Catalunya MotoGP Bridgestone Tire Analysis
Under scorching temperatures, Yamaha Factory Racing’s took his second consecutive win – and third of 2013 MotoGP – following smooth and patient riding at Catalunya Sunday.
Starting from third on the grid, by the time the 24-rider field hit turn one, the two-time MotoGP Champion got ahead of Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow and pole-man Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda RC213V.
Lorenzo was pursued early on by the Repsol Honda duo of Pedrosa and Marquez, but rode patiently, eventually leading all 25 laps of Catalunya MotoGP.
He would take the checkered flag 1.763-seconds ahead of Pedrosa, with Marquez a further 0.063 of a second back. With his win, Lorenzo shrunk Pedrosa’s lead in the championship points after six of 18 rounds to just seven points. Marquez is 13 points adrift.
At his home circuit, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the highest-placed CRT rider, finishing in eighth position for the second consecutive race.
Bridgestone says extremely hot weather prevailed Sunday resulting in a track temperature during the race of 134 degrees (F). Grip levels in the scorching conditions were reduced, so the majority of riders selected softer rear slicks to have the maximum amount of grip from the edge of the tire for the many long corners at this circuit.
Front tire choice was almost constant across the grid, with only one rider selecting the soft option, medium compound front slick for Sunday’s twenty-five lap contest. The harder front slick provided greater stability under braking and cornering, though at a slight expense to grip from the edge of the tire when the rider is at their maximum lean angle, Bridgestone says.
Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department) says: “Conditions today were the hottest on race day so far this year which made the track quite greasy and a challenge for the riders. The heat made tyre management even more important; first of all managing the front-end load on the slippery track surface with a full tank of fuel in the early laps, and then managing tyre wear – particularly at the rear – in the later stages.
“Even though it was so hot, none of the works riders selected the harder rear option for the race as they wanted the better edge grip of the softer option. Considering we had such extremely severe conditions for tires, the softer rear slick performed well today.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Today was the hottest race this year and physically it was very hard. I made a better start than I expected and was able to pass Cal and Dani, and after that I just tried to keep my rhythm. For most of the race Dani was always there behind me, but in the last five laps I managed to pull a small gap. It was a special race in front of my home crowd.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tire compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 31-32°C; Track 55-57°C (Bridgestone measurement)