Spanish GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone Motorsport returns to the scene of its first European success this weekend as the second round of the 2007 MotoGP world championship is held at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain. Ducati's Loris Capirossi scored a memorable win in...

Bridgestone Motorsport returns to the scene of its first European success this weekend as the second round of the 2007 MotoGP world championship is held at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain. Ducati's Loris Capirossi scored a memorable win in Jerez last season which marked the first occasion that a rider on Bridgestone tyres had won a MotoGP race on European soil. A trio of Bridgestone-shod riders were at the head of the grid as well with Capirossi's pole position well supported by Sete Gibernau in second for Ducati and Shinya Nakano in third for Kawasaki.

Tyre Talk with Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Department

Jerez Testing "Similar to the last race in Qatar, we have had the opportunity to test in the run-up to the GP with our five teams. Since the end of last season, we have carried out two important test sessions at the track, one in November and one in February, both of which were highly productive for us from a tyre development point of view. In November, we did some initial studies for 800cc tyre development using similar tyre specifications to what had been raced in 2006. We then used the big pre-season test in February to finalise our development work for 800cc from the results obtained in November."

Jerez Tyre Performance 990cc Vs 800cc Bikes "Whereas our new generation tyres showed a marked difference in performance at Qatar compared to last year's specification, we have seen from the results of testing that the differences in tyre characteristics between the 990cc and 800cc machines at Jerez are actually not so vast. The new 800cc machines are more agile at turning and the cornering speed is relatively higher from the entry to the exit, so the bike demands more ultimate grip on both front and rear tyres at tracks like Jerez."

Track Characteristics "We consider Jerez to be quite a standard circuit in terms of its technical challenge. The grip level is quite average compared to other tracks on the calendar, but the circuit boasts a real variety of corners. The range from slow to high speed cornering, places emphasis on higher grip front tyres as well as rear tyres, while high speed traction is also important. The circuit characteristics and climatic condition is totally different to what we faced in Qatar two weeks ago, so we will supply a very different specification of tyre; the compound will be softer and the construction will be adapted to fit the Jerez track character. We will mainly supply soft and medium specs to our teams, while we will also bring new rear qualifying tyres, which have been fine-tuned from the results of February's IRTA test."

The Weekend Ahead "We always enjoy a massive and passionate crowd at Jerez which gives the whole weekend a special atmosphere. The pre-season test was attended by around 30,000 spectators demonstrating the enthusiasm of the Spanish fans for MotoGP. We will certainly work hard with all of our teams to help a rider on Bridgestone tyres take the top step of the podium for the second consecutive Jerez GP and for the second race in a row after Casey Stoner's great win in Qatar."

Riding Perspective with Honda Gresini's Toni Elias "The Circuito de Jerez comprises a combination of fast and slow corners. There are some strong braking points around Jerez and it is particularly important to have a good set-up for these heavy braking areas. There is also the need to carry mid-corner speed through the long corners as this is where important lap time can be lost. A compromise of these two elements is required to post competitive times. Specifically for Jerez, we made a good step ahead at the pre-season test in February and we believe that we will have competitive material at our disposal. I am sure that we will also make a positive step forward in terms of qualifying performance - this was an area highlighted for improvement after the Jerez test, but Bridgestone has reacted quickly on this matter. I am really happy with the work that Bridgestone has done for Honda Gresini as a team and for me personally as a rider. They have listened to our feedback and provided me with tyres that better suit my riding style."

2006 Flashback Race Winner and Top Rider on Bridgestone Loris Capirossi Ducati 45m57.733s Pole Position and Top Rider on Bridgestone Loris Capirossi Ducati 1m39.064s

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Sete Gibernau , Shinya Nakano , Toni Elias , Casey Stoner