Tyre compounds used: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium The first free practice session of the French Grand Prix was run in mixed conditions, ensuring that Bridgestone's soft and medium compound slick tyres were put to the test around...
Tyre compounds used: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium
The first free practice session of the French Grand Prix was run in mixed conditions, ensuring that Bridgestone's soft and medium compound slick tyres were put to the test around the Le Mans circuit. Most of free practice was run in the dry although the session, which has from this grand prix onwards reverted to a one hour format, did not escape the unpredictable French weather as light rain interrupted 25 minutes from the end.
Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso was fastest, followed by Ducati Team's Casey Stoner, Frenchman Randy de Puniet of LCR Honda and Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen. The top four riders, representing four different teams, were split by fewer than 0.2 seconds.
Bridgestone officially introduced sidewall markings to the softer compound slicks during the session, after testing during Friday and Saturday of the Spanish Grand Prix to find the most effective solution. From this grand prix onwards, the softer slick Bridgestone offering will be marked by Bridgestone with a white stripe around the sidewall.
The marked sidewalls made it far easier for those watching to keep track of the compound combinations that riders used during the session. Most riders opted for soft compound front and rear Bridgestones, although some chose the medium compound rear to try and find the best package in the cold conditions which are expected to remain for the rest of the weekend.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit
"We trialled tyre markings in Jerez with some different methods of tyre marking and after that weekend we decided to apply a white painted stripe to the tyre sidewalls. This will allow spectators, photographers, TV crews and anyone watching MotoGP to distinguish between the harder and softer compound Bridgestone slick options.
"We have experience of doing this in Formula One, where Bridgestone is also the Official Tyre Supplier, and the feedback we have from that series has been very positive. Now four races into our first season as MotoGP's Official Tyre Supplier, we have implemented a system that lets us transfer this experience to our MotoGP tyres, and I hope it will be just as well received in this paddock."