Bridgestone MotoG Preview: Catalunya
The fast and challenging Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosts round seven of the 2015 MotoGP season and the Montmeló circuit is set to thrill riders and fans alike with its array of high speed corners.
The high speed sections of the 4.7 kilometer circuit see the MotoGP riders reach high lean angles for long periods of time, which combined with harsh braking zones and high ambient temperatures means that the Catalan Grand Prix is one of the most severe races for Bridgestone’s MotoGP tires.
Such is the difference in force imposed on the right and left shoulders of the rear tires at this circuit, that Bridgestone provides asymmetric rear slicks with rubber compounds up to two steps harder on the right shoulder compared to the left. Meanwhile, the front tire allocation has to provide good braking stability for the hard braking zones at the end of the straights, with excellent edge grip for the fast, sweeping corners.
Rear tire options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders at Montmeló are the medium and hard compound rear slicks, while the rest of the field will be allocated the soft and medium compound rear slicks. The front slick options for this weekend are the soft, medium and hard compound. Given its severity on tires, the Catalan Grand Prix is one of just four events on the calendar where the main wet tire allocated to riders is the hard compound specification.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“MotoGP returns to Spain this weekend at one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This circuit has fast and flowing sections that help create exciting racing and in recent times, the 2007 and 2009 races here stand out as being particularly memorable with the winning margin being less than one tenth of a second. We often experience very hot weather at Montmeló and when conditions are hot, this event becomes even more demanding for the riders, machinery and tires. After the race, we will be supporting teams in a MotoGP group test at the circuit as we continue to invest in our MotoGP program for the 2015 season. This weekend we will also be hosting our annual Bridgestone Kart Challenge where media teams go head-to-head in an endurance kart race. This event continues to grow in popularity and as always we look forward to welcoming the media and MotoGP riders to this fun event on Friday.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya features many long, sweeping corners where the riders reach high lean angles for long periods of time. Most of these long-radius corners are right-handers, and overall there are eight right turns compared to just five left-hand corners so we provide asymmetric slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulder at this circuit. The long-radius corners generate very high tire temperatures and help make this circuit one of the most severe on the calendar for our tires. Adding to the challenge, the grip level of the track surface is not that high so we need to ensure the tires have good edge grip and braking stability, while also being resistant to overheating. Our front tire allocation for this circuit needs to provide the riders with good edge grip and stability to ensure high performance and safety in the high speed sections of this track.”