• Asaymmetric front Bridgestone to return in Valencia

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    Despite being blamed for crashes in Phillip Island, Bridgestone will give their new asymmetric front tyre another run out for this weekend Valencia Grand Prix. 

    The asymmetric front tyre was responsible for crashes to Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro during the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, as well as crashes earlier in the weekend for Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. The actual design of the tyre wasn’t the problem according to Bridgestone. Instead the issues were bought about as the compound of the rubber being used was too hard for the cool, windy conditions that was experienced in Australia. 

    As well as having warmer, better conditions expected this weekend than in Phillip Island, they will also bring a softer compound asymmetric tyre, mixing the soft and super soft tyre. 

    “This weekend marks the second time we are offering an asymmetric front slick option and given the unbalanced layout of the Valencia circuit, I expect this option to perform well this weekend,” explained Bridgestone’s Shinji Aoki.

    Bridgestone will use this weekend’s race, and the subsequent test to research and development ahead of the 2015 season, which will be their final season as MotoGP’s sole tyre supplier before Michellin take over in 2016. 

    “The final race of the 2014 season takes place at Valencia and given the exciting races at this venue in the past few years, expectations are high that we will see another thrilling season finale this year,” said Bridgestone Motorsport manager Hiroshi Yamada.

    “With Marc wanting to take the record for most premier-class wins in a season, Dani’s peerless record at Valencia and the fight for second place in the championship between Valentino and Jorge still wide open, there is a lot at stake this weekend.

    “As soon as the curtain falls on the 2014 season, our preparations for 2015 will start the very next day as we will be supporting all the teams in the Valencia MotoGP test starting on Monday.

    “The data we acquire at this test is very important as it gives us an indication of the performance characteristics of next year’s MotoGP machinery which will help steer our development for next year’s range of race tyres.”

  • Bridgestone MotoGP: Qatar debrief with Shinji Aoki

    Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez won the MotoGP season opener at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit, as the reigning World Champion claimed victory ahead of Movistar Yamaha Racing’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who finished in second and third place respectively.

    Weather conditions for the race were cool and humid, with a peak track temperature of 20°C for the … Keep reading

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  • Bridgestone: Marquez takes victory in spectacular season opener in Qatar

    Marc Marquez got his MotoGP™ World Championship title defence off to the perfect start after the Repsol Honda rider emerged victorious from a closely-fought contest with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi.

    Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

    Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

    Photo by: Repsol Media

    Starting from pole position, Marquez traded places with Rossi at the front of the field numerous times throughout the twenty-two lap race, before Marquez made the race-winning pass in the final stages to take the chequered flag by 0.259 seconds. In third place at the Qatar Grand Prix was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who crossed the finish line 3.370 seconds after his teammate.

    The track temperature for the race was the coolest recorded over the whole race weekend, with a peak recording of just 20°C which brought with it a spike in humidity levels. This resulted in many riders commenting after the race that grip levels were lower than the Warm Up session four hours earlier. Although conditions were quite cool, only two riders selected the soft compound front slick, with the rest of the grid opting for the hard compound front slick. For the rear tyre, only race-winner Marc Marquez selected the hard compound rear slick for the race, and the medium compound rear was by far the popular choice, with fifteen riders selecting this option. Seven of the eleven Open-class entrants selected the soft compound rear slick for the Qatar Grand Prix.

    Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department: “That was a fantastic way to start the season; it was great to see riders from so many different teams fighting for position in the opening half of the race. Congratulations to Marc Marquez and Honda on winning the first race of the season, and well done to Valentino for pushing him all the way to the finish line. Every session this weekend was closely-contested, culminating in a thoroughly exciting race which I am sure was appreciated by MotoGP fans all around the world. I hope this trend of close racing continues for the rest of the season, starting with the Grand Prix of the Americas in three weeks’ time”

    Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “The 10pm start for the race in Qatar means we had cool and humid conditions for the Qatar Grand Prix, and listening to the comments from riders after the race, it seems this reduced the grip levels compared to the Warm Up session. As expected we had big variation in tyre strategies for the race, with all our front and rear slick options being utilised. I am happy to see that Marc was able to be so competitive on the hard compound rear slick, we made a big development with this option late last year for improved edge grip and the race result today showed it’s a viable race option for this year.”

    Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner: “I’m very happy with the victory as I didn’t expect this result. I felt better physically yesterday but I still had a question mark over how I would go in the race. I chose the hard rear tyre so I was a bit cautious at the start of the race, but then it was ok so then I decided to push. The battle with Valentino was very exciting and we swapped positions many times, last year he came out on top but this year it was my turn. I hope to have many more nice battles like that this year.”

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