Catalunyan GP: Bridgestone preview

Tyre compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Hard, Extra Hard (asymmetric) The Circuit de Catalunya hosts the sixth round of the 2009 MotoGP season and marks the first race of the year to which Bridgestone will bring its asymmetric slick...

Tyre compounds available:
Front: Medium, Hard.
Rear: Hard, Extra Hard (asymmetric)

The Circuit de Catalunya hosts the sixth round of the 2009 MotoGP season and marks the first race of the year to which Bridgestone will bring its asymmetric slick rear tyres.

With eight right-hand corners, most of which are long and fast, and only five left-handers, most of which are much slower, the circuit works the right and left shoulders of the Bridgestone tyres very differently. The right shoulders of the Bridgestone slick tyres experience far greater loads and cornering forces, meaning they have to be able to cope with higher temperatures. Meanwhile, the left shoulders are less stressed and therefore must be able to perform at a lower temperature range.

With the nature of the circuit and the high track temperatures expected for this time of year at the Barcelona venue, a harder rear slick is required. Bridgestone will bring the hard compound and the extra hard compound rear slicks, but in both rear options the left shoulder of the tyre uses Bridgestone's soft compound.

By combining a hard or extra hard compound right shoulder in the rear tyres for increased durability and consistency at a higher operating temperature range with a soft compound left shoulder for the slower left-handers, the asymmetric Bridgestone rears are able to provide a consistent level of grip and rider feeling throughout the lap.

The recently revised 2009 tyre regulations come into effect from the finish of the Catalunya Grand Prix, when every rider will need to inform Bridgestone how many of each compound of front slick tyre they wish to use in Assen.

This change in the regulations means that rather than every rider being given four of the harder and four of the softer compound Bridgestone front slicks, each can now choose whether they want four of each compound or five of one and three of the other. This will make rider and team strategy in terms of slick tyre selection even more important.

Spaniard Sete Gibernau will return to action in Catalunya for the Grupo Francisco Hernando team after being sidelined with a fractured collarbone sustained during the French Grand Prix. Dani Pedrosa will arrive at the circuit having suffered another injury to his right hip and thigh bone during the second free practice session in Mugello.

Last year, Catalunya brought the first pole position of the season for Bridgestone and the Ducati Team with Casey Stoner's qualifying lap record of 1m41.186s.

Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit

"Catalunya is an important event for us this year because we are introducing our asymmetric tyre. This is something that we had always planned to do since we were appointed as Official Tyre Supplier last year. The last two races have been very exciting in mixed conditions, so I hope we see the same good racing in Catalunya but without the rain!"

Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

"The Circuit de Catalunya is a technical track with long right-hand corners that increase the temperature on that shoulder of the tyres. The surface is smooth and the stress placed on the tyres' outer shoulders necessitates hard compounds, especially for the rear. We will bring asymmetric rear tyres for the first time this season as having dual compounds to suit the right and left hand corners is essential for good feeling and performance at this circuit. Because the left shoulders are not used as hard, the temperature in them is cooler than in the right shoulders but the soft compound on the left side allows the tyres to give optimal grip and rider feeling in these conditions."

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Dani Pedrosa
Teams Ducati Team