Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Silverstone
Silverstone in the United Kingdom plays host to round twelve of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, the circuit’s combination of a fast average speed and cool temperatures placing significant demand on tires.
The longest circuit on the calendar at 5.9 kilometers in length, Silverstone features ten right-hand and eight left-hand corners, so asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulders are provided. The softer rubber on the left shoulder of the rear tires ensures good heat retention in the lesser used, left shoulder for enhanced rider safety. The rear tire options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard compound, while the Aprilia, Ducati, Suzuki and open-class riders will be allocated the soft and medium compound rear slicks.
With numerous straight sections, Silverstone has a number of hard braking zones into corners such as Brooklands, Stowe and Vale which demand maximum stability from the front tire. This need for front-end stability is balanced by the requirement for good warm-up performance so Bridgestone provides the extra-soft, soft and medium compound front slicks for the British Grand Prix.
With cool and wet conditions always a possibility at Silverstone, the main wet tire option for the British Grand Prix is the soft compound which offers maximum warm-up performance and grip. In the case of warmer conditions, the riders will also be able to use the alternative, hard compound wet tire.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Silverstone is a circuit that often provides exciting racing with Jorge and Marc engaging in thrilling battles for victory here on our last two visits to this track. The circuit is both incredibly fast and susceptible to cool weather, so we have to consider many factors when developing our tire allocation for this race. The British Grand Prix is an event where there is a lot for the fans to see on and off the track, including the annual Day of Champions and MotoGP auction held by Riders for Health which Bridgestone is proud to support again this year. Jorge has an amazing record at Silverstone, winning three of the five races here, but I expect his rivals will do everything they can to challenge him for victory this weekend.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“Silverstone poses a considerable technical challenge for Bridgestone due to its fast average speed combined with the possibility of cool, wet weather. The fast nature of the circuit means that in sections such as Maggotts and Becketts the tires are put under high lateral loads, while areas like the entry to Stowe place a lot of strain on the centre section of the front tire. Track temperatures here are usually quite low, so warm-up performance is very important, especially on the left shoulder of the tires which is used less. The layout requires asymmetric rear tires to balance the demands placed on each side of the rear tire and regulate the overall tire temperature.”