Bridgestone wet compounds available: Front: Soft Rear: Soft The Portuguese Grand Prix got underway today amid torrential rain and high winds which disrupted running in the morning's free practice session, when only Hiroshi Aoyama and Carlos...
Bridgestone wet compounds available:
The Portuguese Grand Prix got underway today amid torrential rain and high winds which disrupted running in the morning's free practice session, when only Hiroshi Aoyama and Carlos Checa completed any laps. For Checa, who replaces Mika Kallio at the Pramac Racing Team, it was a tough return to MotoGP in such treacherous conditions.
The afternoon's 45 minute practice session was uninterrupted however as the rain ceased and the winds abated. After the early downpour the circuit was still soaked, meaning that all riders used Bridgestone's wet tyres, but as the sun emerged conditions started to improve, as did the laptimes. Bridgestone got the opportunity to assess wet tyre performance from full wet to drying conditions this afternoon which provided valuable durability data, especially as there has been very little wet running this season.
Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo finished the session on top, securing the spot with his penultimate lap ahead of Ducati's Nicky Hayden and Fiat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi. The top seven riders all recorded their fastest times on their final or penultimate lap as the circuit started drying under the sun's rays, although there were still patches of standing water and no dry line by the end of the session so wets were still needed.
The lack of running this morning has caused a change to both of tomorrow's sessions, which have been increased in length from 45minutes to the usual one hour. They had been shortened to 45 minutes because of the reinstatement of the Friday morning practice session. The latest forecast suggests much brighter weather tomorrow for the morning practice and afternoon qualifying sessions.
Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"This morning's session was a write-off because of the conditions, but this afternoon the session was actually very valuable for us because we got to assess the performance of our soft option wet tyres from fully wet to drying conditions. When it rains here at Estoril the track gets very slippery, more so than other circuits in the wet, but I am happy with both the performance and durability of our wet tyres. Performance was very good at the start of the session when it was fully wet and I'm happy with durability in the drying conditions. Randy completed 24 laps on a single set of wets and his fastest was his last lap which demonstrates good durability and consistency."