Bridgestone MotoGP Race Preview: Aragon
The next stop on the MotoGP calendar is Motorland Aragon; a varied circuit whose smooth tarmac, susceptibility to cool conditions, and combination of slower and faster sections presents a significant challenge for race tyre development.
At just over five kilometres in length, Aragon was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2010 and features a back straight almost one kilometre in length and a mixture of long sweeping corners and slower, tighter curves. The varied nature of the circuit requires a special approach to tyre selection, with two softer front slick compounds, the soft and medium options being offered alongside the extra-hard front slick. These three front tyre choices provide suitable options for what could be a potentially wide range of weather and track conditions at the Spanish circuit.
With the 1000cc MotoGP motorcycles having their first competitive outing at Aragon, asymmetric rear slicks will be offered for the first time at the circuit to deal with the increased forces generated by the larger displacement machines. The asymmetric rear slicks will be available in the medium and hard options and have slightly harder rubber on the left shoulder to cope with the long left-handers which impose a substantial load on the tyres.
The main wet tyre for Aragon will be the soft option, though as always limited numbers of an alternative wet tyre, which for this race is the hard option, will be made available to riders if required.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Aragon may be a recent addition to the MotoGP calendar but the standard of the circuit and facility means it has been quickly embraced by everyone in the paddock. There has been a significant amount of testing at Aragon this year which has enabled Bridgestone to assess tyre performance around the circuit with the 1000cc machines, while also providing the teams that tested here with valuable setup data for the upcoming race weekend. Based on our data from this year and previous races, we are now providing asymmetric rear slicks at Aragon and I am confident that this will give riders extra confidence around this technical track. The results from the last race at Misano mean that Jorge is well placed for this year’s title, but this season has shown us that anything can happen and with Dani’s strong record at this circuit, I believe the Spanish fans are in for another thrilling chapter in the championship fight.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This will be our third race at Aragon which is an interesting circuit as it features fast, sweeping sections as well as a series of slower corners. The tarmac surface is relatively smooth and slippery compared to other circuits, so the tyres need to provide good grip which suggests softer compounds. However, the long corners and some of the downhill braking points require greater stability and thus harder compounds, so tyre selection at this circuit is a balancing act.
“Generally, ambient temperatures at this time of year in the region are warm, though the elevation of the circuit means cooler temperatures are possible so we must consider warm-up performance when selecting the tyre allocation for this race. With this in mind, we are providing three front tyre choices at Aragon, the soft, medium and extra-hard compounds. The soft compound is available to give riders maximum edge grip and warm-up performance in exceptionally cool conditions. For the first time at Aragon we will also offer asymmetric rear slicks in the medium and hard options. These asymmetric rear slicks feature slightly harder rubber on the left shoulder to provide the required warm-up performance and the necessary stability and durability for the circuit’s faster sections.”