Australian GP: Bridgestone qualifying report

Stunning Stoner on pole as Bridgestone's new slicks well received Ducati Team's Casey Stoner scored his third successive Phillip Island pole position with a scorching lap just 0.05seconds from the existing lap record and...

Stunning Stoner on pole as Bridgestone's new slicks well received

Ducati Team's Casey Stoner scored his third successive Phillip Island pole position with a scorching lap just 0.05seconds from the existing lap record and 0.2seconds faster than last year despite the cold and windy conditions.

After the torrid conditions of yesterday, today was brighter with only intermittent rain showers. The wind was still strong and the temperature cold, but the morning free practice was run in the dry with just a few damp patches, and the hour-long qualifying session was dry until rain brought a premature halt to proceedings in the final minutes.

With a track temperature of just ten degrees in this morning's free practice, every rider used the softer option slicks front and rear. These softer asymmetric rears feature Bridgestone's new extra soft compound rubber in the right shoulders and performance was good despite the cold. This new compound was incorporated into the asymmetric rear slicks specifically for Phillip Island because of the expected low temperature. For the qualifying session every rider again favoured the softer option slicks front and rear even though the track temperature was markedly higher.

Sitting on provisional pole for a while was Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo until Stoner's final lap pushed him into second, and Ben Spies starts tomorrow's race from third for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Conditions for the riders were very tough with the strong winds and spots of rain that interrupted the last quarter of the session.

Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

"This morning's session was very cold, just ten degrees Celsius on track, but still our softer slick tyres worked reasonably well and gave good performance. In qualifying the track temperature was much higher and all the riders used the softer option front and rear slicks for the entire session, testing race-distance consistency and refining setups after getting no dry running yesterday, and tyre performance and temperature were good. I am very impressed with Casey's lap which was very fast and shows that even in these conditions our tyres are performing well. He is only 0.05seconds off the lap record set back in tyre competition in 2008 so I am very happy with this, and want to congratulate Casey on this lap!

"The softer ption asymmetric rear slicks that everyone used in qualifying feature our new extra soft compound in the right shoulders for the first time, and I am very happy with the performance. Especially in the cold morning conditions, the extra soft rubber gave good warm-up performance as it was intended to do and we have received positive feedback from the riders who say that tyre performance is improved since last year. Casey's pole time is over 0.2seconds faster than last year even though the track temperature is lower, and we can attribute at least some of this to the increased performance of our new extra soft compound rubber so I am happy with today."

-source: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Ben Spies , Jorge Lorenzo , Phillip Island