News 16 Aug 2009

MotoGP: Bridgestone reports on Brno qualifying session


Using the harder front and the softer rear Bridgestone slicks to set his fastest lap, Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi claimed his fifth pole position of the season and his third consecutively from the last three races. This season there are no qualifying tyres, and so the field set their qualifying times on Bridgestone’s race tyres.

Rossi’s pole time was quicker than the fastest pole time at the Brno circuit, set by the Italian in 2006 when the field were using super-sticky qualifying tyres designed to last just a few laps, indicating the improvements in Bridgestone’s tyre technology and the circuit’s resurfaced tarmac alike. As the temperature was hotter than yesterday, the extra hard compound front Bridgestone slicks were the favoured choice for their increased durability in the heat and on Brno’s abrasive tarmac.

The softer rear option was the favoured choice for qualifying, although Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo demonstrated that the hard rear tyre performed equally well and thus, with its improved durability, it is likely to be the favoured choice for the race. Having topped the timesheets for most of the session, Lorenzo missed out on pole by just 0.05seconds and will start tomorrow’s race from second.

The Spaniard has started every race this season, his first in MotoGP on Bridgestone tyres, from the front row. Also using the harder rear Bridgestone slick on his fastest lap, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was third fastest to complete tomorrow’s front row and secure his fifth top-three start of the season.

Tohru Ubukata – Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

“The lap-time difference between the two slick tyre compounds was not so significant today because the track temperature was at a point at which both options performed equally well – not too hot for the softer tyres and sufficiently warm for the harder spec. Valentino was fastest using a harder front and softer rear, whereas Jorge and Dani were second and third using a harder rear so this shows that the two compounds have a degree of crossover. Based on this, tomorrow we can expect that the harder compound option will be the best choice for the race for both front and rear as the performance between softer and harder is very similar but the harder spec will give better durability over the race distance.”