Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Silverstone
Round twelve of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship takes at the Silverstone circuit in the United Kingdom, where high speeds and low temperatures combine to create a unique challenge for tire development.
The longest circuit on the calendar, Silverstone features ten right-hand and eight left-hand corners, so asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulders are developed for this circuit. The circuit has a high average speed so developing tires that strike the best balance between warm-up performance and outright grip is essential. Given the likelihood of cool temperatures, all rear slick options at Silverstone feature Bridgestone’s extra-soft or soft rubber compound on the lesser-used, left shoulder for maximum warm-up performance and grip. The rear tire options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha’s are the medium and hard compound, while the Ducati and Open-class will be allocated the soft and medium compound options.
The high speeds of the Silverstone circuit put a premium on good cornering and braking stability from the front end, so the front tire options provided at this circuit – the extra-soft, soft and medium compounds - are selected to give the best balance of warm-up performance, stability and grip. The main wet tire for the British Grand Prix is the soft compound; although every rider may also be select a maximum of two front and rear wet tires in the alternative, hard compound as well.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Silverstone is an incredibly fast circuit and as we saw last year, has the potential to create some brilliant racing. This is a challenging circuit in terms of tire development as we often get cool, unsettled weather but at the moment the forecast for Sunday is fine and dry weather. The British Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the season with many exciting things happening on and off-track, including the annual Day of Champions and MotoGP auction held by Riders for Health which Bridgestone is proud to support again this year. Jorge has won three of the last four races at Silverstone, so I expect that he and Valentino will present a strong challenge to the Repsol Honda pair of Marc and Dani who between them have won every race so far this year.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“The strong possibility of cool, wet weather combined with the high loads the Silverstone circuit imposes on tires presents a unique technical challenge for us. The circuit is very fast and there are some high lateral loads through corners such as Maggotts and Becketts, but there are also some areas of heavy braking such as for Stowe which place a high strain on the centre section of the front tire. Track temperatures here are usually quite low, so warm-up performance is very important, especially on the left side which is used less. The layout requires asymmetric rear tires to balance the demands placed on each side of the rear tire and regulate tire temperature.”