Sepang Winter MotoGP Test
The first official MotoGP test of the 2011 season came to a conclusion Thursday after three days of running at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.
Despite the normally inclement weather, the busy testing schedules of the MotoGP teams, riders and Bridgestone were aided by three full days of dry running.
The test was not only a chance for the new team and rider line-ups to gel further but it also allowed Bridgestone to continue with future tire development and for the tire engineers to strengthen working relationships with their new MotoGP riders as a result of last year's reshuffle.
For example, Valentino Rossi's switch to Ducati means he now has a new Bridgestone engineer, as does Casey Stoner at Honda.
Bridgestone took advantage of the track time to continue tire testing for fundamental future MotoGP development, making available to every rider one front and three rear slick test tires, in addition to the regulation allocation.
Thanks to the cooperation and support of the teams and riders, who took the time to conduct tire tests amid their own busy test schedules, Bridgestone have collected more valuable information that will help future tire development both in MotoGP and also in Bridgestone Battlax motorcycle road tires.
After three days, increased from two for last year's test, Marco Simoncelli finished fastest overall ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner.
Tohru Ubukata (General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department) says:
"We brought one front and three rear slick test tires to Sepang to continue our fundamental development study for the future, and I am pleased with the results.
"I must thank all the teams and riders for showing their support of us and dedicating time to conduct these tire tests when their own testing schedules were so busy, and the data we have been able to collect is very important for determining our future tire development both in MotoGP and for our Battlax road tires.
"The conditions on all three days were good but the times got faster over the three days as more rubber was laid down and the circuit was cleaned more. During the test it was also important for us to work closely with and build relationships with the new riders in MotoGP this year as well as those riders that have changed teams, but I can say that our engineers are all working well with their riders and I have confidence that we can support all riders well and equally this season."
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard