Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Indianapolis
The third and final MotoGP round to be held in the United States this year takes place at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway; a circuit steeped in history that was introduced to the calendar in 2008.
The Indianapolis MotoGP course is 4.216 kilometers in length and incorporates three different elements which give it a unique flavor among the championship’s venues. The track incorporates part of the famous oval course, an infield section that was used when Formula 1 raced here, and also a short stretch of tarmac that was created for MotoGP. Overall, the circuit is tight and twisty which places an emphasis for good rear grip for accelerating out of the many slow corners.
The circuit runs in a counter-clockwise direction and there are ten left-hand turns compared to six right-hand turns, so asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the left shoulder are supplied at Indianapolis. The final section of the circuit through turns twelve to fourteen is a sequence of fast left-handers which generate very high rear tyre temperatures. To manage this extreme demand on the rear tyres, all rear slick options for this race are in Bridgestone’s heat-resistant construction.
Front slick compounds for Indianapolis are the soft and hard compounds. The soft compound offers greater edge grip on a track surface that can be quite slippery in places, while the hard compound option is designed for use when ambient and track temperatures reach high levels, which is a common occurrence at this circuit. The main wet tyre for Indianapolis is the soft compound option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“After the paddock enjoyed its Summer break, it is great to get the second half of the MotoGP season underway this weekend at such an iconic venue as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The championship is delicately poised and with three back-to-back races coming up, the next few weeks will be a major factor in deciding who will be this year’s MotoGP World Champion. Despite the lack of racing in the past few weeks, it has been a busy time for Bridgestone as after our latest success at the Suzuka 8 hours a couple of weeks ago, we have been supporting MotoGP tests both in Japan and Europe. At Indianapolis we will also be holding our second Bridgestone Golf Performance Challenge with MotoGP riders, IndyCar drivers and other racing personalities taking part in the event which will help raise funds for Riders for Health, so there will be a lot happening both on and off the track.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Indianapolis is comprised of three distinct parts, with an opening section that was designed specifically for MotoGP, the infield section that was used when Formula One raced here, while another part takes in the famous oval course. This characteristic creates different grip levels across the circuit, though a recent resurfacing of the track has taken place to try and make the tarmac more consistent. The layout of the circuit puts greater stress on the left shoulder of the tyres and in particular the section from turns twelve to fourteen generates very high temperatures on the left shoulder of the rear tyre. For this reason we supply asymmetric rear slick with harder rubber on the left shoulder to manage the character of this circuit. The rear slicks for Indianapolis are also in our heat-resistant construction to help manage the high tyre temperatures.”