Bridgestone happy with spec tyre debut

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Bridgestone has expressed its delight with the performance of a range of new tyres it tested in Valencia yesterday.

The tyres will form part of the allocation under a single tyre rule in 2009, with Bridgestone revealing it evaluated a two different front and rear specification tyres, distributing 12 in total to each rider.

Under rules recently agreed for the single tyre rule, each rider will only have access to 20 tyres over a race weekend next season, with a total of eight front tyres in two different specs, and 12 rears in two different specs. Seven compounds will be in circulation in total, but only two made available for each race.

Bridgestone claimed its new tyres tested yesterday were designed to operate within a wider working range with a greater level of durability. Bridgestone has also reduced the maximum level of grip of the tyres in a concerted effort to assist Dorna in its drive for improved safety through reduced cornering speeds.

Casey Stoner was quickest on the new spec tyres with a best lap of 1.32.464, which was 0.1s faster than he managed during his dominant victory in Sunday’s Valencia GP.

Tohru Ubukata, Bridgestone Motorsport Manager, Race Tyre Development “I am really very satisfied with the first trials of our new specification slick tyres which we were able to carry out in the dry conditions on Monday. Considering it is the first time that we are producing MotoGP tyres for everybody in a sole tyre supply situation, I think we have made a good start.

“We have used the foundation of our 2008 tyres for these new specs but made some important alterations to ensure that the tyres have a wide operating window and can work well for all teams and riders.

“We have reduced the overall grip level of the tyres in order to accomplish this and the feedback from the riders has been encouraging. The track conditions on Monday were excellent and the lap times were also very competitive as a result. The most important thing for us is to know that our tyres are durable because this will be one of the most fundamental things for us next season.

“Some riders put up to 40 laps on the same set of tyres with great consistency, which was particularly impressive. This new situation as the only tyre manufacturer will be a new challenge for us, but I am sure we are up to the job and can live up to the trust that the teams, manufacturers and riders have shown in us and our capabilities.”

Today’s plans for further evaluation have been curtailed by bad weather, with the majority of teams already packing up and preparing to leave the circuit. Only Andrea Dovizioso and Toni Elias have ventured out for a brief period so far.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt