2012 MotoGP Tire Analysis
The Sachsenring is one of the most extreme circuits for tires owing to its abrasive tarmac and long sequence of left-hand turns and its unique layout has produced many thrilling contests since being included on the Grand Prix calendar in 1998.
With 10 left-hand turns compared to just three right-handers, the Sachsenring is extremely punishing on the left shoulder of the tires and the nature of the tarmac can cause high levels of abrasion so the extra-hard front slick option makes its first appearance since the season opener at Qatar.
The imbalance in number of left and right-hand turns at the Sachsenring means asymmetric rear slicks are provided in the medium and hard compound options.
However, because of the extreme difference in temperature generated on the shoulders of the tires – due, in particular, to the sequence of interlinked left-hand corners from turns six to ten – the variance in compound hardness between the left and right shoulders of the rear slicks is one of the largest on the calendar.
Additionally, due to the severity of this track for tires, Sachsenring, along with Phillip Island is one of only two circuits on the calendar that requires the provision of special construction rear slicks that are specifically developed to cope with the generation of exceptionally high tire temperatures.
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “The German Grand Prix is a standout on the calendar both because of its anti-clockwise layout with many left-hand turns and also the large number of close races we have enjoyed here over the years.
“It is also a significant event for Bridgestone as Germany is a very important market for us and it pleases me very much that the local fans will yet again have a home-grown hero in Stefan Bradl to cheer on during the race.
“As we approach the halfway mark of the season Casey and Jorge are tied in the championship standings so the next couple of races will be hard fought as they both try to gain the upper hand, while Dani won the race here last year and has a good record at the circuit so I expect him to be very strong this weekend.”
Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department) says: “Sachsenring is a technical circuit that features numerous left-hand turns and is run in an anti-clockwise direction. It begins with two slow right-hand corners before opening up into a series of very high-speed long lefts that sweep onto the back straight and then onto the main straight and these left-hand turns, combined with the very abrasive tarmac mean that a good bike setup is essential at this circuit as it is easy to overheat the left side of the tires, particularly in the rear.
“Though this circuit has one of the lowest average speeds on the calendar, the layout of the circuit generates some of the highest tire temperatures recorded during the season on the left shoulder of the tire, while the right shoulder is placed under considerably less stress and must retain adequate temperature during a lap. This means that not only must we provide asymmetric rear tires with much harder compounds on the left shoulder of the tire for superior heat and wear resistance, we also utilize a special construction method for the rear slicks to ensure the tire can manage with the extreme forces sustained at this track. Much like at Qatar, the abrasive track surface also means we provide the extra-hard front tire option at the Sachsenring alongside the soft and medium compounds.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-Hard; Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tire compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)