Motorcycle Racing News Silverstone MotoGP | Bridgestone Preview

Silverstone MotoGP | Bridgestone Preview


2012 MotoGP Analysis

Silverstone is fast and susceptible to cold weather making it one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar in terms of tire development.

The high-speed sections of the circuit require good tire stability for cornering and braking, while the generally chilly conditions make excellent warm-up performance a necessity.

Having analyzed tire data from the last two races at Silverstone, Bridgestone has revised the compounds in its asymmetric rear tires for this weekend. The two slick rear tires offered will be the medium-soft and medium options, with both tires featuring the same medium rubber compound on the right shoulder combined with a choice of either the extra-soft or soft rubber on the left shoulder of the tire. This change has been made to enhance rider safety by ensuring the rear tire stays in its ideal temperature range over the course of a lap.

Bridgestone’s new specification front slick tire, which was first introduced at Jerez, becomes the standard front offering from Silverstone onwards and will now comprise each rider’s full allocation of nine front slick tires for a race weekend. For this race, the front slicks will be available in the soft and medium compounds to ensure the best initial grip and feel in the expected cool conditions.

Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “I am happy to be visiting Silverstone once again as the circuit is fast and technical, the facilities are excellent and the British fans are always very passionate. With Cal Crutchlow doing so well this season I expect even greater home support and as we had very wet conditions at Silverstone last year, I hope we get fine weather this weekend and get to enjoy yet another exciting race!

“This race is always a challenge for tires with its high speeds and cold conditions and so we have undertaken considerable tire development leading up to this year’s British Grand Prix. The new specification front slick tire becomes the standard front offering from this round onwards and at Silverstone will be available in the soft and medium compounds, while we have also revised the composition of our asymmetric rear slick tires for this race compared to previous years. Both these developments are prime examples of Bridgestone’s commitment to constantly exploring ways to improve rider safety.”

Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department) says: “Silverstone presents a balancing act when it comes to tire development. On the one hand the fast sections like Maggotts and Becketts place high lateral loads on tires and the heavy braking at the end of the Hangar Straight generates considerable stress on the center section of the front tire requiring good tire stability, while the low average track temperature at Silverstone means superior warm-up performance is also important.

“Our data analysis shows that our soft and medium rubber compounds provide the necessary braking stability and warm-up characteristics needed at Silverstone and so they form the basis of our tire choices at this circuit. For this year we have revised the composition of our asymmetric rear slicks and will offer the medium-soft and medium options. Both these slicks feature the same medium rubber compound on the right side to provide the necessary durability for the numerous right-hand turns, combined with either the extra-soft or soft rubber on the left shoulder to ensure sufficient temperature retention throughout a whole lap.”

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

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (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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