Chinese GP: Bridgestone Friday notes

Strong start for Bridgestone riders in Shanghai All six teams using Bridgestone tyres performed strongly in today's opening two practice rounds at the Shanghai International Circuit, in preparation for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix. Fiat...

Strong start for Bridgestone riders in Shanghai

All six teams using Bridgestone tyres performed strongly in today's opening two practice rounds at the Shanghai International Circuit, in preparation for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.

Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi was the quickest rider over the entire day, and was the only man to lap under the 2-minute mark, setting a best lap time of 1m59.906s in this morning's session.

Fastest this afternoon was last year's Chinese race winner Casey Stoner, whose best time of 2m00.163 placed him strongly in second position in the combined practice classification after a competitive day for the reigning champion.

The strength in depth of Bridgestone's teams was highlighted by the performance of San Carlo Honda Gresini duo Shinya Nakano and Alex de Angelis, who excelled in fourth and seventh positions respectively.

Kawasaki's John Hopkins continued where he left off in Estoril with a strong fifth place, Loris Capirossi made the top eight for Suzuki, while the ever-improving Alice Team were unlucky to miss out on the top ten with Toni Elias in a nevertheless encouraging 11th place.

Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

Are you satisfied with the outcome of today's practice sessions?

"I think it has been a very satisfactory first day for us, and we have seen all six of our teams able to compete for top ten positions throughout both practice sessions. Such performances would indicate that our tyres have competitive pace here in the conditions we have seen today, so I am quite pleased so far. Naturally, this is only the first day and there is not much separating the top riders so we have more important evaluation work to carry out tomorrow morning to make sure we are in the best shape for Sunday's race."

What range of tyres has been evaluated today?

"Some of our riders used this afternoon's session to run with our latest specification rear tyres, but we have also looked at our existing generation of rear and front tyres. In the hotter conditions this afternoon we tested our hardest available compound with some riders and even this showed a good performance level. Generally, across our range of tyres, the grip levels have been good and there is a lot of potential. However, we need to look more closely at the tyre performance over longer runs to assess the durability in race trim, something that we hope to accomplish during tomorrow."

Weather:
Session 1 / Dry - Air 25C, Track 40C (Bridgestone measurement)
Session 2 / Dry - Air 28C, Track 50C (Bridgestone measurement)

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Shinya Nakano , John Hopkins , Toni Elias , Alex de Angelis , Casey Stoner