For the first time in the history of MotoGP, all riders in the premier class will have to pit and change machines during the Tissot Australian Grand Prix following a decision being made by race direction after tense deliberation over the durability of the Bridgestone tires with the Japanese manufacturer announcing that it was unable to guarantee safety of it’s rear slick tires after 14 laps.
The announcement came shortly after the qualifying race with a decision already being made to shorten the Moto2 race from 25 laps down to just 13. Bridgestone already had problems with certain tire constructions before arriving for round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship and made changes to the rubber with overheating being the main issue but no further information has been released stating what exactly is causing the safety concerns. The Philip Island circuit is also notorious for rapid tire wear and the asphalt was also re-laid after last year’s race.
Race Direction has released the following rules for tomorrow’s race:
1. The race distance will be 26 laps (previously scheduled to be 27).
2. Every rider will be required to enter the pits and change to their second machine with fresh tyres at least once during the race.
3. No rider is permitted to make more than 14 laps on any one slick rear tyre. This means that a bike/tire change before lap 12 would require a second bike/tire change to finish the race
4. Riders using ‘Factory’ and ‘Satellite’ machines will be required to use the ‘hard’ option tire (B51DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone.
5. Riders using CRT machines will be required to use the CRT ‘hard’ option tyre (B50DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone.
6. The pit lane 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.