Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Aragon
Round fourteen of the 2014 MotoGP season takes place at MotorLand Aragon; a venue where variable weather conditions, long sweeping corners and hard braking zones create a challenge for tire development.
Measuring 5078 meters in length, Aragon is a technical circuit with a back straight almost one kilometer in length among a mixture of long sweeping corners and slower, tighter curves. The varied nature of the circuit and its susceptibility to cool weather requires a special approach to tire development. tires that warm-up quickly, and provide both good cornering grip and braking stability are required at this Spanish circuit.
The presence of a couple of long-radius left-hand corners at Aragon means that overall, the left shoulder of the tires are put under greater stress than the right. As a result, asymmetric rear slicks with slightly harder rubber compounds on the left shoulder are provided at this circuit. For the rear tire, the options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha are the medium and hard compound, while the Ducati and Open-class riders will have the soft and medium compound rear slicks available. The three front slick options at Aragon are the soft, medium and hard compounds. Owing to the smooth tarmac and possibility of cold weather, the main wet tire for Aragon is the soft compound option, although every rider will also be able to select a small number of the alternative, hard compound wet tire.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The MotorLand Aragon circuit is quite different to other venues on the MotoGP calendar as its remote, rural location belies its status as a thoroughly modern racing facility boasting a highly technical circuit. Although the championship cannot be decided at Aragon, I expect we will see a lot of interest in this race as at this stage of the season, so many riders are showing good form and there has been great racing all the way through the field. This is the last round before the three back-to-back races in the Far East and is the last chance for European fans to come to a race until the season finale at Valencia. With this in mind, I hope to see a big crowd at Aragon this weekend as going by the last few races, I am certain we will witness some exciting racing this weekend.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“MotorLand Aragon is a circuit with relatively smooth and slippery tarmac, similar to Misano, so there is a need for good grip levels which suggests softer compounds. However, there are also some long corners and some downhill braking points which require greater stability and thus harder compounds, so compound selection here 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 tire allocation for this race. Our rear slicks at this circuit are asymmetric with slightly harder rubber on the left shoulder to deal with the long, sweeping left-handers but overall the forces imposed on the right and left shoulder of the rear tires are quite balanced.”