The final race of the 2012 MotoGP season sees the paddock descend on Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo as the home fans get to greet their World Champion, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo after the Spaniard clinched the title at the previous round.
Valencia is a tight and technical circuit that offers tires little respite over the course of a lap, so a good bike setup is very important to ensure the most efficient use of the tires allocated for this Grand Prix.
The layout of the circuit means more stress is placed on the left shoulder of the tires, and an unbalanced bike setup can cause excessive rear tire temperatures which can lead to a loss of performance and accelerated tire wear.
To manage the unbalanced layout and the moderate track temperatures the asymmetric rear slicks at Valencia feature rubber on the left shoulder that is two grades harder than on the right side.
This ensures the lesser-used right shoulder of the rear tire stays in its ideal operating temperature window and that the left shoulder provides the durability and stability needed for the many left hand turns. Additionally, the front slick compounds allocated for this weekend need to provide enhanced warm-up performance and grip in the temperate weather.
The main wet tire for the Valencia Grand Prix is the soft compound option, with all riders also having access to a maximum of two front and rear wet tires in the alternative hard compound option.
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “It is fitting that the last race of the year is in Valencia as it will give the Spanish fans a chance to welcome home their MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo after he claimed his second title at Phillip Island. With the championship battle now over, the main motivation for riders this weekend is to end the season on a high with a victory.
“After the last race of the season the annual post-season test will commence on Tuesday at the Valencia circuit, providing many of the riders that are stepping up to the premier class next year their first experience with Bridgestone MotoGP tires. Our technical team will be on hand to assist the riders and teams during this very important time and we will also have some experimental tires at this test for riders to evaluate as part of our development programme for the 2013 season.”
Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department) says: “Valencia is the traditional venue for the season finale and is a slow, tight circuit with nine left-hand and five right-hand corners. The frequency of corners at the circuit means bikes spend a lot of time leaned over, so there is not much time during a lap for heat to dissipate from the tire shoulders meaning excessive rear tire temperatures are possible if a bike’s setup isn’t optimized.
“Considering this potential for high tire temperatures in the left shoulder and also the need for good temperature retention in the right shoulder due to the possibility of cooler weather, we provide asymmetric rear slicks at Valencia with substantially harder rubber on the left shoulder compared to the right.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)