2014 Catalunya MotoGP Bridgestone Recap
With rain threatening Sunday’s 25-lap Catalunya MotoGP, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez overcame the challenges to win his seventh-straight race of 2014.
Though skies darkened, and some drizzle was present, the white flag that signifies wet conditions never came out. This kept the riders on slicks, which allowed the MotoGP pilots to compete at an extremely fast pace. So fast that the Catalunya GP was completed in record time – more than five seconds over the the previous record. While riding at record pace, the competition was fierce right down to the wire.
The battle was between Marquez, his teammate Dani Pedrosa, and Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi. But due to a huge mistake by Pedrosa on the final corners, Marquez was able to take the win by 0.512 of a second ahead of Rossi. Pedrosa recovered to finish third.
En route to victory, Marquez posted a 1:42.182 on the second lap of the race to break the six-year-old race lap record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
From a tire perspective, Bridgestone says despite the significant change in temperatures, the cooler weather didn’t have a major effect on race tire choice, as riders still used the slick options they preferred in Saturday’s hotter conditions.
Bridgestone reports that all riders except for Stefan Bradl selected the medium compound front slick, with the German rider opting for the hard compound front. For the rear tire, thirteen of the 24 starters selected the medium compound rear slick, with the remaining eleven riders selecting the soft compound rear slick. Not one rider used a hard-compound rear slick.
Bridgestone says Catalunya is one of the most grueling events on the calendar for tires, but the Bridgestone performance was exceptional, with the top four finishers completing the race under the existing overall race time record.
Shinichi Yamashita, General Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department, says “What an excellent race! Congratulations to Marc and Repsol Honda on their seventh victory this year, not to mention Honda’s one-hundredth win in the modern MotoGP era.
“Well done also to Valentino and Dani for making the podium and pushing Marc all the way to the chequered flag. We had much cooler conditions today but this didn’t change the riders’ minds on which tyre combination to use for the race.
“This circuit has quite a low grip level so I am very pleased with how our tires performed in the race, with a new Circuit Record Lap being set by Marquez and the top four riders able to complete the race quicker than the existing overall race time record.
“I am proud that Bridgestone was involved in such a fantastic race here in Catalunya, but now our attention turns to this week’s MotoGP tests at Montmeló and Aragon, as we continue to test new tire developments in our quest to give riders even higher levels of safety and performance.”
Following the race, winner Marc Marquez said “Today was more difficult than the last race at Mugello as the Yamaha riders had strong pace at the beginning of the race. I made a mistake chasing Valentino when braking into turn one, which cost me around a second, but after that I was able to catch him again and we had a nice battle.
“In front of the crowd here at my home circuit it was really special to fight the last few laps with Valentino and Dani, but the most important thing was we were able to get the victory and the 25 points for the championship.”
For a recap of the race, including full results and point standings, visit 2014 Catalunya MotoGP Results.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tire compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 22-24°C; Track 33-40°C (Bridgestone measurement)