Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Jerez, Spain
MotoGP returns to its spiritual homeland of Europe as round four of the world championship takes place at Spain’s iconic Jerez circuit.
The flowing, 4.423 kilometer-long Jerez circuit provides some great overtaking opportunities that have set the scene for many memorable championship battles over the years.
Comprising eight right-hand and five left-hand corners, overall Jerez is one of the less severe circuits on tires, however a special approach to tire development is still required at this track. For this circuit, Bridgestone provides asymmetric rear slicks with slightly softer rubber on the left shoulder to offer better grip and warm-up performance e in the slower corners, while the harder right shoulders provide greater stability in the faster right-hand corners. Rear slick options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard asymmetric rear slicks, while the open class and factory concessions riders can use the soft and medium asymmetric rear slicks. With a wide range of track conditions possible at the Jerez, the front tire allocation for the Spanish Grand Prix is the soft, medium & hard compound front slicks.
The Jerez circuit is extremely abrasive when wet, so the hard compound option is the main wet tire this weekend, with the soft compound being the alternative wet option for the front tire and the extra-hard compound for the rear.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“We have had three exciting races to start the MotoGP season and with this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, we start the European leg of the championship. Jerez is one of the greatest venues on the calendar due to the flowing circuit layout and the hordes of passionate fans that make the pilgrimage to the circuit each year. It is a circuit where Honda have won the last three years, but this year with so many manufacturers exhibiting strong performance it is hard to pick a winner this weekend. As we are racing in Spain, I hope that both Marc and Dani are fit to ride for the Repsol Honda Team at Jerez in front of their adoring fans.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport tire Development Department
“Jerez is a track with a varied layout that includes both fast and slow corners, so for this circuit we need to provide tires with a balanced character to provide good handling in every situation. At this circuit we provide asymmetric rear slicks with softer rubber on the left side to provide better grip and warm-up performance in the left-hand corners, while the harder rubber on the right shoulder offers more stability in the sequence of right-handers from turn nine to twelve. The track surface is smooth yet can be abrasive so as well as good grip and stability, our tire allocation for this circuit must have high levels of durability. Another challenge is that ambient conditions during the race weekend are historically hot, so our tire allocation for Jerez needs to be able to perform in excessive track temperatures.”