Round 13 of the 2012 season takes place at the recently renamed Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as MotoGP action returns to the Italian peninsula for the second time this year.
Misano is just over four kilometers in length with a tight, stop-and-go layout, with the most challenging part of the circuit being the section from turns eleven to fourteen, starting with the flat-out Curvone which sweeps into progressively tighter right-hand corners that demand maximum commitment from the riders.
Overall, Misano is not overly demanding on tires though great care needs to be taken in selecting compounds that provide the best combination of grip, durability and heat-resistance as tires spend a lot of time at large lean angles at this circuit.
With 10 right-hand turns compared to just six left-hand turns, asymmetric slicks with slightly harder rubber on the right shoulder were introduced last year at Misano and will once again be supplied this weekend in the medium and hard compounds. Front slick options for the San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix are the soft, medium and hard compounds.
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “This weekend’s San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix is an important race on many different levels. First of all, this is the first MotoGP race at the circuit since it was renamed to honor Marco Simoncelli and so this weekend will be one of mixed emotions.
“Also, as this circuit is very close to the homes of many of the Italian MotoGP stars, it carries with it an intense atmosphere as it is the last chance this year the local fans will get to see their heroes on track. This Sunday’s race also marks a significant breakthrough for Bridgestone as when the race winner takes the checkered flag, we will have shared in our one hundredth MotoGP victory and many key members of Bridgestone management will be attending this weekend to help celebrate this occasion.
“As for the race itself, the championship battle between Jorge and Dani is delicately poised so there will be great anticipation to see who will take the initiative at a circuit where it is not easy to overtake. I would also like to make special mention of Jonathan Rea who will make his MotoGP debut this weekend riding for the Repsol Honda team.”
Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department) says: “The tarmac of the Misano circuit is smoothly textured and offers only modest grip and as September on the Adriatic coast can be quite warm, our compound selection needs to find the best balance between grip, abrasion resistance and resistance to high temperatures.
“With this in mind, we will supply the same tire compounds at Misano as last year, with the soft, medium and hard compounds for the front, and the medium and hard compounds for the rear. Last year was the first time we made asymmetric rear slicks available at Misano and we will continue supplying this specification this weekend, with the right shoulder of the tyre slightly harder rubber than the left side.
“The most demanding section of the Misano circuit for tires is the fast right-handed Curvone corner. This is where the tires, particularly the rears, reach their highest temperature as they spend a lot of time leaned over and don’t have much time to dissipate the heat generated in corners. The high speed nature of the Curvone and the frequent braking zones at Misano also require high levels of stability, especially at the front-end, so the center section of the tires needs to provide riders with maximum confidence in this area.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)