Several Bridgestone-shod riders showed strong practice pace on the opening day of this weekend's Catalunya Grand Prix with six of the top seven riders at the end of the second practice session using Bridgestone tyres. Suzuki's ...
Several Bridgestone-shod riders showed strong practice pace on the opening day of this weekend's Catalunya Grand Prix with six of the top seven riders at the end of the second practice session using Bridgestone tyres.
Suzuki's Loris Capirossi was the closest man to Dani Pedrosa's pace-setting lap, but the smallest of margins separated the top four with Capirossi 0.006s adrift, Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi a further 0.067s back and Ducati's Casey Stoner in fourth, a mere 0.009s from Rossi.
Honda Gresini's Alex de Angelis, who finished an outstanding fourth in Mugello just one week ago, continued his strong form, claiming the fifth fastest time of the day ahead of Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen in sixth and his Gresini team-mate Shinya Nakano in seventh.
Bridgestone's priority for today was to evaluate a range of hard compound front and rear tyres, including a new compound, all of which showed encouraging initial performance. As usual for the remaining practice sessions of the weekend, work will be focussed on longer run evaluations, as consistency over the 25-lap race will be key to success on Sunday afternoon.
Tyre Talk with Shinji Aoki - Bridgestone Motorsport - Assistant Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
What did Bridgestone learn from today's two sessions?
"Today we tried several different hard compounds for both front and rear with all our teams. We were able to find some good solutions which we will use tomorrow for longer run tests. The overnight rain left the track in quite a difficult state this morning with some damp patches still present. With no further rain during the day, the track improved, as we would expect, and the conditions started to reach more normal levels. This afternoon's performances were more representative and the majority of riders were able to improve their times considerably."
What is the key area for improvement for Bridgestone?
"After a good start, our next target is to try to convert the strong initial performance that was seen today into an equally competitive performance over longer runs. The key to success here in Catalunya will be management of the tyres over the full uninterrupted 25 laps, so we must assess durability levels in tomorrow's practice to allow our teams to select the most suitable tyre for their package. The high-speed right-handers are tough on tyres and will be the most important area for us to improve further."
Session 1 / Dry - Air 22C, Track 29C (Bridgestone measurement)
Session 2 / Dry - Air 26C, Track 46C (Bridgestone measurement)