Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Valencia
The 2014 MotoGP season finale takes place at Valencia’s Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana, a tight and technical circuit with an unbalanced layout and a stadium-like atmosphere.
The Valencia circuit is 4005 meters in length and offers tires little respite over the course of a lap due to the constant corners, so a good bike setup is important to ensure the most efficient use of the tires. The circuit has an unbalanced layout with nine left corners compared to just five right corners, and this necessitates the use of asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the left shoulder at this venue. Adding to the challenge is the likelihood of cool temperatures, which place further importance on the need of a good bike setup.
Rear tire options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders at Valencia will be the medium and hard compounds, while the Ducati and Open-class riders will be able to use the soft and medium compound rear slicks. Bridgestone will offer three front slick options at Valencia, an extra-soft and soft compound symmetric front slick and also the soft compound asymmetric front slick.
The main wet tire for the Valencia Grand Prix is the soft compound wet tire, with each rider also being able to select up to two front and two rear tires in the alternative, hard compound wet tire.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The final race of the 2014 season takes place at Valencia and given the exciting races at this venue in the past few years, expectations are high that we will see another thrilling season finale this year. With Marc wanting to take the record for most premier-class wins in a season, Dani’s peerless record at Valencia and the fight for second place in the championship between Valentino and Jorge still wide open, there is a lot at stake this weekend. As soon as the curtain falls on the 2014 season, our preparations for 2015 will start the very next day as we will be supporting all the teams in the Valencia MotoGP test starting on Monday. The data we acquire at this test is very important as it gives us an indication of the performance characteristics of next year’s MotoGP machinery which will help steer our development for next year’s range of race tires.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“Valencia is the traditional season finale, and this circuit features a low-grip surface and a relatively slow layout with a large difference in the number of right and left-hand turns. The frequency of corners at this circuit means the tires spend a lot of time at high lean angles and have little chance to cool down over the course of a whole lap. As this race is the last of the season, low ambient and track temperatures are usually encountered, suggesting the use of softer compounds, however harder compounds are needed on the left shoulder of the rear tires because of the temperature generated by the last corner. This weekend marks the second time we are offering an asymmetric front slick option and given the unbalanced layout of the Valencia circuit, I expect this option to perform well this weekend.”