friday’s free practice session, but the benefit to the riders of extra track time after a further two hours of running today meant that the pole time was 2.6seconds faster than yesterday’s best, also set by Lorenzo.

The Spaniard’s pole lap was set with an average speed of 172km/h, making the new Silverstone circuit the third fastest on the calendar, just behind Mugello and Phillip Island. This speed makes it tough for Bridgestone’s tyres as corner speeds are generally high generating high lateral loads in the shoulders of the tyres and the long and fast straights mean high pressure and heat for their centre sections.

Randy de Puniet was second fastest for the LCR Honda MotoGP team, followed by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa in third. Every rider on the grid favoured the softer option front slick, and all set their fastest laps on the softer option rear asymmetric slick tyre too.


Bridgestone MotoGP slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (asymmetric)

Jorge Lorenzo was the runaway winner of the British Grand Prix, taking a commanding victory for the Fiat Yamaha Team. With the hottest track temperature of the weekend, Lorenzo used his softer option front and rear slicks to good effect, setting a fast and consistent pace throughout and the fastest lap of the race which becomes a new lap record at this new circuit.

Behind Lorenzo the battle for the podium was intense as Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso pushed hard on his softer slicks to stay ahead of Ben Spies of Monster Yamaha Tech3, who scored his first MotoGP podium, and the Ducati Team duo of Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner. The four were split by less than a second entering the final lap.

Every rider opted for the softer option front slick and only Nicky Hayden, Randy de Puniet and Dani Pedrosa chose the hard compound rear. The warmer track temperature for the race made tyre selection harder for the riders though.

Jorge Lorenzo set his fastest time on the fourth lap of the race using a softer rear, indicating good warm-up performance, whereas Casey Stoner set the second fastest time of the race on lap 17, also on the softer rear, demonstrating good durability.

Interestingly, even the hard compound rear showed good warm-up performance as Randy de Puniet recorded the fourth fastest lap of the race on only his second lap.

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