Retail

Dutch MotoGP debrief with Shinji Aoki

Posted on July 2, 2014
Race action from the Dutch TT at Assen.

Race action from the Dutch TT at Assen.

Last weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen was affected by variable weather conditions that resulted in the race being a flag-to-flag affair at which Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez won ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa on the other Repsol Honda RC213V.
 
Fine conditions on the opening day of practice gave way to increasingly poor weather that culminated in a downpour of rain during the lead up to Saturday’s race. All except two of the twenty-three starters at the Dutch TT, Broc Parkes and Yonny Hernandez who started on slicks, started on soft compound wet tires, but by the time a third of the twenty-six lap race had been run, all entrants had changed to their second bikes fitted with slick tires.
 
Q&A with Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
 
Conditions for the start of the race last Saturday at Assen were wet but the track dried very quickly. Are you satisfied with how both the slick and wet tires performed?  
 
“The kind of mixed conditions that we experienced for the race are really challenging for the riders. Grip levels can change from corner to corner, so the riders need tires that get up to temperature quickly and have very high grip levels. The fact that we had almost no incidents during the race and the riders managed to show quick pace on a drying track that still had some patches of water was very positive for us. The wide working temperature range of our slick and wet tires was one of the key factors that allowed the riders to push in the tricky conditions with confidence.”
 
During Free Practice 3 when the track was only slightly wet, some riders left their box on wet tires only to return to the pits after not even completing a single lap. Can you explain what is happening here?
 
“Some riders like to ‘scrub’ a set of wet tires by doing a lap on them in case they need to be used later in a race situation. The purpose of scrubbing is not to remove some kind of coating on the tire as some people believe; rather it is purely a mental exercise for some riders as perhaps they feel more confident pushing on a set of wet tires that aren’t brand new. Even when there is no possibility of rain on race day, some riders will still scrub a set of wet tires during the morning Warm Up session in case there is unexpected rain before the race. Technically speaking, a scrubbed wet tire has no advantage in terms of grip compared to a new tire as our wet tires offer maximum grip at the very beginning of their life.”
 
No Factory Honda or Yamaha riders tried the hard rear slick over the race weekend at Assen. Was this due to the weather conditions or some other factor?
 
“The weather conditions on the Thursday at Assen were well suited for the hard specification rear slick, but as it was the first day of practice, the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders preferred to use the medium rear slick to assess grip levels and find a base bike setup. This is quite a normal procedure. Some of the riders planned to evaluate the hard rear slick during practice on Friday, but the weather was much cooler and we had intermittent rain and in these conditions, the medium compound rear slick was the better choice. In any case, the difference between the medium and hard specification rear slicks provided for Assen are quite close, so if track temperatures for the race were towards the forty degree range, some riders would have selected this option.”

Related Topics: Assen, Bridgestone, Dutch TT, MotoGP

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Gary Sass is joining Point S North America following time at Kumho, Continental and Goodyear.
News

Point S Names Network Operations Manager for North America

Gary Sass has joined Point S North America as its first network operations manager. Sass will be responsibile for continuing the synergy between the Point S entities in the U.S. and Canada, and working to expand the company's network, partnerships and brand in North America.

News

Wegmann To Open New West Coast Distribution Center

Wegmann automotive USA Inc. is moving into a larger distribution facility to serve its West Coast customers. The company says the location in Phoenix will help improve fill rates and delivery services.

Kenda tires will run exclusively on Vore 2016 Roush Mustangs, Ford F-150 Raptors and Vore challenge racing trucks. 
News

Kenda Sponsors Off-Road Driving Experience

American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd.’s Kenda brand is the new tire sponsor of Vore Adrenaline Compound, an off-road driving experience based in Las Vegas, Nev.

Article

Dealers Hope New President Will be Good for Business

Each month we ask members of our National Advisory Council (NAC) a question or questions on a current hot topic. Recently we asked, “What effect do you believe Donald Trump will have on your business as president?” Here are some of their responses.

Service Line says its Renegade Model TMB4000 manual parts washer is a cost-effective way to wash parts without solvents.
Product

Service Line Has Manual Parts Washer

Service Line Inc.’s Renegade TMB 4000 manual parts washer for general repair cleaning is designed to be a practical alternative to washing parts with solvents.

Bosch says the Robinair AC1234-6 machine has a liquid refrigerant flushing function that flushes A/C systems or individual components using liquid refrigerant instead of harsh chemicals.
Product

Robinair Offers 1234YF Recover, Recycle, Recharge Machine

The Robinair AC1234-6 was the first commercially available fully automatic R1234YF machine to meet the SAE’s requirement for recovering, recycling and recharging vehicle A/C systems with the new refrigerant, according to Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.

Tire Factory moved its dealer meeting out of Oregon and planned new activities for dealers, including a visit to Octane Raceway and a timed pit crew challenge. Tiffany Fox prepares to lower the jack once her teammates from Point S J&J Tire & Auto Service in Helena, Mont., finish their tire installations.
Article

Point S Rebranding Exceeds Expectations

Tire Factory Inc. members have rebranded the vast majority of their 206 stores to the Point S banner at a breakneck pace. And leaders of the Oregon-based cooperative are unveiling new programs with two big hopes: the momentum of current members continues, and more independent tire dealers join their network.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!