Czech GP: Bridgestone Friday practice report

Bridgestone riders get to grips with resurfaced Brno on opening day Bridgestone-shod GP riders had their first taste of the newly resurfaced Brno race track in today's opening free practice sessions in preparation for Sunday's 22-lap Czech ...

Bridgestone riders get to grips with resurfaced Brno on opening day

Bridgestone-shod GP riders had their first taste of the newly resurfaced Brno race track in today's opening free practice sessions in preparation for Sunday's 22-lap Czech Republic Grand Prix.

Ducati's Casey Stoner leads the proceedings at the end of the first day, having set a best lap time almost one second quicker than the existing record lap, set by Loris Capirossi aboard a Bridgestone-shod 990cc Ducati back in 2006.

Fiat Yamaha rider and championship leader Valentino Rossi claimed the second best time, less than two-tenths off Stoner's pace, with the lead duo enjoying a considerable margin over the rest of the field.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP made a promising start to the weekend with Loris Capirossi in third and Chris Vermeulen in sixth place, sandwiching San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Shinya Nakano and Alex De Angelis in fourth and fifth.

Nine Bridgestone riders scored promising top ten results in today's combined standings with Kawasaki's John Hopkins making a welcome return from injury in eighth place, and the Alice Team pairing of Toni Elias and Sylvain Guintoli rounding out the top ten.

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

Were you surprised by the pace in today's practice sessions?

"Both Casey and Valentinohave set very quick times today which are a big improvement over the existing record set by Loris and Ducati back in 2006. We could see from the two-day test that the tyre manufacturers had back in June that the lap times appeared quicker as a result of the resurfacing, because the track has become less bumpy, but nevertheless these lap times are very encouraging. All our six teams are well represented in the top ten but we must remember it is just the first day. The weather outlook for tomorrow does not look good but we hope for a dry morning practice so that we can look at the performance of our slick tyres over longer runs."

What effect is the new surface having on tyre performance?

"The new surface has less grip than before and it is more severe on the front tyre. This is something that we have had to look into carefully to give riders the best feeling in the middle sectors of the lap where there is a lot of emphasis on the front. Based on the data that we obtained from the test riders in June, we have prepared tyres for this weekend's race in an effort to cope with these new demands and the initial results from the GP riders today have been promising."

Weather:
Session 1 / Dry - Air 27o.C, Track 35o.C (Bridgestone measurement)
Session 2 / Dry - Air 27o.C, Track 36o.C (Bridgestone measurement)

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Shinya Nakano , Chris Vermeulen , Toni Elias , Casey Stoner