Sepang 2 MotoGP Test: Bridgestone Report
The second of the pre-season MotoGP tests at the Malaysian Sepang International Circuit was brought to a close Thursday after three dry and hot days of running, despite rain threatening the final 45minutes of Thursday.
The track temperature reached a high of 57 degrees Celsius, and the fastest MotoGP times on each day were set in the cooler morning or late afternoon runs.
The third and final day of the MotoGP test was the fastest overall, with the leading Repsol Honda duo of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa both lapping the 5.5km circuit in under two minutes.
The top three MototGP riders also each lapped quicker than the official circuit best lap of 2:00.518s, set by Valentino Rossi in 2009.
The fastest laps were set using the harder option front tire for its increased stability under braking, especially given the high track temperature and the heavy braking points from high-speed at Sepang, coupled with a softer rear for the extra traction and grip advantage it offers to the MotoGP riders. Some riders though, including Valentino Rossi, preferred the softer front.
Bridgestone took advantage of the opportunity to further tire development by supplying every MotoGP rider with one front and one rear test-specification slick tire, in addition to normal allocation of two compounds of front and rear slicks.
During the test, the Sepang International Circuit also raised money for their ‘RM2 or More’ campaign supporting the Malaysia Flood Relief Fund. Teams were invited to donate for each member of staff present, but instead Bridgestone donated for each tire brought to the test, meaning RM1000 for 1000 tires.
Hirohide Hamashima (Director, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development) says: "I am happy with tire performance at this test because the track temperature has been high but, owing mainly to the development of the bikes over the winter, the times at the front are incredibly fast.
"We have gained a lot of data from this test and have been able to confirm the performance of the 2011-spec front and rear slicks so I am pleased about this. Several riders also completed long-distance runs and durability and consistency were satisfactory even in such demanding conditions so I am confident of tire performance again this year.
"This has been a valuable test for our fundamental tire development work too and we have gathered good data and feedback from riders on our front and rear test tires, so I must thank them for their support. We are always working hard to improve our tire technology, and this work will help us to ensure we have the right developmental direction for future tires both for MotoGP of course and also for our Battlax consumer road tires."
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard
MotoGP Overall Sepang 2 Test Times (combined fastest times from the three days)
1. Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team
3. Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda Gresini
4. Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team
5. Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing
6. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing
7. Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech3
8. Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
9. Hiroshi Aoyama San Carlo Honda Gresini
10. Hector Barbera MAPFRE Aspar Team
11. Valentino Rossi Ducati Team
12. Nicky Hayden Ducati Team
13. Loris Capirossi Pramac Racing Team
14. Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech3
15. Randy de Puniet Pramac Racing Team
16. Toni Elias LCR Honda MotoGP
17. Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing