Bridgestone Previews the San Marino Grand Prix
The 2013 MotoGP Championship returns to Italy this week for round 13 of 18 at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Leading the charge is Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who won five races this year, including a streak of four.
The 20-year-old Spaniard leads his teammate Dani Pedrosa by 30 points, and is 39 ahead of the reigning MotoGP Champion who won the last time out at Silverstone, Yamaha Racing Team’s Jorge Lorenzo.
With its tight and technical layout, the 2.52-mile circuit will challenge the teams as they search for optimal setup on the prototypes ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix. Bridgestone reports that the most challenging section of Misano from turn 11 to 14, starting with the flat-out Curvone which sweeps into progressively tighter right-hand corners that demand maximum commitment from the riders and good stability and grip from the tire.
The circuit requires good cornering feel but also strong acceleration and braking performance, so an optimal bike setup is important to get the best out of the tires and to maintain a quick pace.
Overall, Misano is not overly demanding on tires although the compound selection has to provide the best combination of grip, durability and heat-resistance as tires spend a lot of time at large lean angles. With ten right-hand turns compared to just six left-hand turns, asymmetric slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulder are supplied.
The rear slick compounds for the CRT riders are the soft and medium options, while the works riders have access to the medium and hard rear slicks. The front slick options at Misano are the medium and hard compounds.
The main wet tire at Misano is the hard compound wet tire, as the layout and tarmac of the circuit can cause high wear in wet conditions. All riders will have also have access to two front and two rear tires in the alternative, soft wet tire if cold and wet conditions are encountered.
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “Following the recent run of three back-to-back races, we are now well into the second half of the championship and it has been a truly remarkable season so far. I am looking forward to Misano as this race has often been a turning point in the championship, as evidenced by last year’s race where Jorge’s victory was a key moment in him securing his second MotoGP title.
“Jorge and Marc have a good record at Misano and Dani is in good form having been on the podium at the last three races so with the championship fight still wide open, I hope we are in for yet another thrilling race. Apart from the race, there is also a MotoGP test at the circuit on Monday which will provide a chance for the participating teams to test their latest developments and it will also be an important event for Bridgestone, as we will be supplying some new experimental tires for the riders to evaluate.”
Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department) says: “The track surface at Misano is smooth and offers relatively low grip and it also has a twisting layout so the tires spend a lot of time leant over.
“Ambient conditions for the San Marino Grand Prix are usually hot so harder compounds are selected to provide better durability and heat resistance. The sequence of right-handers starting with the fast Curvone corner is the section that puts the most strain on the tires and this is where the rear reach their greatest temperature, but generally the loads imposed on the centre, left and right shoulders are quite similar at this track.
“The front tire requires a strong centre section to provide good stability in the frequent braking zones. A smooth riding style reaps benefits at Misano so as to not overwork the tires as they have little opportunity to cool down during a lap due to the constant corners.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tire compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)