Bridgestone MotoGP: Phillip Island Test Debrief Friday 1 February 2008 Preparations for the 2008 MotoGP World Championship have continued apace for the majority of Bridgestone Motorsport's line-up of teams and riders at the...
Bridgestone MotoGP: Phillip Island Test Debrief
Friday 1 February 2008
Preparations for the 2008 MotoGP World Championship have continued apace for the majority of Bridgestone Motorsport's line-up of teams and riders at the demanding Phillip Island circuit this week.
A three-day test session drew to a close at the Australian circuit today (Friday) with reigning world champion and last year's Australian GP winner Casey Stoner once again staking his claim to the top of the timesheets with an exceptional time of 1m28.777s. The circuit best lap at Phillip Island stands at 1m29.002s, set by Nicky Hayden in 2006.
With Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda Gresini and Alice teams all participating in the test, it has been a busy week for Bridgestone and its on-track crew of engineers and fitters, whose focus has been on validating the results gathered from last week's Sepang test in Malaysia.
In excess of 2,000 combined laps have been tallied by all Bridgestone riders over the course of the busy three days, which will give valuable data to Bridgestone's engineers for further improvements to the latest generation of tyres. As per their testing plan, Yamaha and Valentino Rossi did not test in Australia this week.
Q+A with Shinji Aoki - Bridgestone Motorsport - Assistant Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
How has work at this week's Phillip Island test differed from Sepang last week?
"The test programme for this week's Phillip Island test has been similar to what we carried out in Sepang with a focus on evaluation of our latest specification race and qualifying tyres. We have worked over the winter on developing race tyres with new shape and construction which will form the basis of our work for the course of this season. The results from Sepang were quite encouraging but it has been important this week to validate this performance level at Phillip Island, a more technically demanding and high-speed circuit which places greater stress on tyres."
Have you been pleased with the results?
"As in Sepang, I believe we can be satisfied with the results from these three days in Australia. Our riders have completed a lot of laps and we have received a lot of data which will be important for the next development stage. Some riders have carried out long-run tests to assess the durability of these tyres, which have given us a reasonable indication of what fine-tuning is still required. Casey's times today were very impressive, not only in terms of his lap time on a qualifying tyre, but also on race tyres he has been exceptionally fast and consistent."
What is the next stage of development?
"Our focus now turns to the coming two tests in Qatar and Jerez, where we anticipate cooler weather to what we have faced in Sepang and Phillip Island. This will give us the opportunity to evaluate the compound performance with lower track temperatures. We will then have a more complete picture as to what work needs to be carried out on our compounds ahead of the first race of the season which is now just over one month away. Based on these first two tests, we will also continue to look at our qualifying performance which is still behind that of our rivals, whose riders appear to make a big leap in lap time from race tyre to qualifier."