TT Assen: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (asymmetric) This year the Assen circuit plays host to the 80th Assen TT weekend, and features a slight change to the circuit layout at the Ruskenhoek kink. For...

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (asymmetric)

This year the Assen circuit plays host to the 80th Assen TT weekend, and features a slight change to the circuit layout at the Ruskenhoek kink. For 2010, this kink has been smoothed which should allow riders to carry more speed through this section of the circuit.

It also serves to slightly reduce the circuit's lap length, but only by 13 metres. Following this and remodelling in 2006, Assen's track surface is inconsistent and the mix of newer and older asphalt offers differing levels of grip and abrasion, making it tricky for riders to get a constant feeling throughout a lap and very slippery in the wet. The new sections of tarmac are slippery, whereas the older parts are abrasive.

Generally, Assen is not so demanding for front tyres, but loads are high on the right shoulders of the rear tyres. Turns eleven to thirteen, Mandeveen to Meeuwenmeer, are the toughest for the right shoulders because the bikes spend a long time on the side of the tyre at high speed and with the riders accelerating hard out of the corners, and this increases the temperature of the rubber.

This additional load on the right shoulder of the rear tyres demands the use of asymmetric slicks to provide good durability and high-speed stability through right-hand corners whilst providing good warm-up performance for the left-handers.

By contrast, there are few heavy braking points therefore softer compound front tyres can be used to generate more grip and a more positive feeling for riders on the slippery tarmac. The soft and medium compound front slicks have been selected for Assen, and are the same as were used in Le Mans.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

"The TT Assen weekend is always good with many fans and great excitement, so I am looking forward to the Grand Prix. After the debut of Silverstone which was an entirely new challenge for us, Assen is a circuit we know much better. Casey holds the pole position record on our tyres, and Valentino set a new lap record on our tyres last year. It is a famous track and the most historic on the current MotoGP calendar so there is always a special feeling going there, for fans and those inside the paddock. In Silverstone we saw a great race and we have seen close and hard-fought battles all season, so I am confident that this will continue."

Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

"Assen is a smooth circuit that is demanding of the right shoulder of the rear tyres. Generally the loads on the tyres are not too high, but the right shoulders of the rear tyres reach a relatively high temperature because of the number and nature of the circuit's right-hand corners. This year we will bring asymmetric rear slicks to Assen to provide the riders with a better combination of warm-up performance and durability around Assen's asymmetric layout.

"Following its modification in 2006 there are two distinct types of tarmac: the new part is slippery whilst the old is abrasive and this makes it tricky for riders to get a consistent feeling throughout the lap. Our tyres also have to cope with a wide range of corners from very slow to high speed so a wide operating range is particularly beneficial here and good shoulder grip and consistency is crucial."

-source: bridgestone

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP