Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Silverstone
Round twelve of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship takes place in the United Kingdom, with the fast and flowing Silverstone circuit welcoming riders at the end of a grueling run of three back-to-back races.
This year’s British Grand Prix holds special significance for Bridgestone as it marks the 200th MotoGP start for the Japanese tyre manufacturer.
Silverstone is the longest circuit on the MotoGP at 5.9 kilometres in length and features ten right-handed corners compared to eight left-handers, making the circuit slightly harsher on the right shoulder of the rear tyres than the left. However, the circuit’s susceptibility to cool weather means the main development focus for the asymmetric rear slicks at this circuit is to ensure good temperature retention in the lesser used, left shoulder of the rear tyres. The rear slick options at Silverstone feature Bridgestone’s extra-soft or soft rubber compounds on the left shoulder for maximum warm-up performance and grip. The right shoulders of the rear tyres use either the soft or medium compound rubber to strike the best balance between warm-up, grip and durability.
The high corner speeds of the Silverstone circuit also put a premium on good cornering stability from the front end, so the front tyre options provided at this circuit – the soft and medium compounds - are selected to give the best balance of warm-up performance, braking and cornering stability. The main wet tyre for Silverstone is the soft compound option which offers the best grip in cold and wet conditions.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“This weekend is an important race for the championship as Marc seems unstoppable at the moment and we all wait with great anticipation to see which rider can challenge his record-breaking run. It is also a landmark occasion for Bridgestone, as the British Grand Prix will mark our two-hundredth MotoGP start. This is a significant event for us and looking back at our first race in 2002, it makes me proud to see how much we’ve accomplished over the last eleven seasons. We entered MotoGP with the purpose of establishing Bridgestone as a world leader in developing motorcycle tyre technology and I am proud of everything we have achieved in fulfilling this goal. I’d like to thank all the riders and teams we’ve worked with over the years and Dorna, IRTA and the FIM as it is because of the great support we have received from everybody since entering MotoGP that we have been able to share in such great success. ”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This year the British Grand Prix will be held later in the year, in August instead of June, but even so there is a strong possibility of cool weather which makes the warm-up performance of the tyres very important. This cool weather combined with the high loads the Silverstone circuit imposes on tyres means tyre development for this circuit is quite challenging. The circuit is very fast and there are some corners such as Maggotts and Becketts which place high lateral loads on the tyres, and also some areas of heavy braking such as for Stowe which place a high strain on the centre section of the front tyre. Track temperatures here are usually quite low, so warm-up performance is very important, especially on the left side of the tyre which is used less. The layout requires asymmetric rear slicks with softer rubber on the left shoulder to balance the demands placed on each side of the rear tyre and regulate tyre temperature.”