2014 MotoGP News
In less than two weeks, the 18-round 2014 MotoGP Championship begins under the floodlights at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit.
And Bridgestone – the spec-tire manufacturer for MotoGP – reports that the season opener’s race pace should be quicker than the 2013 Qatar Grand Prix.
This news arrived after Bridgestone reported much success throughout the preseason MotoGP tests at Sepang, Phillip Island and Qatar. A few different riders each lead the sessions – the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) at Sepang I, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (identical times) at Sepang II, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo at Phillip Island Tire Test, and NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro.
Bridgestone says it is pleased with the 2014-tire compounds, which should produce faster overall lap times in 2014 MotoGP.
“The final pre-season test at Qatar was very productive,” explains Masao Azuma, Chief Engineer for the Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department. “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.
“It was encouraging to see how quick the pace was during this test, both over a single lap and during the race simulations, as this track offers comparatively little grip compared to other venues on the calendar. The best lap time from this test was 0.6 seconds 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.
“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.”
This will be the 11th time MotoGP occurred at the desert-based Qatar venue, which has featured on the calendar since 2004. The track has hosted the season-opener since 2007, which took place under the floodlights since 2008.