Round four of the MotoGP championship sees the World Championship touch-down in Europe, as Spain’s Circuito de Jerez gets a new-look front and rear tire allocation for 2014.
The first of four races on Spanish soil always draws a huge crowd, with the 4.423 kilometer circuit providing some good overtaking opportunities that have set the scene for many memorable championship battles over the years.
Comprising eight right-hand and five left-hand corners, Jerez is a balanced circuit in terms of the demands it places on the left and right shoulders of the tire and traditionally has been the only circuit on the calendar where Bridgestone hasn’t offered asymmetric rear slicks. For 2014 however, Bridgestone will bring asymmetric rear slick with slightly softer rubber on the left shoulder to offer even more grip to riders. The rubber on the right shoulder will be one step harder than the left shoulder, and is the same hardness as was offered in the symmetric rear slicks in 2013. Rear slick options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the soft and medium asymmetric rear slicks, while for the Ducati and Open-class riders, the extra-soft asymmetric rear slick makes its debut for 2014, alongside the soft compound rear.
Starting from this weekend, Bridgestone will increase the front tire allocation for riders, giving each rider an extra front tire (ten in total) and the ability to choose from three compound options, whereas previously only two choices were available. The front tire allocation for Jerez is the soft, medium & hard compound front slicks.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“After three intriguing races to start the season, I am excited to see MotoGP heading to Europe for the first time and especially to be going to Jerez, which is a circuit that always delivers fantastic racing. The tire allocation for this year’s Spanish Grand Prix has seen a change from symmetric rear slicks, to asymmetric rears which will give riders even more safety and performance at this flowing circuit.
“This weekend is also the debut of our revised front tire allocation system which gives riders greater flexibility with their front tire choice than ever before. The weather forecast for this weekend is sunny and warm weather, so I hope to see a huge Spanish crowd present at Jerez to welcome their MotoGP heroes.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport tire Development Division
“Jerez has a mix of fast and slow corners with a layout that is quite balanced in regards to the demands placed on the left and right shoulders of the tire. The diversity of the corner layout and this means that we need to provide a tire with a balanced character to provide good handling from low speed to high speed corners, and from flat corners to changes in elevation.
“The balanced layout has meant in the past we always supplied symmetric rear slicks at Jerez, however, for this year we’ve decided to bring asymmetric rear slicks with softer rubber on the left side to provide better grip and warm-up performance in the left-hand corners. The surface is smooth which is easier for the tire’s centre section but it is abrasive so harder compound tires are required to ensure good durability. The track temperature during the race weekend is historically high too, adding to the challenge of minimizing tire wear.”
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.