Italian GP: Bridgestone race report

Bridgestone beats the weather as Stoner wins in wet/dry Mugello Tyre compounds used: Front: Wets - Soft. Slicks - Medium, Hard. Rear: Wets - Soft. Slicks - Medium, Hard Casey Stoner won his first Italian Grand Prix for the Ducati Team in mixed...

Bridgestone beats the weather as Stoner wins in wet/dry Mugello

Tyre compounds used:
Front: Wets - Soft. Slicks - Medium, Hard.
Rear: Wets - Soft. Slicks - Medium, Hard

Casey Stoner won his first Italian Grand Prix for the Ducati Team in mixed conditions that saw all riders start the 23 lap race on Bridgestone's wet tyres and switch mid-way to slick tyres in an event reminiscent of the last outing at the Le Mans circuit.

Bridgestone predicted Mugello would be the toughest test of tyres so far this season, and the weather added to this challenge in the fourth MotoGP weekend to be affected by rain this year. Heavy rain at 1200hrs left the circuit soaked, but the downpour had stopped before the race and as the sky started to lighten, the track started to dry quickly.

James Toseland was the first to pit, coming in to switch to Bridgestone slicks on lap four. The front-runners switched much later in the race; Stoner, and the Fiat Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi all entered the pits on lap ten. By lap eight however Toseland was faster than the top three, and by lap nine the Brit was the fastest man on the circuit on his hard compound front and rear Bridgestones en route to his best result of the season.

Stoner had slipped to sixth position by lap eight before making a decisive comeback once on his Bridgestone slicks. Opting for the medium compound front and rear Bridgestones, the Australian overcame a 2.9second deficit to then-leader Andrea Dovizioso of Repsol Honda to retake the lead by lap fourteen.

As the riders left the pit lane on the Bridgestone slicks, their individual slick tyre compound choices were the most varied this season. Ten riders opted for the medium compound front slick, nine riders opted for the medium compound rear, and the top three finishers all used a different combination of Bridgestone slick tyre compounds.

Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit

"I want to congratulate Casey and Ducati as I know this is a very special victory for them; their first at their home circuit. It was a very exciting race with six different race leaders, four of whom were Italian. Suzuki did a very good job and it was great to see both Chris and Loris leading, and for Loris to be running in the top three for much of the race. Niccolo Canepa also rode well to score his first top ten finish. This close competition is great for MotoGP, but hopefully in Catalunya we can avoid more rain! This weekend is also special for Bridgestone as Jorge's second position marks our 200th podium finish in motorcycle racing, the first being Masaru Kobayashi's victory at Suzuka in 1987."

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

"Again this weekend we saw very difficult conditions for our tyres, with cold conditions and a wet start that quickly dried. I am happy with the performance of our wet and slick tyres as we saw sufficient overlap between the wets and the slicks, as we did also in Le Mans, and even in the cold and damp conditions both the medium and hard compound Bridgestone slicks worked well, even as the track temperature got colder throughout the race."

Casey Stoner, Ducati Team, Race Winner

"When the track was very wet the bike was working great, but as soon as the track started to dry out a bit we struggled. I thought when we do go to slicks I want to be as close as possible so we pushed it further than we would have normally and than I felt comfortable with, but I had a really good feeling with the slick tyres immediately and we were able to start chasing down Dovizioso bit by bit."

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , James Toseland , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Niccolo Canepa , Casey Stoner
Teams Ducati Team