Bridgestone MotoG Preview: Italy, Mugello
Italy’s Mugello Circuit hosts round six of the MotoGP championship and the venue is a favorite for riders and fans alike due to its stunning Tuscan setting and its fast, technical layout.
Mugello combines fast and slow corners with one of the longest straights on the MotoGP calendar. This straight is preceded by the sweeping Bucine corner which hurls the riders down the hill towards turn one at speeds of around 350km/h. The approach to turn one at San Donato features a severe braking zone that demands extremely high levels of stability and control from the front tire.
In addition to the heavy acceleration and braking zones, the flowing sections like Casanova-Savelli, Biondetti, and Arrabbiata 1 and 2, require very high levels of grip from the edge of the tire. With nine right-handed corners compared to just six left-handers, two of the rear slick options for Mugello - the soft and medium compound - feature harder rubber on the right shoulders compared to the left.
For the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, the rear slick tire options are the medium and hard compound rear slicks, while the other riders have the soft and medium compound rear slicks available. Bridgestone’s front slick tire options for the Italian Grand Prix are the soft, medium and hard compounds to ensure the riders have options to deal with a wide range of temperature and track conditions. As Mugello is quite demanding on tires, the main wet tire this weekend is the hard compound option, while the soft compound is the alternative wet tire option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Everyone in the MotoGP paddock loves coming to Mugello and it also holds a special place in the heart of fans as it is one the most spectacular circuits we visit. We have seen record crowds at a few rounds already this season and with Valentino leading the championship and Ducati battling for the podium at every round, I hope to see a huge Italian crowd lining the hills surrounding Mugello this weekend. Last year we saw a thrilling battle between Marc and Jorge, the two riders crossing the finish line within a tenth of a second of each other, and with so many riders on form this year let’s hope we see another fantastic fight at the Italian Grand Prix.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“Mugello is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and is tough on tires because of the high speed corners, elevation changes, harsh braking, and the track temperatures which often reach above 50 degrees Celsius. The Mugello tarmac is also high in grip and abrasive which further increases the technical challenge for us. Although hot weather is often experienced at this event, the circuit is located in mountainous terrain and so our tire allocation must also be able to deal with low temperatures, particularly in the morning sessions. The heavy braking demands a strong and stable front tire, whilst the high-speed corners require good stability and edge grip from the rear tire. Top speeds here are among the highest reached during the season and this puts significant strain on the center section of the rear tires.”