Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP Vicious Mugello Layout Requires Special MotoGP Tire Needs

Vicious Mugello Layout Requires Special MotoGP Tire Needs

Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso

2013 MotoGP Tire Analysis

The first of two MotoGP races on the Italian peninsula gets underway this weekend at the picturesque Mugello circuit.

The Mugello circuit is fast and flowing with one of the longest straights on the MotoGP calendar. This straight is preceded by the horseshoe-shaped Bucine corner which slingshots the riders down the hill towards turn one at speeds approaching 215 mph.

Consequently, the braking zone into San Donato is the most vicious in MotoGP and requires front tires with very high levels of structural stability.

In addition to the stability needed under heavy acceleration and braking, the sweeping sections of Casanova-Savelli and Biondetti, as well as high-speed corners such as Arrabbiata 1 and 2, require very high levels of grip from the edge of the tire.

With nine right-handed corners compared to just six left-handers, Bridgestone will provide asymmetric rear slicks with slightly harder rubber on the right shoulders compared to the left.

One of the key performance requirements of the rear slicks developed for Mugello is an ability to withstand very high temperatures for sustained periods.

At this circuit, the riders tend to accelerate hard at high lean angles which generates extreme heat, so all the rear slicks Bridgestone will supply this weekend will be in the heat-resistant “Special Construction” specification. This specification of rear slick ensures superior rider safety and consistent grip levels in extreme operating conditions.

Rear slick options for the CRT riders are the soft and medium compound, while the works riders will be offered the medium and hard compound rear slicks. Bridgestone’s front slick tire compounds for the Italian Grand Prix are devised to ensure maximum braking and cornering stability, while catering to the potential for cool conditions.

Wet conditions are forecast for this weekend and Bridgestone’s main wet tire for Mugello will be the hard wet tire, with each rider able to select up to two front and rear tires in the alternative, soft specification if they desire.

Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “Everyone in the paddock loves coming to Mugello as the circuit is one of the jewels in the crown of MotoGP as it is fast, technically demanding and is situated in a beautiful countryside setting.

“The circuit is quite demanding on tires so our development challenge is to provide tyres that ensure enough grip and stability for riders to safely navigate the twisting track, while managing the high temperatures caused by sustained high lean angles and heavy acceleration. While this is an important race on the MotoGP calendar, it is a particularly special event for Ducati as it is their home race, and after their strong showing at Le Mans I am sure the whole team is approaching this weekend full of confidence. The exciting start to the championship has helped deliver healthy crowds, so I hope that this weekend welcomes a large and vibrant crowd at Mugello cheering on its local heroes.”

Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department) says: “Mugello is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and is tough on tires due to its technical layout with many high speed corners and the track temperature that often reaches above 50 degrees Celsius. This year’s race will be run earlier in the summer than the last couple of years but excessive track temperatures could still occur.

“Apart from the high temperatures, the track surface has a high grip level and is abrasive, and there are significant elevation changes which all combine to place significant load on the tires. The numerous heavy braking points, especially those that are downhill, demand a strong front tyre whilst the many high speed corners require good stability and shoulder grip from the rear tyre. The top speeds reached at Mugello are the highest of the season and this puts significant strain on the centre section of the rear tires.”

Bridgestone slick compounds available:

 

  • Front: Soft & Medium; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tire compounds available:

  • Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

Editor’s Letter: A Very Merry Christmas When I Became An ‘Authentic Motorcyclist’

At the end, my parents handed me a small package. I opened it up, and it was a little booklet. It had pictures of a motorcycle.

2021 AMA Supercross and Motocross Pro Numbers: List and Analysis

Supercross starts up in January, and it’s time to match the latest crop of riders to the numbers on their motorcycles. The biggest news...

Cardo Packtalk Black and Prototype Headset Review: Racing Intercom

Cardo has been well known for its high-quality helmet-to-helmet communication systems for over a decade. Cardo uses Bluetooth technology in both is Packtalk and...

2021 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition First Look (8 Fast Facts)

The triumvirate of 2020 AMA 450MX National Champion Zach Osborne, 2018 AMA Supercross Champion Jason Anderson, and Dean Wilson will all be racing motorcycle...

Shoei RF-1400 First Look: New Motorcycle Helmet

The folks at Shoei made the best of our pandemic situation with their unique launch of the new Shoei RF-1400. They shipped us the...

2021 Ducati Monster First Look [13 Fast Facts + Specs]

Amid these unique times when OEMs are usually launching their lineups at EICMA, Ducati spent the past five Wednesdays releasing new models. Many, like the...