2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Safety Tire Test
For the second straight day of the Phillip Island Safety Tire Test, two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest rider out of five from the premier class.
With the results of the three-day test that only includes factory-supported teams, Bridgestone, the spec-tire manufacturer of MotoGP, will develop safer tires for the Australian circuit. Due to the highly-abrasive repaved surface, MotoGP riders were forced to pit (change tires) due to severe tire degradation in last season’s race.
While experimenting on Tuesday with 2014 Bridgestone tires, Lorenzo reduced his lap to a 1:29.133, which was 0.080 of a second quicker than his Monday time, which was set on last season’s tires.
“Today we had the opportunity to try a new tire: the tire that Valentino tried yesterday,” Lorenzo said. “Two of them were cancelled for us today because Valentino rejected them yesterday, so most of the time we just tried the standard one from last year and finally the big one on the last run.
“I did a 14-lap simulation, but decided to stop. It started very well, with lap times of 29.6 and 29.5, but there was suddenly a big drop (in tire performance) so I decided to stop. It was not the right tire. Hopefully, tomorrow it is not going to rain, so we will have the opportunity to see which tire is the best for the next race here.”
Following 0.250 back was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, the only representative of the factory RC213V. His teammate, the reigning MotoGP Champion, continues to recover from breaking his leg nearly two weeks ago while dirt-track training near Barcelona.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso followed, making for three different manufacturers in the leading positions. Trailing Dovizioso in fourth and fifth place were Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi and Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow, respectively.
It should be noted, however, that Tuesday’s test focuses on testing new Bridgestone tire construction compounds verses quick lap times. Riders did participate in race simulations, but most of the longest runs were 20 laps each.
Australia is currently in summer, so track temperatures are much higher than they will be during the Phillip Island round of MotoGP in October. But tire durability data acquired during this week’s test is still crucial for development.
Also, take notice of Lorenzo’s new black-carbon fiber fairing on the YZR-M1. MotoGP says the significantly smaller in size but featuring a larger air intake in order to cope with the typically breezy conditions on an otherwise brilliant day for weather at the coastal venue.
MotoGP says Characteristically for a day of testing, there were red flag stoppages. One was for Moto2 rider Nico Terol, who crashed at the MG Hairpin but escaped injury. There was a more unusual, brief stoppage just after half past 12 when a small flock of geese made an unexpected arrival on the circuit and were quickly hurried away by marshals.
In the Moto2 ranks, Marc VDS Racing Team’s Tito Rabat was on fire as he posted a lap time more than four tenths of a second quicker than title winner Pol Espargaro’s pole position time of last year: 1:32.168.
The Spaniard, who was also an impressive third quickest overall for corner speed in the second sector of the lap and posted a rather staggering total of 101 laps, led team-mate Mika Kallio (still in pain with his wrist following a highside at Siberia on Day 1), MotoGP says.
Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 pairing Nico Terol and Jordi Torres were next up, as Dunlop evaluated nine new rear specification tires with its Moto2 runners; the aim is to have selected two by the end of the test, MotoGP says.
The Phillip Island Tire Safety Test concludes Wednesday, and rain is in the forecast. Bridgestone has already confirmed it has narrowed its options to three choices of tires. Two of these choices will likely continue to be developed.
MotoGP says while this test may not necessarily decide the specific compounds the Japanese company runs in this year’s Phillip Island race, it will provide sufficient data to produce the best possible tires.