Le Mans Bugatti Circuit
Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Soft, Medium
Rear (asymmetric): Soft, Medium
Casey Stoner finished the first day of practice for the French Grand Prix fastest overall, lapping under the existing lap record by nearly 0.5seconds. His fastest lap came on the harder option front and rear Bridgestone slicks, but he also lapped under the lap record and set provisional fastest using the new soft asymmetric rear tyre.
In fact, after just the first session of running this weekend Stoner had already lapped faster than the lap record on the soft rear, indicating that both the harder and the new soft option slicks selected for this grand prix are performing well.
Second fastest was satellite Honda rider Marco Simoncelli, continuing his recent run of good form and the only other rider under the lap record. Dani Pedrosa finished third fastest making for an all- Honda top three, and was the only rider who went faster in the morning’s session than in the afternoon. The top three riders all used the harder front and rear slicks to set their fastest times in the second free practice.
Conditions all day were fine and dry, and whilst the track temperature in the morning was cool, meaning that every rider favoured the soft front slick tyre and the new soft asymmetric rear, it was much warmer in the afternoon and the harder slicks proved fastest. The new soft / extra soft asymmetric slick tyre worked well today, allowing the riders to set fast times right from the start despite the cool track.
Whilst the gaps at the front could be measured in tenths of a second, only 0.037seconds covered seventh to tenth positions.
Masao Azuma – Chief Field Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport
“I am pleased with the performance of both our slick tyre options today as we can see from the laptimes that both worked well. This morning, our new soft asymmetric rear tyre provided good feeling for the riders from the start and enabled the laptimes to be fast, and I am impressed that even in the first session of the weekend Casey was faster than the lap record. Then in the afternoon, as the temperature rose, many riders switched to the harder slicks and the times were also very good with both Casey and Marco faster than the lap record. The weather today has been good but it may play more of a role tomorrow and on Sunday when the forecast becomes less favourable.”