San Marino GP: Bridgestone preview

Misano was a frequent destination for premier class motorcycle racing in the 1980s and early 1990s with a total of ten events held at the venue until 1993. After a fourteen-year sojourn, MotoGP made a welcome return to the track last season at a...

Misano was a frequent destination for premier class motorcycle racing in the 1980s and early 1990s with a total of ten events held at the venue until 1993. After a fourteen-year sojourn, MotoGP made a welcome return to the track last season at a new-look and extended circuit, in the guise of the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix.

Further modifications have been made to the circuit for this year's event which sees the track length increase from 4.180km to 4.226km, Misano's longest configuration yet. As a result, all existing circuit records, held by last year's winner Casey Stoner, will be invalidated by first practice on Friday.

Bridgestone had a highly competitive MotoGP debut at the Misano circuit last year with a sensational podium clean sweep and securing the top five positions in the 28-lap race.

Bridgestone heads to Misano this year following five consecutive wins on its tyres in Donington, Assen, Sachsenring, Laguna Seca and Brno with 12 podiums from a possible 15 taken by Bridgestone-shod riders in the last five events.

With his win in Brno, Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi extended his grasp of the championship to 50 points with 150 left to play for, while last year's Misano victor Casey Stoner still holds second place.

Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit

"After the wet German race, the cool Laguna Seca weekend, and the resurfaced Brno, we now move to Misano which will hopefully be a more typical race weekend for everybody. Misano was anything but typical last year with extremely heavy rain that restricted track time on Friday, so I think we all hope for a fully dry weekend this year. We had a good first trip to Misano with Casey winning the race and the top five riders all on our tyres. However, success is not automatically transferable from one season to the next and I am sure our rivals will be back in contention this weekend. We carried out extensive tyre testing in the post-race test at Brno which will form the basis of our race preparations for the final six events of the year, and which we hope will help keep Bridgestone riders at the top of the championship by the end of the season."

Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Race Tyre Development

"The character of the asphalt at Misano is quite slippery, and we suffered from quite bad graining over longer runs in the race, so we have to accommodate for that this year by producing stronger tyres. The circuit itself has been extended slightly for this year's race with changes to the third corner which increase the overall lap slightly to 4.226km. This should not have any real effect on tyre performance. There are a lot of slow and tight corners, and the main straight is also not too long, so the focus will be on finding good braking stability and traction over the lap. We will bring updated race specification tyres to Misano with compound adjustments made to counter the demands of the track. We also have new qualifying tyres for this weekend in a bid to get our riders as high up the grid as possible, since overtaking is not particularly easy at Misano."

2007 Flashback

"Honda Gresini's Marco Melandri topped the opening wet session of the 2007 San Marino Grand Prix but running was halted after rain flooded the circuit. Saturday's morning session was extended to two hours to compensate for the reduced Friday practice time. Ducati's Casey Stoner took pole on Saturday afternoon, his fourth in a row, with five Bridgestone riders in the top ten. Stoner went on to dominate the race, winning by almost 5 seconds from the competitive Suzuki duo of John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen. Melandri finished fourth ahead of the Ducati of Loris Capirossi, ensuring Bridgestone riders locked out positions 1-5."

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , John Hopkins , Chris Vermeulen , Marco Melandri , Casey Stoner