French GP: Bridgestone Friday report

Rossi fastest in opening practice on new rear Bridgestone slick Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi finished on top of the timesheets after the first free practice in Le Mans, using a harder asymmetric rear Bridgestone slick that is available to all...

Rossi fastest in opening practice on new rear Bridgestone slick

Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi finished on top of the timesheets after the first free practice in Le Mans, using a harder asymmetric rear Bridgestone slick that is available to all riders for the first time here in Le Mans.

After the first session in France and with a record high track temperature, his best lap was just 0.2seconds off his existing lap record set on Bridgestone tyres in 2008.

The temperature for the opening session of the French Grand Prix was uncharacteristically high. Reaching a peak of 43 degrees Celsius, it was the hottest track temperature recorded at the venue during a MotoGP session. Despite the hotter-than-expected track temperature, half the field used the soft Bridgestone slicks front and rear at the start of the hour-long practice and they provided consistent performance.

Casey Stoner used just one front tyre and one soft rear tyre for the entire session and set his best lap at the end of his run to finish second fastest. The Ducati Team rider was closely followed by Jorge Lorenzo in third and Andrea Dovizioso in fourth, the top four separated by less than a quarter of a second.

Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

"The track temperature was very high today, the hottest in France in the MotoGP era, so I am pleased that even our soft slicks provided good stability and consistency in these conditions. I think that the performance they showed even with a track temperature of 43 degrees Celsius is a good example of the wider temperature operating range of our tyres, and an indication that our newly-improved soft compound rubber is successful.

"Some riders used just one set of tyres for the session, including Casey who used a single hard front and soft rear to complete 23 laps and set his fastest on lap 19. Most riders favoured the harder front slick but the rear tyre compound choices were much more mixed. I can say that the asymmetric rear tyre provides better stability on the right side of the tyre, which is particularly beneficial for acceleration exiting turns four, twelve and thirteen, and I am happy with their performance. The top two riders each used a different rear tyre, so this shows that there is great cross-over between both available specs and tyre choice comes down to rider preference and bike setup."

-source: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Casey Stoner