Rossi fastest with last lap effort on hard Bridgestone slicks
Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Medium, Hard.
Rear: Medium, Hard
Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi used his hard front and rear Bridgestone slicks to best effect today by topping the timesheets of the first free practice session on his last lap.
It was close at the top with the fastest three riders split by just 0.077 seconds until Rossi's best effort put him 0.112 ahead of teammate Jorge Lorenzo, whose best lap was also set on hard front and rear slicks. Ducati Team's Casey Stoner finished 0.077 further adrift, recording his best lap using a hard front with a medium rear Bridgestone slick.
This weekend, Bridgestone's medium compound slicks are marked by the white line around the tyre's sidewall, as they are the softer of the two options brought to the US GP.
As predicted, the temperature at Laguna Seca today was deceptive, with an ambient of only 19 degrees Celsius but a track temperature of 49 degrees, making it a tough test for Bridgestone's slicks.
Most riders started the hour-long session on Bridgestone's medium compound slicks but by the finish the hard compound was the favoured choice.
Lorenzo completed the most number of laps, circulating the 3.61km circuit 38 times. The Spaniard completed 16 laps using Bridgestone's medium compound slicks, before riding an impressively consistent 22 lap stint using a hard compound front and rear.
Rossi, Lorenzo and Pramac Racing's Niccolo Canepa were the only riders to cover a race distance during the session, although Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Marco Melandri, Randy de Puniet, James Toseland and Nicky Hayden all completed 31 laps, just one lap short.
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"Today we saw almost the same temperatures as last year. We expected dusty conditions but the track was clean from the start so this didn't cause us any problems. Most of the riders started on the softer option slicks because of the expected dust, but everyone saw that the conditions were good so most changed to the hard compound slicks. Both of our compound offerings were used today, so teams will already have a good idea of what their race strategy will be if conditions stay the same. However, if the wind is high tonight the track may be dusty again in the morning."