Hopkins, Vermeulen lead rain-hit Mugello practice sessions Kawasaki's John Hopkins posted the quickest time during the opening day of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit today, as rain hampered both practice sessions. As...
Hopkins, Vermeulen lead rain-hit Mugello practice sessions
Kawasaki's John Hopkins posted the quickest time during the opening day of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit today, as rain hampered both practice sessions.
As conditions improved during the closing stages of the session, some riders, including Hopkins, were able to switch to slick tyres to set their best times. Bridgestone-shod riders took the top five positions with Loris Capirossi (Suzuki), Anthony West (Kawasaki), Alex de Angelis (Honda Gresini) and Shinya Nakano (Honda Gresini) following Hopkins on the timesheets.
Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen topped the afternoon session but with rain prevailing throughout the afternoon, lap times remained significantly slower than the morning best. Ducati's Casey Stoner and Yamaha's Valentino Rossi were the only other Bridgestone-shod riders to lap within a second of Vermeulen's wet pace.
A wide range of Bridgestone's wet weather tyres were used during today's practice with soft and medium compounds, full and shallow wet specifications.
Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
Did Bridgestone obtain any meaningful data today?
"In the conditions we faced today, we have been able to work a lot on our wet weather tyres, and give the teams some time to set-up their machines for the wet. In this regard, it has been quite productive, but we have not been able to conduct any meaningful dry running. The few laps that some riders did on slick tyres at the end of the morning session will not give us any really representative or useful data. We have used a wide range of tyres today with full and shallow wet tyres of soft and medium compounds, as well as medium compound slicks."
What is the plan for tomorrow?
"If it is dry tomorrow morning, we will have a very busy session as we try to reclaim as much dry running as possible. We have yet to carry out the evaluation of slick tyres for this weekend and the weather forecast suggests it will be a dry day on Sunday, so a proper evaluation will be very important around such a demanding race track as Mugello."
Session 1 / Wet - Air 18C, Track 20C (Bridgestone measurement)
Session 2 / Wet - Air 18C, Track 20C (Bridgestone measurement)