Motorcycle Racing News Catalunya MotoGP | Bridgestone Preview

Catalunya MotoGP | Bridgestone Preview

2012-catalunya-motogp-bridgestone-preview (1)

2012 MotoGP

The technical layout of the Circuit de Catalunya, the venue for round five of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, is one of the toughest on the calendar for Bridgestone’s MotoGP tires. But the Spanish circuit has produced many memorable races over the years.

Unlike the last round at Le Mans, Catalunya is a fast circuit with an array of right-hand corners that are taken at high speed and large lean angles and as a result, the circuit places greater stress on the right shoulder of the rear tire than any other course on the calendar.

The intense forces imposed on the right shoulder of the rear tire at this circuit means Bridgestone will provide asymmetric rear slicks with rubber compounds two steps harder on the right shoulder than on the left for this race.

At the front of the bike, the numerous hard braking zones require a tire with good braking stability, so the medium and hard compound front slick tires will be available to riders and in case there are unusually cool conditions, the soft front slick tire will also be available to ensure maximum rider safety.

Due to the generally high energy levels placed on tyres at Catalunya, the main wet tire for this weekend will be the hard compound.

For Catalunya, Bridgestone will offer riders two of the new specification front slick tire in the hard compound and this weekend’s race marks the last event where limited supply of this tire will be provided as from the next round at Silverstone, the new specification slick tire will become the standard offering and will make up the whole front slick tire allocation.

Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “I have many good memories of the Catalunya Grand Prix as it has hosted many exciting battles in the past and the crowd is always extremely passionate. This circuit is particularly hard on the right shoulder of the rear tires, but I am very confident that our 2012 specification tires are more than up to the challenge. I would also like to welcome back Colin Edwards who will be back on his bike after missing Le Mans through injury.

“Catalunya will be the last time we offer just two of the new specification front slick tires to riders as this specification will become the standard front slick tire from Silverstone onwards. In what will be a busy week for Bridgestone, we will be supporting a post-race test on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya and also the test scheduled for next Wednesday at Aragon which was organized as a replacement for the Estoril test after it was cancelled due to wet weather.”

Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department) says: “Catalunya is one of the most technical circuits on the calendar and is a high-speed track featuring eight right-hand and five left-hand corners that combine to generate significant loads on Bridgestone’s MotoGP tires.

“The right-hand turns on this circuit are generally fast and create very high temperatures on the right shoulder of the rear tires, while the left-handers are slow, resulting in a considerable imbalance in the forces sustained across the rear tire.

For this reason, asymmetric rear tires are a must at the Circuit de Catalunya with the rubber compound used on the right shoulder being two grades harder than that on the left. Additionally, there are numerous hard braking zones at this circuit – particularly at the end of the two straights – and this places considerable stress on the front tires as well. Overall, the distinctive layout of the Catalunya circuit makes it one of the toughest events on the calendar for tires.”

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

Bridgestone wet tire compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

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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