Bridgestone compounds available: Front: Slicks - Hard, Extra hard Wets - Hard Rear: Slicks - Hard, Extra hard (asymmetric) Wets - Hard The German Grand Prix was the fifth race of the year to be affected by rain and tested all of...
Bridgestone compounds available:
Slicks - Hard, Extra hard
Wets - Hard
Slicks - Hard, Extra hard (asymmetric)
Wets - Hard
The German Grand Prix was the fifth race of the year to be affected by rain and tested all of Bridgestone's available tyres. The first free practice started wet but dried by the halfway mark. Saturday's second free practice was dry but was followed by torrential rain and standing water for the qualifying session. It was dry again on Sunday when Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi won his fourth race of the season, and rear slick compound choices varied greatly.
Q&A with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
How did the hard compound wet tyres perform during the weekend?
We saw incredible wet conditions for the qualifying session on Saturday that were probably the worst we have seen this season, and I am happy with the level of performance our wet tyres provided. Even with much standing water and a cold track temperature, the fastest lap was quicker than that set in the wet last year, so this clearly shows the steps forward we have taken in terms of tyre performance and operating range.
There were some problem parts of the circuit, most notably turn seven that caught many riders out during qualifying. It is a very tricky corner when it is wet as it is fast and downhill, and on Saturday we also saw a small river of rain water running across the track mid-corner, and this is what caused some difficulties for riders.
We saw very varied conditions during the weekend from dry to damp to very wet. How did this mixed weather affect tyre performance in general?
The conditions this weekend actually allowed us to demonstrate the crossover between all the tyre options we brought to the race. From the first practice session we saw a good operating range overlap between our wet tyres and the hard compound slicks, showing again that our wets work well until the track is almost dry and our slicks start working when a dry line is just emerging.
Then in the race we saw a great deal of variation between riders using our hard and the extra hard compound slick tyres. All riders except Casey used the softer option front, but nine riders chose the hard rear and eight opted for the extra hard compound. Apart from Jorge and Dani who used the same compounds, the top four each chose a different tyre combination which provided some good competition at a circuit which is traditionally very hard to overtake on.