Bridgestone press release
Jorge Lorenzo finished the first day of free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix on the top of the timesheets, using the hard compound slicks front and rear to dip under the existing lap record, a 1m 34.340 set by Dani Pedrosa last year.
Casey Stoner was second quickest also using the harder option slicks, and the championship leader was the first rider to better the lap record with his last lap of the morning free practice session. Third quickest was Pedrosa, the top three all under the lap record, but Dani’s best time came using the softer option rear tyre.
This year is the first of the single tyre era that Bridgestone have selected asymmetric rear slicks for Misano. Last year performance of the symmetric rears was good and Pedrosa set the lap record, but the asymmetric rear slicks have clearly given a performance advantage evidenced by the fact that the laptimes are so fast right from the start of the Grand Prix weekend.
Conditions today were fine and hot and whilst the softer rears were favoured in the morning, by the afternoon practice it was the harder option fronts and rears that were favoured although some riders still used the softer rears during the session to good effect, including Pedrosa. Spots of rain briefly hit the circuit right at the end of the session but posed no problem.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“The times are very fast today, and even from the first session Casey was under the lap record which is very impressive. This is the first year since becoming Official Tyre Supplier that we have brought asymmetric rear slicks to Misano and I am satisfied with their performance. Last year here Dani set a new lap record so then tyre performance was already good, but as part of our drive to increase asymmetric rear tyre usage, up from six races in 2009 to 14 this year, we can see that performance has increased again. Rider feedback is positive, especially about the feeling on the left side of the tyre which is softer, so I am pleased about this. Given the high temperature today our harder compound options were favoured and consistency was good, particularly with Jorge and Casey who both seem to have strong race pace, but even our softer option rear worked well this afternoon with Dani so I am confident of our compound allocation this weekend.”