Casey Stoner secured his eighth pole position of the season in Misano today, and in doing so set a new circuit pole position record. The old record was set by the Australian in 2008 in the era of tyre competition on Bridgestone’s high-grip qualifying tyres, but now in the Official Tyre Supplier era there are no qualifying tyres meaning that Stoner’s new record was set on race rubber.
The primary aim of race tyres is to have sufficient durability to last race-distance in contrast to the outright of grip offered by qualifying tyres over only a handful of laps, so for Stoner to set a new pole record clearly indicates the ongoing development of Bridgestone’s MotoGP tyres during the three years of single tyre supply.
Furthermore Jorge Lorenzo, who will start tomorrow’s race from second on the grid, and Dani Pedrosa in third were also both faster than the existing pole record, highlighting what has so far been a very fast weekend. This is the first time that Bridgestone have selected asymmetric rear slicks for Misano and the laptimes attest to the performance advantage they offer. The top seven riders all lapped faster than the existing lap record too during qualifying.
The top three all set their fastest laps on the harder option front slick and the softer rear, which looks to be the primary combination for the race. The second row for tomorrow’s race comprises Ben Spies, Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso. Again today conditions were fine and dry, and more of the same is expected tomorrow when the 28 lap MotoGP race will start at 1400hrs local time.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“We saw yesterday that the laptimes were fast but for the top three to beat the pole position record, which was set back in 2008 by Casey on our qualifying tyres, is very impressive particularly as qualifying tyres are no longer used in the single tyre era so these times were set on race tyres. This means that machine and tyre development are so important. Clearly tyre performance here this weekend is good, particularly of the harder front and both rear slick options. I am pleased that a new pole record has been set as it demonstrates that we are working hard to continue to improve tyre performance even in the current era of single tyre supply, and not resting on our laurels. We have said in the past that our competition is the stopwatch, and this today is a definite victory for us. It is only the fifth outright pole record that has fallen since the start of single tyre supply in 2009 without a modification to a circuit or its tarmac, so I am very satisfied after today, and of course must congratulate Casey, Jorge and Dani in particular for their performance. Casey achieved his theoretical fastest time as he was fastest in every sector of his best lap, but Jorge’s theoretical best puts him only 0.035second adrift. All three are very close in laptime so I anticipate a good and close-fought race tomorrow.”