Motorcycle Racing News Bridgestone Previews Valencia MotoGP

Bridgestone Previews Valencia MotoGP

2011-bridgestone-previews-valencia-motogp (1)

2011 MotoGP Finale

The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia plays host to the final round of the season on Nov. 6 and the MotoGP community travels there to honor and pay tribute to the memory of Marco Simoncelli.

The traditional season finale is a tight and twisty affair that does not give the tires much rest during a lap, so it is very important that teams get their MotoGP bikes setup to use them most efficiently.

With little chance during a lap to cool down, excess sliding can easily generate excess tire temperature and accelerate MotoGP tire wear. With one of the longest total MotoGP race distances of the year, the tires have 420 corners to contend with during the 30 laps.

Despite this, warm-up performance is crucial in the cooler European climate. In past seasons the temperature has fluctuated significantly year-on-year, so the conditions will play an important role in MotoGP riders’ tire compound choices.

In preparation for the cold, Bridgestone have selected the soft and medium compound front slicks and the medium and hard rears, the same as used last year. The softer option rear also features the extra soft compound rubber in the lesser-used right shoulder to maximize warm-up performance opening laps.

Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “It is with heavy hearts that we travel to Valencia this week for the final round of the season, but that we continue racing is in itself a fitting tribute to Marco.

“He never gave up, so nor shall we. Marco will be with us all in our hearts and minds, and no doubt watching every step and at every corner, and I’m sure that the MotoGP family will honor Marco’s colorful and vibrant life suitably and appropriately, remembering the good times we all shared with him.”

Hirohide Hamashima (Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division) says: “Valencia is a slippery and technically complex circuit with a slow, twisty asymmetric layout. It’s what we could call a busy circuit because the number and layout of corners means that the tires are always working and have very little respite. If a bike’s setup isn’t optimize, it is easy to generate excess tire temperature because of this, especially as softer compounds are generally required because of the cool ambient conditions.

“We will use the soft and medium front compounds but the front tire must be strong to cope with the heavy braking loads into the first corner. With the low track temperature softer rear compounds are also required to provide good grip but a harder compound is needed in the left shoulder of the rear tires because of the asymmetric layout and the tire temperature generated by the long left-handed last corner. There are only a few tight right-handers so warm-up performance in the right shoulders is important, and this is why we are again using our extra soft compound in our softer option asymmetric rear tires in Valencia.”

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

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
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 Online Editor 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).

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