Tyre compounds used: Front: Hard. Rear: Extra Hard (asymmetric) With the highest track temperature of the season so far, the 25 lap Catalunya Grand Prix was always going to be tough on tyres but a spectacular fight to the flag between ...
Tyre compounds used:
Rear: Extra Hard (asymmetric)
With the highest track temperature of the season so far, the 25 lap Catalunya Grand Prix was always going to be tough on tyres but a spectacular fight to the flag between the Fiat Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo provided the most demanding test of durability and consistency of the Bridgestone slicks yet.
Although all riders' fastest laps came within the first five of the race, Rossi and Lorenzo were able to ride with such consistency that apart from lap 21, when they were slowed by one of their many battles for the lead, every one of their laps was within one second.
As the track temperature soared to 52 degrees Celsius, the Fiat Yamaha riders were locked in a nail-biting flat-out battle to the finish using Bridgestone's hard compound front and extra hard compound asymmetric rear slicks, as used by all riders today.
Rossi and Lorenzo repeatedly traded the lead throughout the closing laps and it looked to be Lorenzo's victory until Rossi used all the available grip from his Bridgestone tyres to outbrake his teammate into the final corner, crossing the line just 0.095seconds ahead of the Spaniard.
Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso was also pushing incredibly hard until the chequered flag, chasing Ducati Team's Casey Stoner for third position. A fiercely determined performance from an ailing Stoner enabled him to hold onto third and climb the final step of the podium by just 0.052seconds.
The result means that the order of the championship top three is reversed with Rossi leading from Lorenzo and Stoner, but remarkably they have exactly the same number of points; 106.
Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director - Bridgestone Corporation
"I'd like to congratulate Valentino and the Fiat Yamaha Team for a fantastic victory today, and also to Jorge for his part in what was a very exciting finish to such a close race. I'd also like to applaud Casey for his great performance when he wasn't feeling at his peak. It is great that the championship is so tight at the top with the top three riders on equal points after six races."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"We saw very tough conditions during the race today with the very high ambient and track temperatures and the very close battles at the front that saw riders pushing flat-out until the finish. Twenty five laps of constant pressure in these conditions is very challenging for tyres, and this is one of the most demanding races of the year, so I am pleased with the level of durability, consistency and grip they delivered. I can say that the first grand prix using our asymmetric rear slick tyres has been successful."
Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha Team - Race Winner
"In Italian we say mamma mia! In the first races I had not enough feeling to do what I want but I came here feeling strong. It was a very difficult race, and I didn't expect it to be last breath, last corner! The tyres started to slide like normal in Barcelona and I didn't know whether is possible to overtake in the last corner but I try and it was ok! It was a great race!"