Bridgestone Bows Out in Style with Record-Breaking Final Season as Official Tire Supplier to MotoGP
The 2015 MotoGP season culminated in a thrilling finale at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo clinching one of the most closely-contested championship battles in years and in the process, became the final world champion during Bridgestone’s tenure as Official Tire Supplier to MotoGP.
Last Sunday’s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana was Bridgestone’s swansong after a 14-year involvement in the premier class of the motorcycle road racing world championship, the last seven of which the Japanese tire company has been the exclusive tire supplier to the MotoGP class.
Bridgestone entered the MotoGP World Championship in 2002 and within a few years started to amass numerous victories as the ‘tire wars’ era entered a new phase of frenzied competition. Bridgestone’s momentum culminated in successive World Championship titles, first with Ducati’s Casey Stoner in 2007, followed by Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi in 2008, with the tire manufacturer ultimately becoming the first ever exclusive tire supplier in 2009.
The advent of the sole tire supply era in MotoGP from 2009 brought with it a change in Bridgestone’s development philosophy. Whereas the focus during the ‘tire wars’ era was on outright performance, the shift to single tire supply resulted in Bridgestone steering development towards providing tires with enhanced rider safety and accessible performance for all participating manufacturers.
Despite the focus on providing greater safety and predictability for riders, Bridgestone’s MotoGP tires continued to deliver extremely high levels of performance, enabling riders to break lap records every year. Continual development of construction and compound technologies, and the introduction of innovations such as asymmetric front slick tires have helped the MotoGP World Championship reach never-before-seen levels of performance.
During Bridgestone’s tenure as Official tire Supplier to MotoGP, numerous lap records have been broken year-on-year. This season alone, a total of 11 new race lap records, 13 qualifying lap records, and 12 total race time records were set on Bridgestone BATTLAX MotoGP race tires.
Bridgestone milestones in the MotoGP World Championship since 2002…
• First MotoGP race: 2002 Grand Prix of Japan, Suzuka Circuit
• First MotoGP pole position: 2002 Australian Grand Prix – Jeremy McWilliams, Proton Team KR
• First MotoGP podium: 2003 Rio Grand Prix – Makoto Tamada, Pramac Honda
• First MotoGP victory: 2004 Rio Grand Prix – Makoto Tamada, Camel Honda
• First MotoGP World Championship title: 2007 – Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team
• Second MotoGP World Championship title: 2008 – Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team
• Final MotoGP race: 2015 Valencian Community Grand Prix
• 242 Grands Prix contested; 159 victories, 464 podiums, 157 pole positions, 9 World Championship titles
…and in 2015
• Over 9000 BATTLAX tires were used during 18 Grands Prix and official group tests this season
• A total of 27 slick and wet tire specifications ensured optimum safety and performance to riders this year
• Highest track temperature in 2015: 55°C at the Catalan Grand Prix during the race
• Coldest track temperature in 2015: 13°C at the French Grand Prix at the start of Free Practice 3
• Eleven new MotoGP race lap records set on Bridgestone tires in 2015
• Thirteen new MotoGP qualifying lap records set on Bridgestone tires in 2015
• Twelve total race time records set on Bridgestone tires in 2015