Stoner takes wet honours on opening day in Donington Wet weather dictated the programme during the opening two practice sessions for this weekend's British Grand Prix at the Donington Park circuit after persistent rain showers throughout the day...
Stoner takes wet honours on opening day in Donington
Wet weather dictated the programme during the opening two practice sessions for this weekend's British Grand Prix at the Donington Park circuit after persistent rain showers throughout the day prevented any dry running for the 19 MotoGP riders.
With inclement conditions forecast for the remainder of the weekend, the two hours of wet running today could prove vital for Sunday's 30-lap race. Bridgestone's five teams and ten riders used the opportunity to evaluate the soft and medium specification wet weather tyres that are of similar specification to the tyres used during May's French Grand Prix in which Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen led a trio of Bridgestone-shod riders on the podium.
Donington Park has been a tough track for Bridgestone in the past and some question marks remain over tyre durability and competitiveness over race distance, but, if the weather remains wet for tomorrow's practice sessions, Bridgestone will work with its teams to ascertain tyre performance over longer runs.
Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
What work did Bridgestone conduct with its five teams in today's two rain-hit sessions? "We were unable to carry out any running on slick tyres in either of today's two practice sessions, but the rain enabled us to carry out a good initial analysis of our soft and medium specification wet weather tyres with some interesting results. It seems that the soft tyre gives a competitive lap time, but of course we need to understand if this translates over the complete race distance. The medium spec also performs quite well, but we require additional wet running to get an accurate comparison. The tyres are similar specification to what we used in the Le Mans race, but the overall performance is also related to the circuit characteristics and Donington Park is one of the toughest on the calendar for our tyres."
With no dry running on the opening day, would Bridgestone prefer rain for the rest of the weekend? "We brought a variety of slick tyres to Donington this weekend in a bid to combat the difficulties we have faced with grip levels and tyre life in previous years, so we would have preferred to have had a dry track day to assess the performance of these tyres. Now we have spent two of our four practice sessions working with wet tyres, it would certainly be easier to continue in this way. The forecast is currently for more rain all weekend, so we could find that today has been very useful, not only for tyre manufacturers but also for teams to set up their bikes. If, however, we have dry conditions tomorrow, we will have a busy day to make up for the lost ground today."