After qualifying on Saturday, Bridgestone informed the MotoGP Race Director that they cannot guarantee the safety of the rear slicks used for the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.
Javier Alonso explained that the riders will be required to change bikes during the race, which has now been shorten from 27 laps to 26 laps of hard racing.
Bridgestone announced that they are “unable to guarantee the safety of its rear slick tyres beyond 14 laps.”
The swap of the MotoGP special built motorcycles will take place in pit lane. They will leave the pits with fresh tyres. The allowed distance before the changeover will 14 laps or less; however if they do the swap before the 12th lap, the teams will have to do a second change for safety reasons.
In additions to making the “bike" swaps, a new rule for the pit lane has been implemented: The “speed limit zone will be extended both on entry and exit and the exit route to rejoin the track will be marked by a white line in the runoff area; crossing this line whilst rejoining the track from pit lane will result in a penalty.”
Adding to the special rule for the Australian Grand Prix is that the “Riders using ‘Factory’ and ‘Satellite’ machines will be required to use the ‘hard’ option tyre (B51DR).” For the CRT bikes, they will use the special “CRT ‘hard’ option tyre (B50DR).”
Bridgestone will allocate the extra quality for both the Factory/Satellite, and CRT racing machines.
Phillip Island has always been interesting and one of the Grand Prix events to watch from both a fan and media perspective. The issue of the tyres and the new first-time rule definitely adds to the Australian Grand Prix.