Bridgestone MotoGP Preview - Round 18: Valencia
The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia plays host to the final round of the season on 6 November and the MotoGP community travels there to honour and pay tribute to the memory of Marco Simoncelli.
The traditional season finale is a tight and twisty affair that does not give the tyres much rest during a lap, so it is very important that teams get their bikes setup to use them most efficiently. With little chance during a lap to cool down, excess sliding can easily generate excess tyre temperature and accelerate tyre wear. With one of the longest total race distances of the year, the tyres have 420 corners to contend with during the 30 laps.
Despite this, warm-up performance is crucial in the cooler European climes. In past seasons the temperature has fluctuated significantly year-on-year, so the conditions will play an important role in riders’ tyre compound choices. Inpreparation for the cold, Bridgestone have selected the soft and medium compound front slicks and the medium and hard rears, the same as used last year. The softer option rear also features the extra soft compound rubber in the
lesser-used right shoulder to maximise warm-up performance during opening laps.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“It is with heavy hearts that we travel to Valencia this week for the final round of the season, but that we continue racing is in itself a fitting tribute to Marco. He never gave up, so nor shall we. Marco will be with us all in our hearts and minds, and no doubt watching every step and at every corner, and I’m sure that the MotoGP family will honour Marco’s colourful and vibrant life suitably and appropriately, remembering the good times we all shared with him.”
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division“
Valencia is a slippery and technically complex circuit with a slow, twisty asymmetric layout. It’s what we could call a busy circuit because the number and layout of corners means that the tyres are always working and have very little
respite. If a bike’s setup isn’t optimised, it is easy to generate excess tyre temperature because of this, especially as softer compounds are generally required because of the cool ambient conditions.
“We will use the soft and medium front compounds but the front tyre must be strong to cope with the heavy braking loads into the first corner. With the low track temperature softer rear compounds are also required to provide good grip but a harder compound is needed in the left shoulder of the rear tyres because of the asymmetric layout and the tyre temperature generated by the long left-handed last corner. There are only a few tight right-handers so warm-up performance in the right shoulders is important, and this is why we are again using our extra soft compound in our softer option asymmetric rear tyres in Valencia.”