Bridgestone concludes 2009 with successful test and tyre compound debut
The final grand prix of the 2009 MotoGP season was followed immediately by a three day test at the Valencia circuit at which all of next year's MotoGP entrants participated. There were four 250cc graduates including recently-crowned World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama, and Superbike World Champion and Valencia Grand Prix wildcard entry Ben Spies.
For those new riders, the test was a valuable chance to familiarise themselves with their bikes and Bridgestone's tyres amid MotoGP's strict testing restrictions. During the second and third days of the test, Bridgestone also introduced a new specification rear tyre for all riders that will be used next season.
The new specification is a medium compound asymmetric rear tyre which has superseded the medium asymmetric rear slick used to good success this year. During the final two days of the test all the riders used the new rear tyre and its performance was better compared to the 2009 medium asymmetric compound used during the grand prix at Valencia, where it was the softer of the available options.
The top four riders finished the test all faster than the existing lap record, and with less wind but a cooler track temperature than during the qualifying session for the grand prix, Casey Stoner topped the timesheets on the final day going just over 0.3seconds faster than his pole-position time.
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"Our new specification medium compound asymmetric rear tyre is based on new rubber which we tested in Qatar and Jerez during winter testing. Our target from this new rear tyre was to achieve a wider operating range and greater consistency, and I can say that the result was what we expected and successful. All the riders tried our new rear tyre during the test and already the results are promising, the laptimes look good, and rider feedback is positive.
"During the test the temperature was generally lower than during the grand prix so it was a challenge for the tyres to reach the optimum working temperatures, but even in these difficult conditions our new specification worked well so I am confident for the performance of this new tyre next season.
"We have reached the end of the 2009 season and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their support during this first year of sole supply. It is thanks to the support of the teams, riders, Dorna and the FIM that our first experience as the sole tyre supplier in motorcycle racing has been a success and we look forward to what we can see already will be an exciting season in 2010."