After almost one month since the previous race of the season at Laguna Seca, Bridgestone Motorsport aims to maintain its competitive streak returning this weekend to the scene of one of four victories on its tyres during the 2006 season, the Brno...
After almost one month since the previous race of the season at Laguna Seca, Bridgestone Motorsport aims to maintain its competitive streak returning this weekend to the scene of one of four victories on its tyres during the 2006 season, the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.
Loris Capirossi and the Ducati team dominated proceedings on Bridgestone tyres in last year's race winning from second on the grid to claim their second victory of the season. Ducati has scored four consecutive top five results around the undulating Brno track. Capirossi also scored a second place finish on Bridgestone tyres in 2005 before claiming his scintillating Czech victory twelve months ago.
Following on from the double-header at the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca, the two shortest tracks on the 2007 calendar, teams and riders this weekend face the second longest lap of the season at Brno, which, at 5.403km, is just marginally eclipsed by the 5.548km long Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Bridgestone-shod Ducati rider Casey Stoner leads the MotoGP championship heading into this weekend's Czech Republic GP with a 44 point margin over second-placed Valentino Rossi. Tyre Talk with Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit
How do the technical characteristics of the track influence tyre performance at Brno?
"The Automotodrom in Brno is quite an abrasive track and a lit tle bit bumpy, but it does not pose as many technical demands on tyres as some other tracks on the calendar. There is quite an even dispersion of corners with six left and eight right-handers around the 5.4km layout. There are no long high speed corners and no slow speed hairpins which means that the edge of the tyres are not placed under as much pressure. However, the weather can be quite variable. Some years, we have quite hot track temperatures, like we did last year, but other years it can be quite cool, so we have to think about bringing tyres with a wider performance window."
How has Bridgestone used the short summer break to prepare for Brno and the remaining events of the season?
"Initially, we have worked on adjusting our range of compounds to best suit the Brno track both in terms of grip level and degradation over the 22 laps. With significant elevation changes and flowing corners, Brno is a track that requires careful attention to the set-up of the bike, so our teams will also have a lot of work during the important practice sessions. We have also developed a new range of constructions and compounds which we intend to evaluate in the official post-race test session next week, which will form the basis of our campaign for the rest of the season."
What are Bridgestone's aims for this weekend?
"Loris Capirossi and the Ducati team had a very competitive weekend on our tyres last season and were able to win the race in convincing fashion. Brno is one of just four circuits on the calendar at which a rider on our tyres won last year. Seven of the eleven races so far this season have been won using our tyres, the most ever in a single season for Bridgestone, so we definitely hope to keep up momentum, but with competition as closely fought as it is this season, we cannot take anything for granted."
Riding Perspective with Loris Capirossi (Ducati Corse)
"Brno is a great track, very fast but also quite complicated with a lot of elevation changes over the lap. It is important to have a well balanced bike because some corners you have positive camber, other corners you have negative camber and it is important to have confidence with the machine. Brno has usually been a good track for our Bridgestone tyres as well, as our victory last year proved, and I am sure this will also be the case again this year. A strong engine is very important because there are some big straights and some uphill parts which are key to a quick lap. I am looking forward to continuing the positive direction we have found in the last couple of races and to getting another good result in Brno this weekend."