Bridgestone pleased with performance of asymmetric front tyre
Bridgestone's asymmetric front tyre was well received by riders in Germany with the likes of Bradley Smith saying that the tyre was "really good" during the race. Bridgestone's Shinji Aoki, their motorsport development manager, offered his assessment of the weekend and the development of the tyre.
"Recently we have had the riders asking Bridgestone to develop an asymmetric front slick for Sachsenring," said Aoki. "It was a nice technical challenge to deliver what they wanted. This development wasn’t easy as no teams use Sachsenring for private testing, so it involved a lot of simulation work based on our existing data for the circuit and we didn’t have a chance to test this tyre at this circuit before offering it to the riders.
"However, I was confident that the asymmetric front slick we developed would be well received and already in the first free practice session at the German Grand Prix some riders were eager to try it. The asymmetric front slick for Sachsenring featured medium compound rubber for the centre and left sections of the tyre, with soft compound rubber on the right shoulder and this ensured good warm-up performance and temperature retention throughout the whole of front tyre.
"It not only increased rider safety but also proved to work well when track temperatures increased, with nineteen of the twenty-five riders selecting the asymmetric front slick for the race. We had a lot of good feedback from this specification of tyre so our decision to bring this tyre to Sachsenring was definitely justified."
The Sachsenring wa an interesting challenge for Bridgestone because the weather conditions were quite varied. From fresh on Friday to sweltering on Sunday the challenge was such that with Bridgestone taking an extra tyre option it was well received by the riders. Offering them a larger window of potential options meant that there was less risk of riders having limited options on days when the weather was at its most extreme.
"Due to the very hot conditions in the Saxony region leading up to the race and a weather forecast that showed ambient temperatures ranging from 12°C-27°C over the race weekend, we decided to add a fourth front tyre option - the hard compound - into our allocation. The FIM regulations around tyre supply state that the tyre supplier can change the regular allocation to manage extreme conditions so we operated with that clause in mind. It turned out to be a good decision as on race day track temperatures were the hottest over the whole race weekend and it meant riders had another option available to them."