LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl topped the timesheets in Friday free practice at the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the German rider setting a time of 1’56.500 on his penultimate lap of the day to lead a tightly-packed field at Brno.
Conditions throughout the day at Brno were fine, with track temperatures reaching a peak of 38°C in the afternoon FP2 session. The fine weather allowed the riders to test a wide range of tyres, with all five slick options brought by Bridgestone to this race evaluated today. The cooler morning session saw riders prefer the softer slick options front and rear, while in the afternoon session both the softer and harder slick options were used. The preferred slick options at this stage of the race weekend are the hard compound front due to its greater braking stability, while at the rear, the softer slick options – which give greater drive through the sweeping sections of this circuit were favoured. Initial feedback from those riders that used the harder rear slick options show that this option is working well when track temperatures are higher.
The weather forecast indicates a chance of rain tomorrow and Sunday, which could make the rankings from today’s practice sessions all the more important for the line-up in tomorrow afternoon’s QP sessions. The next scheduled MotoGP™ session is FP3 at 955 local time (GMT +2).
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s practice sessions went very well with all slick options evaluated today. Most riders preferred the softer front slick this morning but once the track condition improved with the warmer temperatures, most riders used the harder front as this option gives better stability in the downhill braking sections that this circuit is famous for. Although track temperatures were higher in the afternoon, there were not at a level that resulted in many works riders deciding to try their harder rear slick option, but the feedback we did receive shows that this option does work well in higher temperatures. Overall, performance of all slick options was very good and lap times are a few tenths quicker compared to the Friday practice sessions last year, so we could be in for a record-breaking qualifying session tomorrow.”