Czech GP: Bridgestone preview

With batteries recharged after three weekends of no racing action, MotoGP makes a welcome return in Brno where the fierce battle for this year's thrilling championship will recommence. Brno is the second most visited city in premier class...

With batteries recharged after three weekends of no racing action, MotoGP makes a welcome return in Brno where the fierce battle for this year's thrilling championship will recommence.

Brno is the second most visited city in premier class history with a total of 31 events held since 1965. 11 races were held on the old road course which was used until 1977. After a ten-year break, a new-look 5.4km Brno circuit was introduced to the championship, where, with the sole exception of the 1992 season, it has remained ever since.

The track has been resurfaced for this year's event, which will offer tyre manufacturers a new challenge, but Bridgestone can draw from several seasons of success at the Czech track. Loris Capirossi was victorious for Ducati in 2006, taking pole position and the fastest lap of the race, while Casey Stoner repeated the feat one year later, leading a Bridgestone 1-2 with John Hopkins taking a career-best second place for Suzuki.

Bridgestone heads into the final third of the season with two of its riders at the head of the championship classification. Valentino Rossi's win in Laguna Seca extended his lead of the series to 212 points, while Casey Stoner continued his championship revival to claim second in the table.

Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit

"Brno is a track that has been quite favourable for Bridgestone in recent years, and we have celebrated victory there for the previous two seasons with the Ducati team, first with Loris Capirossi in 2006 and again last year with Casey Stoner. We have two very formidable riders at the top of the table with Valentino and Casey, but there are still 175 points available over the next seven races, so the championship is far from over. This weekend's race has the added complications of a new track surface, but I am sure we will see a competitive battle at the front, especially with our rivals more determined than ever to renew their championship challenge."

Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Race Tyre Development

"Brno has been resurfaced since last year's event so we have had to revise our approach to the weekend. Even if we have been competitive in recent seasons, we have had to produce different tyre compounds for this year's event compared to the usual Brno-spec in order to adapt to the new surface. In accordance with the sporting regulations, and thanks to IRTA, tyre manufacturers were permitted to test at the circuit for two days back in June, and this allowed us the chance to acquire data from this new asphalt, which appears less grippy than before. The track itself is renowned for its elevation changes, which put a real focus on bike set-up and rider confidence, so all elements of the bike-rider-tyre package will be put to the test this weekend."

2007 Flashback

"Casey Stoner, John Hopkins and Loris Capirossi got the 2007 Brno weekend off to a flying start and were the only men to lap under the 1m59s mark on race tyres on Friday. Stoner went on to score his fifth pole of the season in Saturday's qualifying session, while Suzuki's Hopkins and Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet took second row grid slots with 4th and 5th. Stoner won the race in dominant style, but was closely matched by eventual second placed man Hopkins for much of the race. Chris Vermeulen backed up Suzuki's strong form with fifth at the chequered flag."

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , John Hopkins , Randy de Puniet , Chris Vermeulen , Casey Stoner