Lorenzo sets early pace on harder slicks Fiat Yamaha rider and championship leader Lorenzo set the pace in the opening session at the newly-modified Assen circuit on Bridgestone's harder slicks. The modification to the circuit at the ...
Lorenzo sets early pace on harder slicks
Fiat Yamaha rider and championship leader Lorenzo set the pace in the opening session at the newly-modified Assen circuit on Bridgestone's harder slicks. The modification to the circuit at the Ruskenhoek corner has already proved to be much faster than the previous layout, as even after just the first hour of free practice Lorenzo's time was almost 1.5seconds faster than the previous lap record.
The track temperature was relatively high for Assen, peaking at 44 degrees Celsius during the free practice, resulting in most of the riders favouring the harder option front and hard asymmetric rear slicks. Ducati Team's Casey Stoner finished the session just 0.011seconds adrift of Lorenzo, also using the harder slicks to set his best time, but teammate Nicky Hayden and Monster Yamaha Tech3's Colin Edwards finished third and fourth respectively on the softer rear slick.
In the hot conditions, every rider preferred the harder front slick tyre for its increased stiffness and therefore stability. Despite making the laptimes faster than previously, the modification to the circuit layout for this year has little effect on tyre performance.
Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"The weather conditions today were relatively warm for Assen, but similar to this session last year. Tyre temperatures were slightly higher so most riders preferred the harder option slicks, but we still saw many riders try the softer options and Nicky and Colin set good times on the softer rear. This year we have selected asymmetric rear slicks for this circuit and after this first session we have received good feedback from the riders. Randy completed more than race distance on a single set of harder slicks so already we can see that even in these conditions our tyres have adequate durability and consistency.
"The revised circuit layout has little effect from a tyre perspective so it was not a consideration when selecting our tyre compounds, although we did of course check the new circuit layout and the new tarmac that has been laid. We can see from this afternoon's results that once again both our slick tyre compounds are working well in these conditions and there is a good performance overlap, which is and always has been a key factor in both our tyre development and our compound choice for each race."