Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Aragon
Spain’s Motorland Aragon hosts round fourteen of the season and the circuit’s combination of variable weather, sweeping corners and hard braking zone requires a tire allocation that can adapt to every situation.
Measuring just over five kilometers in length, Aragon is a technical circuit with a back straight almost one kilometer long and a mixture of long sweeping corners and slower, tighter curves. The varied nature of the circuit and its susceptibility to cool weather demands a tire allocation which offers exceptional warm-up performance and cornering and braking stability.
The presence of a number of long-radius left-hand corners at Aragon means that overall, the left shoulder of the tires are put under greater stress than the right. As a result, two of the rear slick options for this circuit are asymmetric with slightly harder rubber on the left shoulder. The rear slick options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha are the medium and hard compound asymmetric rear slick, while the remaining entrants have a symmetric soft and asymmetric medium rear slick available. The three front slick options at Aragon are the soft, medium and hard compounds to ensure rider safety in a variety of temperatures.
Owing to the smooth tarmac and possibility of cold weather, the main wet tire for Aragon is the soft compound option, although every rider will also have the alternative, hard compound wet tire as an option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The Aragon Grand Prix is quite an important race in terms of the championship as every rider wants a good result to motivate them ahead of the three back-to-back races in the Far East. We could see from last year’s race that the location of Motorland Aragon makes it susceptible to variable weather which makes tire performance even more of a focus during the weekend. Our tire allocation for this weekend is developed to ensure the riders have suitable options for every possible weather condition so we are well prepared for whatever the weather brings. With the championship battle between Valentino and Jorge so finely poised, I would expect that we will see yet another circuit attendance record broken this weekend.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“Motorland Aragon is a circuit with relatively smooth and slippery tarmac so there is a need for good mechanical grip which suggests softer compounds. However, there are also some long corners and some downhill braking points which require greater stability from the tire, which generally requires harder compounds, so tire selection here is a balancing act. Generally, ambient temperatures at this time of year at Aragon are warm, but the elevation of the circuit means cooler temperatures are also possible, last year’s race for example saw track temperatures of only twenty degrees Celsius. This means that warm-up performance is also an important consideration when developing tires for the Aragon Grand Prix.”