Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Argentina
MotoGP returns to South America this weekend as round three of the 2015 season visits Argentina’s Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo for a second time following the circuit’s debut on the calendar last year.
The 4806 metre long Termas de Río Hondo circuit is characterised by numerous fast, long-radius corners that not only create exciting racing, but result in one of the highest average speeds in MotoGP. The high speeds, hard braking zones and high camber angles present in some corners results in this circuit being one of the more severe for tires, with Bridgestone developing a new extra-hard specification rear slick specifically for this circuit.
The Rio Hondo circuit has an unbalanced layout with nine right-hand corners compared to just five left-handers. However, the left-hand corners tend to be more severe in nature than the right-handers and in particular corners such as turn six and eleven generate high tire temperatures, yet the rate of wear on the right shoulder is greater due the circuit having more right-hand corners.
Rear slick tire options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the hard and extra-hard rear slick, while the remaining MotoGP riders have access to the medium and hard compound rear slicks. The new extra-hard specification rear slick will be marked with a yellow line. With variable weather and track conditions a possibility at the Argentine circuit, the riders will be able to choose from three front slick options - the soft, medium and hard compound front slicks to ensure optimum performance over the whole race weekend.
The main wet tire for the Argentina Grand Prix is the soft compound and every rider will also be able to select up to two front and rear tires in the alternative, hard compound.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Following a successful MotoGP race at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit last year, I am happy to be back in South America again as this is one of Bridgestone’s key markets and the region has a rich motorsport heritage. The Argentinian people embraced the race last year and I hope that we see another large attendance for the second Grand Prix held at this great venue. The circuit itself is fast, flowing and demanding on tires and the data we acquired last year has enabled us to develop a revised tire allocation for this year’s race, including a new extra-hard specification rear slick. I am looking forward to seeing how our new tire allocation for this circuit performs, and as the first two races have resulted in some great racing, I hope we will see another close and exciting contest this weekend.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport tire Development Department
“The Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo was a new addition to the calendar last year and is one of the harshest circuits on the calendar for tires. This circuit has a high average speed with some sections featuring high-camber angles, while corners like turn six are large radius, high-speed corners that generate very high tire loads. The circuit is interesting in that although there are nine right-handed corners compared to five left-handed corners, the left shoulder of the tire experiences higher temperatures than the right shoulder, due to the left-handers generally being faster. The tire allocation for this race uses harder rubber compounds than other circuits to ensure high levels of durability, stability and heat resistance. This weekend marks the debut of extra-hard rear slick which will be made available to the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders.”