Bridgestone riders get off to solid start at Istanbul Park With eight riders in the top ten and all five of its teams with at least one rider in the top eight, Bridgestone Motorsport has enjoyed an encouraging start to its Turkish GP weekend...
Bridgestone riders get off to solid start at Istanbul Park
With eight riders in the top ten and all five of its teams with at least one rider in the top eight, Bridgestone Motorsport has enjoyed an encouraging start to its Turkish GP weekend with the Ducatis of Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi joining the Suzuki of John Hopkins for a Bridgestone 1-2-3 this afternoon.
Honda Gresini's Toni Elias followed up his battling fourth place in the Jerez GP with fifth place in today's practice heading a quartet of Bridgestone riders, including Kawasaki's Olivier Jacque, Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen and Pramac d'Antin's Alex Hofmann, all of whom have demonstrated competitive form in Turkey today.
Overnight rain in Istanbul rendered the Istanbul Park track quite slippery at the start of the day but the lap times have tumbled throughout the afternoon with pacesetter Stoner over five seconds quicker than his best morning time.
Bridgestone has traditionally struggled around the 5.340km Turkish track but new compounds evaluated directly after the last race in Jerez and brought expressly for this technically challenging GP have shown a promising level of performance.
Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
What conclusions can be drawn from today's two sessions?
"The track has been quite difficult today after a lot of rain fell overnight. We are still waiting for the track to come to us a bit and are yet to see the full performance level. We started the morning with some tentative laps using wet weather tyres, which do not fall into our riders' individual allocation of 14 front and 17 rear tyres, but as the track began to dry we started to use full slicks and to start evaluating the different specification tyres we have brought this weekend. The lap times are around a second-a-lap slower than this time last year and the track has been continuing to evolve during the afternoon, so it is not easy to draw any conclusions, even if we are pleased to see so many Bridgestone riders in the top ten."
How have the new Bridgestone compounds performed today?
"While it is difficult to analyse tyre performance over many laps because of the changing track, we have seen some initially encouraging results from the new compounds that we have here in Turkey. The demands of the circuit put a lot of stress on the tyres, in terms of grip and durability, so these are the areas we must focus on. The weather should remain dry, so the circuit should be in better shape tomorrow, when we will carry out longer runs to gauge the durability of our tyres."
Weather: Wet track, gradually drying - Air 14C, Track 18C, Humidity 24% (Session 1)
Dry track - Air 18C, Track 35C, Humidity 15% (Session 2)