Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Sachsenring
Round eight of the 2013 MotoGP season takes place at Germany’s Sachsenring; a slow yet technical circuit whose combination of abrasive tarmac and fast left-hand turns make it one the most punishing tracks for tyres.
With ten left-hand turns compared to just three right-handers, the Sachsenring is extremely punishing on the left shoulder of the tyres and is a circuit where an optimal bike setup is crucial to achieve a strong result.
The imbalance in number of left and right-hand turns at this circuit means asymmetric rear slicks are supplied. However the large variance in temperatures generated on the shoulders of the tyres due to the many successive left-hand corners means the difference in compound hardness between the left and right shoulders of the rear slicks is greater than at other circuits. As with other tracks that are deemed to be particularly harsh on tyres, all rear slicks for the German Grand Prix will be Bridgestone’s heat-resistant ‘Special Construction’ specification.
In the past, race weekends at Sachsenring have been subject to large variations in ambient temperature so the front tyre compound allocation provides an option for every track condition. The soft compound front slick will ensure superior warm-up performance in cool conditions, while the hard compound option affords maximum front-end stability for the fast sections of the circuit and better abrasion resistance when temperatures are warmer. The main wet tyre option for the German Grand Prix will be the soft compound wet tyre.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The German Grand Prix is an important race on the MotoGP calendar as it draws huge crowds and the tight layout of the Sachsenring has produced some dramatic races over the years. Dani has dominated this race recently and he is just one of many riders who are in top form at the moment, so the signs are promising that we will see a closely-fought contest on Sunday. We are getting close to the halfway mark of the season, and I think that the results from the next couple of races will be significant in the fight for this year’s championship title. It has been a couple of very busy weeks with the Dutch Grand Prix and then what was a successful MotoGP test in Argentina, and now I am looking forward to returning to Germany as it is an important market for Bridgestone and the local fans are very passionate about their motorcycle racing.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Sachsenring is a very demanding circuit for tyres as it features long radius corners in which the bikes stay at large lean angles for long periods. In particular, the high-speed long left-handers that sweep onto the back straight and main straight generate a lot of temperature in the left shoulder of the rears. To meet the demands of this circuit, asymmetric rear slicks with much harder rubber compounds on the left shoulder are provided at this circuit, while the softer compounds on the right shoulder help retain tyre temperature for maximum safety in the slow right-handers. Our front tyre options will ensure good warm-up and grip for the cool morning sessions, and maximum front-end stability when the pace quickens. This is a short circuit with a relatively low average speed, but the stress placed on the tyres in conjunction with high tyre wear means finding a good bike setup, as well as a riding style that uses the tyres most effectively are crucial to getting a decent result here.”