Indianapolis Grand Prix debrief with Tohru Ubukata Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Hard, Extra Hard (asymmetric) The Indianapolis Grand Prix was run under clear skies and a burning sun, sending the track ...
Indianapolis Grand Prix debrief with Tohru Ubukata
Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Medium, Hard.
Rear: Hard, Extra Hard (asymmetric)
The Indianapolis Grand Prix was run under clear skies and a burning sun, sending the track temperature soaring to a peak of 55 degrees Celsius during the race. It was the joint highest track temperature of the season, equal with Catalunya in July, and was a severe challenge for Bridgestone's tyres. Despite this heat though, even the softer option rear proved its performance during the race. Dani Pedrosa took his third victory of the season whilst Ben Spies was second to score his best MotoGP result to date. Jorge Lorenzo continued his impressive record of finishing on the podium at every race this season with a fighting ride to third, having slipped to fifth by the end of the first lap.
Q&A with Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
How did the conditions in Indianapolis affect tyre performance over the weekend?
"Indianapolis is a tough track for the rear tyres, especially the left shoulder because of the many left-handed turns and the abrasiveness of the asphalt, but the very high temperature made durability and stability even more crucial. Throughout the weekend all riders favoured the harder front tyre because it has better stability at high temperatures and therefore gave the riders more confidence in the front-end of their bikes.
"Rear tyre choices were mixed though as even the softer option proved it had sufficient durability in the race. By the end of the 28-lap race tyre performance had dropped slightly, as you would expect, but even so the pace of Ben and Jorge, who were the highest two riders using the softer rear, was very impressive. This is testament to the riders too, as they both rode very impressively and used their tyres very well. It would have been easy with too much spinning to generate excess tyre temperature in the softer rear, but they managed tyre wear effectively and this showed in their results."
Did you expect it to be so hot?
"We have a great deal of experience at Indianapolis with our activities in Formula One and IndyCar, as well as MotoGP, so we expected hot conditions in this time of year. We also know that the circuit generates high tyre temperature in the rear slicks and that's why we brought our hard asymmetric and extra hard asymmetric slicks, which are the two hardest compounds in our range and the extra hard compound in particular was designed to cope with such high tyre temperatures."
Was it a surprise that even with the track at 55 degrees Celsius, the softer option rear worked well over race distance?
"We have confidence in the performance of our tyres, but still I'm impressed with the consistency of our softer option rear slicks during the race. Jorge was able to set his personal best of the race on lap 23 out of 28 which is a good indicator, and until two laps from the end every lap of Ben's was within 0.5seconds of his personal best which shows that their rider and bike packages are well developed to use our tyres efficiently."