2014 Bridgestone MotoGP Tire ReportThe final preseason test for MotoGP’s premier class concluded Sunday at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit – the same track where the 2014 season will begin.
The test only included the Open-class machines, and no Factory teams (Yamaha Factory Racing, Repsol Honda, and Ducati Team…though the latter is competing under Open-class rules). All together, 17 riders from the Open class participated in the Qatar test.Leading the way following the three-day test was NGM Mobile Forward Racing Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro. The Spaniard has been the quickest Open-class rider throughout the preseason tests, and posted a best of 1:54.874 at Qatar. The time was only 0.2 of a second slower than the 2013 pole lap set by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.Espargaro’s brother, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol, was 0.033 of a second behind. Pol did suffer a crash Sunday evening, and broke his collarbone. He should be fine for the opening round of 2014 MotoGP March 20-23.Third best was yet another Yamaha – the Monster Tech 3 machine piloted by Bradley Smith. The Brit put in a personal best time of 1:55.027.Bridgestone reports that Conditions for the test were typical for Losail, with warm and dry days giving way to cool and at times, humid conditions at night.In order to maximize the amount of setup time for the teams, the track was open each day from 1600-2300 to coincide with the session times for the season opener at the same venue in a fortnight’s time. Track temperatures varied from 24-43°C during the three-day test with higher humidity levels late in the evening causing variable grip levels. Given the desert setting of the circuit, track conditions were dusty although this did improve towards the end of the three days, Bridgestone says.Masao Azuma, Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department, says “The final pre-season test at Qatar was very productive, both Bridgestone and the teams were able to collect a lot of data which will serve us well for the opening race of the season in a couple of weeks’ time.“Conditions for the test were typical for this circuit, with on-track dust and the increased humidity experienced after 9pm causing low grip levels at times, which was quite a challenge for the riders. It was encouraging to see how quick the pace was during this test, both over a single lap and during the race simulations and as this track offers comparatively little grip compared to other venues on the calendar.“The best lap time from this test was 0.6 second faster than the best race time from 2013, and many riders also had good results in their race simulations as well, so overall I am pleased that our 2014 spec tires worked well here. There were no works rider participating in this test but it was important that our tyre allocation offered consistent and predictable performance. I would like to thank all the teams and riders for their efforts over the two months of pre-season testing; I feel we are very well prepared for the first race of the season.”Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric) Weather: Dry. Ambient 23-27°C; Track 24-43°C (Bridgestone measurement)2014 Qatar Preseason MotoGP Test Results from Qatar, Combined:
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!