Stoner leads the way as Bridgestone’s wets get first workout since August
The first wet MotoGP sessions since Free Practice three for the Czech Republic Grand Prix on 13 August provided some interesting running today on the opening day of the season finale in Valencia.
This morning’s first free practice was damp after heavy early morning rain, meaning that all riders used Bridgestone’s wet tyres for the entire 45minute session. Casey Stoner finished fastest, ahead of Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and Ducati’s Valentino Rossi.
More rain fell at midday and left the track soaked for the second free practice session, and in these conditions it was Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista who shone, setting the fastest time of the session 0.34seconds ahead of Ducati’s Nicky Hayden with the satellite Pramac Ducati of Randy de Puniet in third.
The sun emerged towards the end of the second session and track conditions started to improve meaning that the laptimes got faster throughout, although the morning’s session was still the faster of the two. Parts of the circuit remained very tricky, such as the standing water on the entry to turn one which caught out Ben Spies and Karel Abraham, who was running at the front for most of the afternoon.
Dry weather is forecast for tomorrow but rain is expected all day on Sunday, potentially meaning the first wet race this season since the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in June.
Tohru Ubukata – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“We had two wet sessions today but the conditions in each were very different. In FP1 it started damp and slowly got drier towards the end, whereas in FP2 it was fully wet. What this means is that today we have been able to assess the performance of our soft compound wets in a very wide range of conditions and from this I can say that I believe durability and consistency are sufficient for race distance in anything from damp to full wet. This is important given that rain is forecast for Sunday.”