Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Phillip Island
Round sixteen of the 2014 MotoGP season takes place at Australia’s Phillip Island, a circuit whose combination of a fast and flowing layout and a high-grip track surface create a grueling test for tires.
Measuring around 4.45 kilometers in length, the Phillip Island circuit is one of the most severe for MotoGP tires, with the final section through the left-handed turns 11 and 12 generating the highest tire temperatures recorded all season. Adding to the challenge, Phillip Island can experience extremely cool weather and with five right-hand corners compared to seven left-hand corners, the circuit has an unbalanced track layout. This results in a high variance in the forces imposed on the left and right shoulders of the tires.
To meet the demands of the Phillip Island circuit, Bridgestone is bringing a brand new allocation of tires. In addition to developing a new range of asymmetric rear slicks for Phillip Island following two tires tests at the circuit earlier this year, Bridgestone will also debut a new asymmetric front slick at the Australian Grand Prix to deliver even higher levels of rider safety.
The rear slick options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard compounds, while the Ducati and Open-class riders will get access to the soft and medium compound rear slicks. The front tire options for Phillip Island are the extra-soft and soft symmetric front slicks, as well as the new soft compound asymmetric front slick.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“This weekend MotoGP visits the fastest track on the calendar, Phillip Island, one of the favorite circuits for the riders and fans. We are bringing a brand new tire allocation to the Phillip Island circuit this year, including an asymmetric front slick for the first time in the championship, so it is an important weekend for Bridgestone. Although the MotoGP championship title was won by Marc in Motegi last weekend, there is still so much to look forward to in the remaining races this year, with the fight for second place in the championship table between Valentino, Dani and Jorge becoming incredibly close. The Australian fans love their racing, so I hope there will be a big crowd present this weekend on the island enjoying the sight of the world’s best riders taking on one of the world’s best circuits.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“Phillip Island is a fast and flowing circuit and the recent resurfacing has made the track the most demanding circuit on the calendar for tires. The last corner in particular involves high speed, large throttle openings and the riders at extreme lean angles for long periods, all of which combine to create the highest rear tire temperature experienced during the season. After our tire tests at Phillip Island this year, we will bring a brand new allocation of rear slicks to ensure maximum safety, performance and durability, and due to the significant difference in loads placed on the left and right shoulders of the front tire, our asymmetric front slicks will also make their debut this weekend in Australia. This brand new tire allocation features our latest technological developments and I am looking forward to see how it performs this weekend.”