Searching for Stateside Success in Laguna Seca Wednesday 19 July 2006- The next race on the 2006 Moto GP world tour takes Bridgestone Motorsport overseas to Monterey, California for the second consecutive United States Grand Prix. Barely has...
Searching for Stateside Success in Laguna Seca
Wednesday 19 July 2006- The next race on the 2006 Moto GP world tour takes Bridgestone Motorsport overseas to Monterey, California for the second consecutive United States Grand Prix. Barely has the chequered flag been waved at Germany's Sachsenring circuit - with five Bridgestone riders frequenting the top ten - than the entire Moto GP operation has to relocate at the other side of the world to take on the might of the Laguna Seca track this weekend. The 2006 event will be the tenth United States Grand Prix and the eighth to be held in Monterey, but it will be only the second time that Bridgestone has competed at the Californian course, placing additional constraints on the Japanese tyre manufacturer in only its fifth year at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing.
Since its lauded return to the calendar last year following extensive renovation, the 3.61km Laguna Seca circuit has seen further development with a complete resurfacing of the asphalt, which could play an integral role in the outcome of this weekend's event.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Motorcycle Racing Manager
"We head to the United States for only the second time, so we will still be playing catch-up in many respects. However, recent revisions to the circuit, including a total renewal of the asphalt could level the playing the field, as data collated from last year's event may no longer prove entirely accurate. We will of course not know until the first practice sessions on Friday, but it is also likely to be quite oily as liquid seeps through the new tarmac. If the new circuit surface is quite sharp we will have to keen an eye on degradation and wear, but if the track is smooth we will be on the search for grip. Therefore, we are taking a variety of tyres to Laguna Seca this year as pre-emptive measure, including some compounds from Sachsenring and some newer compounds directly from Japan. The track layout is also quite challenging in itself. We have to tackle 11 corners, seven left and four right, including arguably the world's most challenging corner, the Corkscrew, and the undulating nature of the circuit, which all combines to place a particular importance on cornering ability. We will be looking closely at the consistency of our Bridgestone tyres over the full 32-lap race distance in an effort to allow our riders to keep the pressure on right up to the chequered flag. We left with an eighth-placed best with John Hopkins in his home race last year, which as rookies was quite a reasonable result for Bridgestone, but we hope to improve on that in 2006 to help all of our riders' add to their point tallies."