Portugal MotoGP: Bridgestone Tire Talk

Estoril MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo reasserted his dominance of the 2010 MotoGP season Sunday with a convincing win from pole position, ahead of Fiat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi.

After two days of torrential rain and high winds, the Estoril MotoGP race day provided the first dry running of the weekend after the day’s only rain was a brief downpour in the morning before the warm-up session.

By the MotoGP race start the track was dry, helped by the wind and sun. Every rider used the softer option rear slick tire, which incorporates extra soft compound rubber in its left shoulder, but front tire choices were more mixed with six riders choosing the softer option and the rest of the field favorite the greater stability of the harder option.

The MotoGP race was the first dry track time the riders had and the first time Bridgestone’s slicks had been used all weekend and so teams relied on setup data from previous years. Seven of the top eight riders used the harder option front and softer option rear, with fifth-placed Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team GP10) the top rider to have chosen the softer front.

Behind the Yamaha pair of Lorenzo and second-placed Valentino Rossi, the MotoGP battle for third was incredibly close between Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V), Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda) and Hayden.

Having traded places throughout the closing laps at Estoril, rookie Simoncelli came within just 0.06 seconds of his maiden MotoGP podium after he was passed by Dovizioso just before the finish line.

Hiroshi Yasukawa (Director, Bridgestone Motorsport) says: “Congratulations (Sunday) to Jorge and the Fiat Yamaha Team for their remarkable eighth victory this season and for sealing the Constructors’ title. It was a very tough weekend for all the riders because of the weather but we were able to see some very exciting battles which is important to us.”

“We invited many guests including top management from Europe as MotoGP is a very good business tool for our company, and has a strong impact and image with spectators. We are proud to be a part of this and to use it to showcase our technology and communicate our passion for excellence to a worldwide audience.”

Tohru Ubukata (Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department) says: “Today was a very difficult race for everyone. The circuit was very slippery at the start because there had been no dry running all weekend. Track conditions were very bad and the teams had no time to set their bikes up in the dry, both of which mean a very hard situation for tires, but still our slick tires worked well from start to finish so I am very happy. I am also satisfied with our compound choice because we had no problems with warm-up even in these damp conditions.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team – MotoGP Race Winner) says: “It was very tough for everyone and a very complicated race as we didn’t practice in the dry. We started without any feeling on the slicks but we used the same setting from last year here. I saw from the warm-up lap that there were patches of water in some corners so I was very careful not to make any mistakes. Valentino had good pace and was going, but I was patient and could improve my laptimes little by little and he was a little slower so I could catch him and pull away. It’s a lot of time that I didn’t get a victory so this is nice.”

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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 Editor at Large 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).