Bridgestone MotoGP Preview - Round 2: Americas
Round two of the 2015 MotoGP season takes place at the stunning Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas; a technical circuit that features the longest straight on the calendar and significant elevation changes.
In addition to its 1.200 kilometer long back-straight, the Circuit of the Americas incorporates every type of corner into its 5.515 kilometers with heavy braking zones, elevation changes and a combination of slow and fast turns, creating a significant challenge for the riders and tires. The section from turns three to ten is particularly challenging, as the numerous changes of direction in quick succession demand very high levels of front-end feel and optimal bike balance.
Although there are more left-hand than right-hand corners at COTA, the presence of some fast right-hand corners generate high tire temperatures and overall, the layout places similar loads on both shoulders of the tires. For this year’s Americas Grand Prix, only one of the three rear slick options, the medium compound, is asymmetric and has a softer compound on the left shoulder, while both the soft and hard compound rear slicks are symmetric in construction. The rear slick options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard compound, while the rest of the field has access to the soft and medium compound rear slicks. High levels of front-end feel and stability are critical at COTA and this year Bridgestone is offering three front slick compound options - soft, medium and hard – to ensure consistent performance over a wide range of weather and track conditions.
The main wet tire for the Americas Grand Prix is the soft compound, while every rider will also have access to up to two sets of wet tire in the alternative, hard compound.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Although this is only the third time MotoGP has visited the Circuit of the Americas, this venue has already established itself as one of the highlights of the season due to its exceptional track layout and facilities. This Grand Prix has been dominated by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez since its inception on the calendar in 2013, but as we saw at Qatar many riders are posing a threat to his recent dominance, so I expect we will have another close contest this weekend. We have an expanded tire allocation at this year’s Grand Prix of the Americas, with three front slick options available to each rider, while our rear tire allocation has also been revised this year for this circuit to offer more balanced performance at this demanding circuit. Amid all the excitement of the coming weekend, I’d like to extend my best wishes to Dani Pedrosa in his efforts to rectify his arm pump problem, and I hope to see him back on his bike very soon. I would also like to welcome Hiroshi back into the MotoGP paddock as he replaces Dani during his recovery.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport tire Development Department
“The impressive Circuit of the Americas is a demanding track for tires. COTA is run in a counter-clockwise direction and is technical with a mix of tight, slower corners and faster, more open sections. These features combine to place a great importance on front-end feel, as being able to quickly change direction is important here. Therefore our front tires need to provide good grip characteristics with plenty of stability. The rear tires must also provide good drive out of the slower corners. Overall the circuit places similar strain on the left and right shoulder of the tires, but the presence of some fast right-hand corners means in certain sections of the track means the right shoulder of the tires are placed under considerable stress.”