Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Valencia
The 2015 Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana marks Bridgestone’s final Grand Prix as Official tire Supplier to MotoGP, bringing to an end a successful 14 year involvement in the premier class of motorcycle road racing for the world’s largest tire manufacturer.
For this year’s Valencia Grand Prix, Bridgestone has brought a revised tire allocation which includes an asymmetric front slick, the third time this specification of tire has been offered during the 2015 MotoGP season.
Valencia’s circuit offers tires little respite over the course of a lap due to its seemingly endless sequence of corners, so a good bike setup is important to ensure the most efficient use of the tires. The circuit’s unbalanced layout means more stress is placed on the left shoulder of the tires, so asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the left shoulder are offered here. Adding to the challenge is the likelihood of cool temperatures, which place further importance on the need of a good bike setup and tires with a wide operating temperature range.
Rear tire options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders at Valencia are the medium and hard compound rear slicks, while the Aprilia, Ducati, Suzuki and open class riders will be able to use the soft and medium compound rear slicks. The front slick options for Valencia are the extra-soft, soft and asymmetric front slicks, the three options ensuring maximum safety and performance in what are expected to be generally mild conditions.
The main wet tire for the Valencia Grand Prix is the soft compound wet tire, with the alternative, hard compound wet tire also available as an option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The arrival of this weekend’s Valencia Grand Prix comes with some mixed emotions. On the one hand I am excited to see the conclusion of what has been an enthralling championship battle, yet on the other hand, the race marks Bridgestone’s final race as Official tire Supplier to MotoGP. This brings with it feelings of both sadness and a great sense of accomplishment, as I am extremely proud of what Bridgestone has achieved in the past fourteen years in the MotoGP World Championship. However, our job isn’t over yet and we will give one hundred percent this weekend to ensure we provide the highest levels of product and service until the very end of our tenure as the exclusive tire supplier to the series. We have a sell-out crowd at Valencia and the atmosphere will be electric, so everyone at Bridgestone is looking forward to our final outing supporting what we truly believe to be the greatest show on earth.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“The traditional venue for the season finale, the Valencia circuit offers only moderate grip and has a relatively low-speed layout that has a significant difference in the number of right and left-hand turns. The frequency of corners at this circuit means the tires spend a lot of time at high lean angles and have little chance to cool down over the course of a whole lap. As this race is the last of the season, low ambient and track temperatures are usually encountered, suggesting the use of softer compounds, however harder compounds are needed on the left shoulder of the rear tires because of the temperature generated by the long, sweeping left-hand turn 13. This year at Valencia we’re once more offering an asymmetric front slick as one of our front tire options, this specification of tire will deliver a good combination of safety, performance and control for this tight and technical circuit.”