Bridgestone begins 2009 preparations with encouraging Valencia test Less than 24 hours after Casey Stoner took victory in the final race of the 2008 season, Bridgestone's preparations for the 2009 season got underway with a test at the Ricardo...
Bridgestone begins 2009 preparations with encouraging Valencia test
Less than 24 hours after Casey Stoner took victory in the final race of the 2008 season, Bridgestone's preparations for the 2009 season got underway with a test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.
Bridgestone will be the sole tyre supplier to the MotoGP championship from 2009 and the Valencia test marked the first occasion to evaluate new specification tyres with all teams and riders for next year. A total of 18 MotoGP riders participated in the test on Monday with some riders joining new teams and others enjoying their first taste of MotoGP machinery.
In accordance with the agreed tyre restrictions for this test, Bridgestone supplied a total of 12 slick tyres to each rider, consisting of two different front and rear specifications.
The introduction of the sole tyre supply regulation for next season will see a reduction in the total number of tyres available for each rider during the race weekend, so tyres will have to operate within a wider working range with a greater level of durability. Bridgestone has also reduced the maximum level of grip of the tyres in a concerted effort to assist the sport's governing body in its drive for improved safety through reduced cornering speeds.
Monday's session was held in hot and sunny conditions with Casey Stoner resuming where he left off on Sunday, topping the timesheets with a best lap time of 1m32.464s using the new Ducati GP9 machine. Tuesday's session was curtailed by intermittent rain and by 14.00 no riders had ventured out on track.
Bridgestone will now use the data collated from this session in order to prepare tyres for the next test session which will take place at the end of November in Jerez.
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Race Tyre Development
"I am really very satisfied with the first trials of our new specification slick tyres which we were able to carry out in the dry conditions on Monday. Considering it is the first time that we are producing MotoGP tyres for everybody in a sole tyre supply situation, I think we have made a good start. We have used the foundation of our 2008 tyres for these new specs but made some important alterations to ensure that the tyres have a wide operating window and can work well for all teams and riders. We have reduced the overall grip level of the tyres in order to accomplish this and the feedback from the riders has been encouraging. The track conditions on Monday were excellent and the lap times were also very competitive as a result. The most important thing for us is to know that our tyres are durable because this will be one of the most fundamental things for us next season. Some riders put up to 40 laps on the same set of tyres with great consistency which was particularly impressive. Unfortunately the conditions today have not been as good, but the information obtained from yesterday's session will be instrumental for us to hone the tyre specs over the winter period. This new situation as the only tyre manufacturer will be a new challenge for us, but I am sure we are up to the job and can live up to the trust that the teams, manufacturers and riders have shown in us and our capabilities."