Bridgestone MotoGP Preview: Indianapolis
Round ten of the 2014 season sees MotoGP return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway although this year, the home of American motorsport unveils a new layout to kick-off the second half of the championship.
The revised Indianapolis MotoGP course is 4.170 kilometers in length and features a re-surfaced infield section which should yield more consistent grip levels for the riders. Three sections of the track has had modifications made to the layout; turns 2-4, turns 7-9 and turns 15-16. The overall effect is that some of the tighter corners have been opened up with the aim of improving rider safety, as well as the quality of racing at this famous venue. Indianapolis is one of the few circuits on the calendar that is run in a counter-clockwise direction, and features ten left-hand turns compared to six right-hand turns so asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the left shoulder are supplied here.
The Indianapolis circuit is quite severe on rear tires and in particular, the section of left-handers through turns twelve to fourteen generates very high rear tire temperatures. The circuit features a ‘stop-and-go’ layout with slow corners separated by short straight sections which place an emphasis on good rear traction and braking stability.
Rear slick options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard compound, while the Ducati and Open-class riders are allocated the soft and medium compound rear slicks. Front slick compounds for all riders at Indianapolis are the soft, medium and hard compounds. The main wet tire for Indianapolis is the soft compound, although every rider will be able to also select up to two front and rear wet tires in the alternative, hard compound option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“After a four week break from racing, there is no better place to get the second half of the MotoGP season started than Indianapolis; a venue steeped in history, in a city that holds motorsport very close to its heart. There is always a great atmosphere throughout the whole of Indianapolis when MotoGP comes to town and it’s always a pleasure visiting here. The circuit has been re-surfaced and the layout has changed slightly and this will hopefully make things easier for riders at what is a tight, but technical circuit. Indianapolis is also the venue for our annual Bridgestone Golf Performance Challenge and I once again look forward to welcoming the riders and media attending this event, which is an enjoyable way to get back into the swing of the Grand Prix season.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“A recent re-surfacing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway means that there’s only a single type of tarmac on the infield section, whereas in previous years there were a few different types of tarmac which caused variable grip levels for riders. The circuit has also had some corners modified for this year, but overall the circuit still retains its usual character with many low-speed corners. The layout of the circuit puts greater stress on the left shoulder of the tires and the run from turns twelve to fourteen generates very high temperatures on the left shoulder of the rear tire. To ensure adequate temperature resistance and durability, we supply asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the left shoulder at this circuit. The front slick compounds for Indianapolis are from the harder end of our compound range for maximum durability and braking stability at what is a ‘stop-and-go’ circuit.”