US GP: Bridgestone Friday notes

Bridgestone riders make solid start at Laguna Seca Ducati's Casey Stoner continued his recent impressive form in today's opening free practice sessions at the Laguna Seca raceway, lapping under his pole position time from last year by almost ...

Bridgestone riders make solid start at Laguna Seca

Ducati's Casey Stoner continued his recent impressive form in today's opening free practice sessions at the Laguna Seca raceway, lapping under his pole position time from last year by almost half-a-second using Bridgestone race tyres this afternoon.

Stoner, winner of the last three races, was quickest in both of today's sessions by a notable margin, and led a quintet of Bridgestone-shod riders in the morning practice hour. In the afternoon, with track temperatures considerably higher, he set his quickest lap of the day on his final tour of the 3.610km Laguna Seca track.

Several other Bridgestone riders frequented the upper half of the classification today with Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi in third place overall. San Carlo Honda Gresini duo Alex De Angelis and Shinya Nakano were fourth and sixth, sandwiching Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen in fifth. Alice Team's Toni Elias and Vermeulen's team-mate Loris Capirossi rounded out the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively.

Bridgestone is supplying tyres to a total of twelve riders for this weekend's US Grand Prix with the addition of Ben Spies as a wildcard at Rizla Suzuki, and Jamie Hacking replacing the injured John Hopkins at Kawasaki. The only other MotoGP race for which Bridgestone supplied so many riders was last season's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

Was today a standard free practice day?

"We adopted our standard Fridayprocedure with evaluation of the different types of tyre that we have prepared for this weekend's race. Thankfully, we have had no need to use wet weather tyres, but the weather conditions were surprisingly chilly in this morning's practice. We have looked at the full range of tyres from soft to hard specification with each of our teams in order to understand the performance of these tyres in the varying conditions. In the first session, with lower track temperatures, we tested soft to medium specifications, but this afternoon's session was held under sunny skies and with warmer track temperatures, which allowed us to look at harder compounds. We yielded quite promising results with all specs and have different options depending on the track temperatures that we will face."

Were any riders able to conduct longer runs today?

"This afternoon, some of our riders conducted a consecutive mid -range run of around half race distance, and I was pleased with the performance and consistency of the tyres. The Laguna race is the longest of the season in terms of number of laps, so consistency will be an important factor on Sunday afternoon. For this reason, we must keep reconfirming this aspect of our tyre performance during tomorrow's two sessions."

Weather:
Session 1 / Dry - Air 14-17C, Track 23-35C (Bridgestone measurement)
Session 2 / Dry - Air 17C, Track 46C (Bridgestone measurement)

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Jamie Hacking , Shinya Nakano , John Hopkins , Casey Stoner