Using Bridgestone's medium compound front and rear slicks during qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix, Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo secured his fifth pole position start on Bridgestone tyres. Topping the timesheets for the second day running,...
Using Bridgestone's medium compound front and rear slicks during qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix, Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo secured his fifth pole position start on Bridgestone tyres.
Topping the timesheets for the second day running, Lorenzo's best was almost one second faster than his time yesterday, putting the Mallorcan an impressive 1.2seconds faster than the existing circuit lap record.
Fellow Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi was second ahead of Ducati Team's Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Colin Edwards of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. The best times of the top five riders were all faster than the existing lap record, further indicating the encouraging performance from the Bridgestone rubber at this traditionally tricky venue.
For most of the hour-long session riders favoured the harder of the available specifications (the medium compound front and hard compound rear), which are likely to be the favoured choice for tomorrow's race, but as usual the fastest times came at the end of qualifying using the softer option rear for its extra traction.
Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"I am happy with the performance of our slick tyres today because we have seen the laptimes at the front of the field get faster again. Estoril has always been a tricky circuit for us but the tyres we have developed for this year have a wider operating range than those previously. This has benefits at every circuit we have visited this year, but because of the particularly varied nature of Estoril, the improvement in overall performance is more noticeable here.
"I think another key reason for the improvement in pace is the change of date of this grand prix from April back to the latter half of the season. As a result we are enjoying higher ambient and track temperatures which improves the grip of the circuit. We expected the higher temperature at this time of year, but what is unusual for this circuit is that the conditions are so stable with no cloud or wind, which can make the circuit dusty and slippery. If conditions remain the same tomorrow, the harder compound options will be favoured for the race because of the additional durability over race distance that they provide."