Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Sachsenring
Round nine of the 2015 MotoGP season takes place at Germany’s Sachsenring; a technical circuit with abrasive tarmac and fast left-hand turns that makes it one the most punishing tracks for tires.
With ten left-hand turns compared to just three right-handers, the Sachsenring is extremely punishing on the left shoulder of the tires. Conversely, the lack of right-hand turns means superior warm-up performance for the right shoulder of the tires is a key requirement at this circuit.
To provide a good balance between warm-up performance and braking and corner stability, Bridgestone will include its innovative asymmetric front slick in its tire allocation for the German Grand Prix – the first time this specification of front slick has been made available in 2015. The asymmetric front slick will be identified with a light blue stripe and will be offered alongside the symmetric soft and medium compound front slicks.
The asymmetric front slick for the German Grand Prix has been developed specifically for the unbalanced layout of the Sachsenring circuit. It features medium compound rubber on the centre section and left shoulder, with soft compound rubber on the right shoulder. The softer rubber on the right shoulder will come into effect when the riders reach a lean angle of approximately 30° to ensure optimum warm-up performance and edge grip in Sachsenring’s right-hand corners, especially the sweeping, high speed turn 11.
The high number of left-hand turns at Sachsenring means that all rear slick options are asymmetric with significantly harder rubber on the left shoulders. The rear tire allocation for the factory Honda and Yamaha riders is the medium and hard compound rear slicks, while the rest of the field can use the soft and medium compound rear slick options.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Our engineers enjoy the tire development challenge Sachsenring provides, and this year we will bring an asymmetric front slick to this circuit for the first time. Germany is a very important market for Bridgestone and so it is good for us to display our technical prowess in this region through the spectacle of MotoGP. We have had record crowds at many races this year and the attendance at Sachsenring has traditionally been one of the largest on the calendar, so we should be in for a highly-charged atmosphere at this year’s German Grand Prix.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“Sachsenring is a very demanding circuit for tires as it features long-radius corners where the bikes stay at high lean angles for long periods. In particular, the high-speed left-hand corners that feed onto the back and main straights generate a lot of temperature in the left shoulder of the rear tire. To meet the demands of this circuit, asymmetric rear slicks with much harder rubber compounds on the left shoulder are provided, while the softer compounds on the right shoulder help retain tire temperature for maximum safety in the slow right-handers. Our front tire options for this circuit include an asymmetric front slick which will be available at this challenging circuit for the first time. This asymmetric front slick will be available alongside the soft and medium front slick options to ensure the riders can sufficiently cope with a wide range of track and weather conditions.”