Bridgestone MotoGP Race Preview: Brno, Czech Republic
Round twelve of the 2012 MotoGP season sees the championship head to the Czech Republic and the idyllic Automotodrom Brno, a fast circuit with striking elevation changes that is splayed across wooded hillsides.
Brno’s layout features a series of straight sections broken up by a series of technical corners including four left-right corner combinations and the difference in elevation between the highest and lowest part of the circuit is almost 75 metres. As a result, the challenging downhill braking sections require front tyres with excellent stability, while superior rear grip is vital to provide good drive onto the straight parts of the circuit. Adding to the technical complexity of this circuit for tyres is the abrasive tarmac which demands high levels of durability.
There are a total of eight right-hand and six left-hand corners and though asymmetric rear slicks are provided at Brno, the loads imposed across the left, centre and right of the rear tyre are fairly similar at this circuit. The rear tyre options supplied at Brno are the medium and hard option asymmetric rear slicks, though the difference in rubber hardness between the left and right shoulders is not as great as at other circuits such as Indianapolis. Front slick options for the Czech Grand Prix are the soft, medium and extra-hard compounds.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The Brno circuit is one of the most impressive venues that MotoGP visits, both because of its forest setting and the wide, flowing nature of the circuit. Interestingly, the rider who has won at Brno for the last five years has gone on to win the MotoGP title and this reflects the Czech Republic Grand Prix’s importance in the fight for the world championship. Also, the Czech Republic Grand Prix for the last few years has had the highest number of race day spectators on the entire calendar, with 155,000 fans flocking to the circuit to watch the races on Sunday last year. This creates a fantastic atmosphere and I am sure we can expect a similar level of participation this year. This weekend will be another busy one for our technical team as we will be supporting teams in the post-race test on Monday where we will supply some experimental tyres as part of our ongoing tyre development program.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Brno is a rider favourite as it has a fast layout with a wide track and since being resurfaced in 2008 has good, consistent grip levels. This resurfacing has also resulted in the tarmac becoming very abrasive, so the circuit is now more demanding on tyres and requires harder tyre compounds, especially for the front which has to deal with considerable weight transfer under braking into the downhill corners. Many corners at Brno are high-speed and flowing and so the lateral loads generated are substantial, with the right shoulders of the rear tyres put under slightly more stress than the left.
“The medium speed corners require good shoulder stability and traction from the rear tyres on corner exit and it is also really important to find a good setup here, as excess sliding around this fast circuit can result in high levels of tyre wear due to the abrasive nature of the tarmac. Our front tyre allocation for Brno changes slightly this year with the medium and extra-hard options providing the necessary stability and durability needed for this circuit, while the soft option is offered in case of unexpectedly cool conditions. Rear tyre options remain the same as last year with the medium and hard asymmetric options being supplied.”