Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Soft, Medium
Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
On 12 June the Silverstone circuit plays host to the British Grand Prix for the second year after returning to the Northamptonshire venue in 2010 for the first time since 1986 following extensive development work. Last year the circuit was brand new for everybody, having changed in layout since 1986, and this year it is the turn of the pit and paddock complex which has been moved into the newly-opened and much acclaimed Silverstone Wing.
Moving the MotoGP paddock and team pit garages to the Wing also introduces one other important change for the riders: whilst the circuit layout remains unchanged the start/finish position has been moved from last year meaning a new turn one for the riders to negotiate come race-day.
Last year’s inaugural race presented Bridgestone with the challenge of preparing for a brand new circuit and making the important choice of tyre compound options based only on samples of the track surface and circuit design data. Now, with the benefit of actual data, track-time and rider feedback on which to draw, Bridgestone have taken this opportunity to carefully revisit tyre compound choices for Silverstone, going one step softer with the front slicks.
Silverstone is quite an abrasive circuit and high-speed, both of which generate tyre temperature, and armed with theoretical data last year the medium and hard compounds were chosen as the most suitable. This year however the front slicks are available in soft and medium compounds as the soft front has proved it has sufficient durability and stability under the hard braking experienced, and it has the added benefit of improved warm-up performance.
The asymmetric rear slicks are still available in medium and hard compounds, but this year the left shoulder of the medium option incorporates the extra soft compound developed to provide improved warm-up performance.
Jorge Lorenzo won last year’s British Grand Prix ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies. His average speed was 172.005kmh, making Silverstone as fast as Mugello and Assen and just 5kmh shy of Phillip Island which is the quickest on the calendar.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Last year Silverstone was totally new for most people in the paddock, and this year we have a new pit and paddock complex to look forward to so I am excited to be going to England again. I have seen photos of the Silverstone Wing and it looks very impressive indeed, and it is great to see circuits making such efforts, not just in development of their facilities but also in publicising their events and MotoGP, and I hope that we will see many fans over the race weekend as a result. We have changed our front tyre compound selection slightly this year and I think this shows our desire to constantly assess and analyse the situation we are in and where we can improve our tyre offering for the riders. Dani and Colin missed the Catalunya GP with broken collarbones and whilst Colin will be back at Silverstone which is a very impressive show of determination and strength, I wish Dani a speedy recovery and hope we can see him back on track soon.”
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“Last year MotoGP visited Silverstone circuit for the first time since 1986 so it was a great challenge for Bridgestone to select tyre compounds based on theoretical data and some track surface samples alone. This year of course we have the benefit of a lot more actual data gained from last year’s race and, after careful analysis, we believe there is more benefit to the riders of selecting our soft compound front tyre as we know it has sufficient braking stability and durability but it will also give the riders a little more grip in the cool conditions and offer better warm-up performance. The effect of tyre cooling along the long straight and the low temperature were also a little bigger than our estimation so this is another reason for revising our compound selection this year.
“Silverstone circuit is very fast and there are some high lateral loads generated through corners such as Maggotts and Backetts, but there are also some areas of heavy braking such as for Stowe so it is quite diverse and demanding for our tyres. Last year the track temperature was quite low so warm-up performance is important, especially on the left side of the tyres which is used less, so we have selected the same asymmetric rear slicks as were used to good effect last year but this time used the extra soft compound in the left shoulders of the medium compound slicks.”