Stoner leads the way in both wet and dry sessions at Silverstone
Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Soft, Medium
Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Wet compounds available: Front: Soft. Rear: Soft
The opening day of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was punctuated by mixed conditions. The morning’s free practice was dry whilst the afternoon’s was wet following a rain shower just before it started, giving riders the chance to use both Bridgestone’s slick and wet tyres.
In the morning the times were obviously faster on the dry track and it was once again Casey Stoner at the top of the timesheets ahead of Marco Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo. Nicky Hayden was fourth in a strong showing for the Ducati Team, whilst Brit Cal Crutchlow was sixth. Track and ambient temperature was low so all riders favoured the softer option slicks, which means the medium rear and the soft front that Bridgestone have brought to Silverstone for the first time this year. By the end of the session Stoner’s best was just 0.2seonds off last year’s record.
In the afternoon, the entire session was run on Bridgestone’s soft wet tyres. The rain stopped at the beginning of the 45minute session, and although a dry line emerged in places much of the lap was still greasy. Stoner was also fastest in the wet ahead of Simoncelli in second, but it was Hayden third and Crutchlow fourth ahead of Lorenzo.
There are no intermediate tyres in the MotoGP class and Bridgestone only offer riders slick or wet tyres. Whilst two options of slick tyre compound are available, only a single compound of wet tyres is provided as per the rules and in the case of Silverstone, where the temperature is low, the wets are soft compound. Even as a dry line formed during the session the riders used only one set of wet tyres for the duration, which for many was ¾ race distance, and consistency and durability were good.
Whilst two dry sessions may have been more valuable to the teams and riders in terms of development and setup, today’s wet track-time may become beneficial on race-day given the changeable weather forecast for Sunday.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“From this morning’s session I can say that I am happy we revised our front slick tyre compounds for Silverstone this year as it was clear that riders favoured the soft compound front tyre for its extra performance in the cold conditions. Despite the cold this morning Casey was only 0.2seconds from last year’s record, set by Jorge, so I think that if it hadn’t rained this afternoon the frontrunners would be under the existing lap record already on the first day. Nevertheless, in the afternoon our wets performed reasonably, even as the track started drying. All riders used just one set and performance was reasonable even on such a high speed circuit. Now with the benefit of last year’s race data, I am confident in our tyre selection this year.”