Misano MotoGP: Bridgestone Pre-Race Report

Misano Grand Prix

The weekend after the Indianapolis Grand Prix, MotoGP action continues in San Marino at the Misano World Circuit, which presents Bridgestone with a totally different type of challenge than was faced in North America.

San Marino is a much smoother circuit with a lower level of grip, which means that the medium and hard compound motorcycle slicks have been selected front and rear.

The circuit’s layout also places equal loads on both shoulders of the tires, so asymmetric rear slicks are not necessary.

It is only the fifth race of the season to which Bridgestone have not brought asymmetric tyres because the circuit has not demanded them.

Although there has not been a wet race so far this season, Bridgestone are prepared with hard compound wet tires; even though the circuit’s surface is smooth, the ambient temperature in the region is generally high and the hard compound wets offer better durability in these conditions.

The nature of the circuit is twisty and motorcycle riders spend a lot of time on the brakes, meaning that braking stability from the front tire is crucial. Edge grip is also important especially when exiting turns six, ten and sixteen, all of which lead onto sections of straight.The right-handed kinks of turns eleven and twelve are high-speed and require excellent tire stability.

Riders must have confidence in their bike and tire package to commit to these turns else a great proportion of time can be lost through them.

After a time away, MotoGP returned to Misano in 2007, but the circuit layout was changed slightly at turn three in 2008, increasing the track’s length to 4.226km.

Bridgestone has a great track record in Misano since the circuit’s return to the calendar in 2007. Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner took pole and won in 2007 on Bridgestone tires, and in 2008 and again last year Valentino Rossi set a new lap record on his way to victory.

Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “Misano has been a successful event for us since it was included on the MotoGP calendar again, right from 2007 when the top five riders were all on Bridgestone tires. In both years of tire competition there the race was won by a Bridgestone-shod rider, and last year Valentino set a new lap record on our tires so I am confident that we can play our part again this year in a good race.”

“The many braking points tend to bunch the field and provide close racing, with plenty of opportunities for overtaking. We saw a fantastic race in Indianapolis and there is still much to play for in the championship so I am excited about returning to Europe once more.”

Tohru Ubukata – (Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department) says: “The track surface at Misano is smooth and offers relatively low grip, but the ambient temperature is generally high for the grand prix. The climate condition requires harder compounds, but track surface requires softer compounds so we must achieve a balance in our tire selection.”

“The layout is basically twisty, but there are some high-speed corners which require very good stability to give the riders confidence to attack. Overall the circuit is not so demanding for our tyies, but braking stability is important because of the many heavy braking points. Tire wear and temperature is equal in both shoulders so it is not necessary to bring asymmetric tires so Misano, even though there are more right hand corners than lefts.”

Bridgestone slick compounds available:

Front: Medium, Hard.

Rear: Medium, Hard