TT Assen: Bridgestone preview

Tyre compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium As MotoGP heads to Assen for the Dutch GP, round seven marks a return to softer compound Bridgestone slicks after the sweltering heat of Catalunya. As the paddock has become ...

Tyre compounds available:
Front: Soft, Medium.
Rear: Soft, Medium

As MotoGP heads to Assen for the Dutch GP, round seven marks a return to softer compound Bridgestone slicks after the sweltering heat of Catalunya.

As the paddock has become accustomed to this year, there is again the ever-present chance of rain at Assen, and coupled with the cooler track temperatures, Bridgestone will also bring the softer compound wet tyres in readiness.

Assen is a circuit of two halves following its modification in 2006 which reduced its length to its present 4.555km. The surface is inconsistent as a result and the mix of newer and older asphalt offers differing levels of grip and abrasion, testing the broad operating range of Bridgestone's tyres and making it tricky in the wet.

The circuit also boasts an impressive 17 corners, giving the tyres a continual and intense workout. The nature of the track mixes fast and flowing corners with sections of heavy braking that demand good stability on the way in and good traction on the exit.

Corners such as the 200km/h+ Ramshoek demand absolute commitment and really test the shoulder grip of the Bridgestones. The first few corners, from Haarbocht to De Strubben, are linked as one and gradually tighten, requiring good right shoulder durability from the tyres.

Heavy braking into De Bult, the left-handed turn ten, and famously into G.T Bocht, the final chicane just before the finish line, offer further overtaking opportunities but really load the front tyres, requiring riders to have confidence in their front end grip.

Last year Assen was round nine on the calendar and the top three riders arrived in the Netherlands separated by 45 points. This season, the first for MotoGP with Bridgestone as the Official Tyre Supplier, it is much tighter at the top with Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner tied on an equal 106 points. In 2008 a dominating performance by Stoner and the Ducati Team gave the first Ducati/Bridgestone win at Assen.

Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit

"For the first time in Assen, each rider has been able to choose, immediately after the Catalunya GP, whether they wish to use four of each compound of front slick tyre or three of one and five of the other. I think this will put more emphasis on the teams' and riders' choices and utilisation of front tyres, and we may start to see greater variation in front compound usage which will lead to a trade-off between warm-up performance and durability over a race distance. I hope the weather is good and we can see another great battle again this weekend like in Catalunya!"

Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

"Since it was re-profiled, the shorter Assen circuit has inconsistent asphalt with a newer first sector and an older, more traditional track layout. There are limited overtaking opportunities unless you are brave, especially in the slower first corners, so a strong qualifying performance is vital. The first part of the lap is a very tight, slow section which is followed by a series of complex 90-degree corners so braking stability and shoulder grip and durability are key. We expect lower track temperatures here during the race weekend and the remodelled first sector of the track has newer asphalt which is more slippery, so we have chosen to bring softer compounds of our slick tyre."

-credit: bridgestone

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Series MotoGP
Teams Ducati Team