2015 Misano MotoGP Analysis

2015 Misano MotoGP Analysis - Weather & Tires
Start of Misano MotoGP 2015

Weather played the biggest role during the 2015 San Marino Grand Prix at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The conditions went from dry to wet, with tire choice at the top of every team’s strategy over the course of the 28-lap 2015 Misano MotoGP race.

When it all wrapped up, the podium was filled by riders and teams that made smart decisions regarding tires. Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took the win – his fourth of 2015 MotoGP. The 22-year-old Spaniard was joined on the 2015 Misano MotoGP podium by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, who didn’t pit for rain tires like most of the others, and Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding.

The San Marino GP began dry with all riders buy Ducati Team’s Michele Pirro on slicks, but the race was declared wet on the second lap. A dry line formed, and the riders on rain tires were literally shredding rubber onto the track.

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Many swapped back to a slick setup, including the early top-three leaders- two-time reigning MotoGP Champion Marquez and the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Marquez was first to pit, followed by Lorenzo. But Lorenzo crashed out, leaving Marquez out front to take the win. As for Rossi, he pitted too late to swap over to the dry setup, but was able to finish 2015 Misano MotoGP in fifth, allowing him to extend his point lead to 23 over Lorenzo. Marquez is third in points, 63 behind Rossi with five rounds remaining.

Jorge was quick throughout the weekend, setting new lap records under dry conditions – a new Misano Circuit Best Record during Misano Qualifying (1:32.146) and a new Misano Circuit Record Lap (1:33.273).

Following is some tech analysis of 2015 Misano MotoGP with Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department.

Q. The big talking point at Misano last weekend was the new tarmac. How did your tire allocation at this circuit perform over the weekend, and was the decision to bring two symmetric rear slicks justified?

Masao Azuma says: “Traditionally at Misano we usually offer asymmetric rear tires, but due to the new tarmac and the improved performance of the open class bikes compared to last year, we made some changes to the tire allocation this year. The soft symmetric rear slick was offered as given the changes since last year, we needed more durability on the left shoulder of the rear tire but still wanted to offer an option with soft compound rubber on the right shoulder.

“So instead of an asymmetric soft rear slick with extra-soft rubber on the left shoulder and soft rubber on the right, we decided to provide the symmetric soft rear slick at Misano this year. For the symmetric hard option, even though we had the new tarmac to contend we actually decided to make the right shoulder of this option softer than last year to make it a more attractive race option.

“I think if track temperatures were close to 50°C on race day some riders would have selected this option for the race as it proved to be quite consistent, with better durability on the left shoulder compared to the asymmetric medium rear. The decision to offer two symmetric rear slicks was based on data we received during private testing and given how our tires performed at Misano last weekend, I think the provision of two symmetric rear slick options at Misano was justified, and indeed appreciated by the riders.”

Q. Some riders that took part in private testing on the new Misano tarmac said that the grip level of the track was better in July than it was for the race, despite temperatures being hotter. Why do you think this was?

Masao Azuma says: “The private testing at Misano took place a couple of months after the circuit was re-surfaced so I think that since then the grip level has returned to more normal levels. It also seems that the grip of the tarmac isn’t as sensitive to temperature as some other circuits.

“The new tarmac in the dry is still considerably better than the old surface, resulting in lap times being on average at least half a second quicker than the previous record pace. Misano sees a lot of use throughout the year which has probably polished the tarmac somewhat since private testing, so this could also account for the grip last weekend being lower than during testing. However, there is no doubt though that the surface is an improvement over last year with more grip and less bumps.”

Q. What can you say about wet tire performance during the race on the new Misano tarmac?

Masao Azuma says: “It is hard to define just how the wet tires performed on Sunday as the conditions were so changeable and there was no time to find a wet setup earlier in the race weekend. The feedback we received from riders varied greatly, some saying the grip level was poor, others said it was okay while other riders commented that the grip in the wet was quite good.

“This points to different bike settings and riding styles being better adapted to the changing conditions than others and makes it hard to reach a consensus on how this new tarmac behaves in the wet. What we can see is that the new Misano asphalt dries quite quickly so it has the potential to overheat wet tires if there isn’t constant rainfall. However, analyzing the rain tires used after the race, the tread pattern was still clearly defined on the vast majority of tires so durability on the abrasive tarmac was actually quite good. This is perhaps why some riders decided to continue circulating on wet tires even after a dry line appeared, as the wet tires gave good feedback on the drying asphalt.”

For more visit 2015 Misano MotoGP Results.