Bridgestone slicks start strongly as Sepang hits 50 degrees As the track temperature reached a peak of 50 degrees Celsius during the opening free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo made the best use of...
Bridgestone slicks start strongly as Sepang hits 50 degrees
As the track temperature reached a peak of 50 degrees Celsius during the opening free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo made the best use of his harder option front and softer option rear Bridgestone slicks to set the fastest time of the session.
Lorenzo, who has claimed lap records at Brno and Indianapolis on Bridgestone tyres this season, was just 0.072seconds from the existing lap record at Sepang, set on Bridgestone's slicks by Casey Stoner in 2007. Stoner was the only other rider to use the harder option front during the session, but combined it with the harder option rear to finish second fastest for the Ducati Team.
Apart from Lorenzo and Stoner, all riders used a single softer option front tyre for the duration of the session. Valentino Rossi, who was fourth fastest, used a single softer front and a single harder rear for the entire session completing more than race distance, and his last lap was just 0.1seconds slower than his best.
Sepang is particularly demanding on the front tyre largely because of the heavy braking points at the end of each of the long and fast straights, but despite this the softer option handled the challenge well. In the conditions, the performance of the softer and the harder Bridgestone slicks was very similar with the top three each opting for a different tyre compound combination.
Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"We can see from the first practice session that riders chose a mix of both the softer and the harder slicks which demonstrates a good performance cross-over. At the front Jorge showed that the outright performance is good by coming so close to the lap record that was set by Casey on a 990cc Ducati in 2007, whilst the fact that Valentino used just one set of tyres for the entire session with good consistency demonstrates good durability. Also, from the fact that most riders used just one softer front tyre all session, we can say that even the softer option front has enough durability for more than race distance despite the high temperature."