News 27 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Bridgestone reports on dramatic British Grand Prix


Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso won his first race on Bridgestone tyres in mixed and incredibly challenging conditions at Donington Park.

Rain, a cold track temperature and very slippery tarmac all combined to make a treacherous but nail-biting race. The race was declared wet before the start but conditions were unpredictable as light rain started to fall following a morning of intermittent showers.

Only the Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden chose to start on Bridgestone’s wet tyres. Dovizioso opted for Bridgestone’s soft front and rear slicks and chased Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi closely in the opening laps.

After the latter fell, Dovizioso made the best use of his soft compound rubber to extend what by lap 23 was a 13.5second lead. Second was Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Colin Edwards, also using the soft compound slicks. He mounted a charge to climb from 15th position to fight a fantastic battle with third-placed Randy de Puniet, outbraking the LCR Honda rider on the last corner of the final lap. Edwards scored his first podium finish on Bridgestone tyres, and it was de Puniet’s first podium of the season.

De Puniet was one of only four riders to opt for the medium compound front slick, the harder of the Bridgestone options this weekend. In the cold and damp conditions, the soft Bridgestone slick was the favoured choice. As the rain continued to fall for the duration of the race, Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi, Chris Vermeulen and Mika Kallio entered the pits for their wet bikes, but remaining on Bridgestone’s slicks proved the winning tactic.

Tohru Ubukata – Bridgestone Motorsport – Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
“It was an incredibly challenging race for tyres and riders today with rain, cold temperatures and a circuit that is slippery anyway. I am very happy with the fact that our soft compound slick tyres delivered the performance they did in these conditions, and that they coped well with the rain. Towards the end of the race after the four riders had changed to wet tyres, the times show that our slick tyres and wet tyres could run at the same pace.

“Even though there was small rain throughout the race, our slick tyres performed well from start to finish. Tyre temperatures were low because of the low ambient temperature, the rain and the wind, but even so warm-up performance was reasonable; better than expected in these conditions. It was another fantastic race for spectators and one in which we saw four different leaders and some great battles throughout the field. I’d like to congratulate Andrea for his first MotoGP win, and Colin and Randy as it is great to see satellite teams on the podium.”

Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
“The race was very difficult because the temperature was very low and it was raining all race so was difficult to get the temperature in the tyre. It was very difficult for the first few laps, and especially in the last three laps I took a lot of risks. I had a light visor so was not easy to understand which parts were wet and dry. I saw Randy and Colin catching me and I pushed 100 per cent for the last few laps and managed the situation which is very important to me. I’m really happy to get a podium and especially the win here, the emotion is incredible!”