End In Sight For Bridgestone As MotoGP Tire Supplier?

Big changes look to be coming to MotoGP's spec tire system. Now in the sixth season of having a single official supplier, MotoGP is moving closer to seeing the number and variety of tires drastically expanded. With the contract with Bridgestone due to expire at the end of 2014, there is even a serious chance that a new manufacturer could take over from the Japanese tire firm.

A report in the latest issue of the Spanish magazine Motociclismo (available via the Zinio platform), the magazine is reporting that Dorna is looking to change the way that the single tire supply works. Dorna representative Javier Alonso told Motociclismo that negotiations had been opened with several suppliers, including Michelin, Pirelli and Dunlop, as well as current supplier Bridgestone. Dorna had presented Bridgestone with a list of conditions drawn up by the Safety Commission, the liaison body in which the riders discuss safety issues with representatives of Dorna, hosted by safety officer Loris Capirossi.

Though Alonso does not explicitly name the conditions, he does give Motociclismo some context behind their thinking. The idea is to expand the range of tires available at each race, as it has been all too common in recent history for riders to turn up at a particular track only to find that just one of the two compounds available will work. Though the Bridgestone tires have proven to be excellent in terms of both grip and durability, Alonso said, they had proven to be 'difficult for riders to understand sometimes.' The spec tire has also been blamed for creating problems for Ducati. The current tire forces manufacturers to pursue a particular direction in chassis design, which has favored Yamaha and Honda. The intention is not to force Bridgestone to design tires especially for each manufacturer, as Pirelli does in World Superbikes, but to at least provide a much greater spectrum in terms of carcass stiffness and compounds. Senior Ducati personnel believe that a large part of their understeer could be solved by simply having a very different tire available. 

Suzuki Press Release: MotoGP Test Concludes At Austin, De Puniet Posts 2'05.9

Suzuki wrapped up their test at Austin on Wednesday, with Randy De Puniet concluding with a best lap of 2'05.85. Below is the press release they issued after the test:


SUZUKI MOTOGP CONCLUDES AUSTIN TEST

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 17.

The Suzuki MotoGP Test Team has concluded its Circuit of the Americas test at Austin in Texas after finding new direction and improvements to take to its next test in Argentina at the end of the month.

Test riders Randy De Puniet and Nobuatsu Aoki were again joined on-track by former World Champion Kevin Schwantz and shared the test with the Yoshimura Suzuki AMA Superbike team as track temperatures climbed to 39 degrees; slightly higher than the previous day, but not as high as the previous weekend’s MotoGP second round.

De Puniet completed a total of 62 laps of the 5,315m circuit with a best lap-time of 2’05.85; just-over half-a-second quicker than his previous day’s best time.

Year: 
2014

Casey Stoner: I Miss Racing, But Not Enough To Return

Casey Stoner will not be returning to MotoGP any time soon. In an interview with the Italian magazine Vogue, Stoner said that he wanted to spend more time with his family and experience life outside the paddock.

There has been a constant stream of rumors that Stoner could return to MotoGP almost since the day the Australian hung up his helmet. They have grown in intensity at several points in time, most notably when Honda announced that Stoner would be working for HRC as a test rider in 2013. HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto has made no secret that Honda would welcome the prodigal Australian back with open arms, and credible sources in Spain have reported that much work has been done to make a comeback possible, and to try to persuade Stoner to make a return.

News that Stoner was to attend the Austin round of MotoGP reignited a firestorm of further speculation that he could stage a comeback at some point in the future. That speculation was tempered by the fact that Stoner spent most of the weekend in Seattle, where he watched his friend Ryan Villopoto try to wrap up the 2014 Supercross title. Stoner made it to Austin on Sunday, where he paid a very low-key visit to MotoGP*, catching up with his former teammates.

Kevin Schwantz Tests Suzuki MotoGP Bike, Randy De Puniet Matches Pace Of Open Bikes

Suzuki's MotoGP test team took advantage of the presence of the MotoGP paddock at Austin to plan a test directly after the Grand Prix of the Americas. Under the watchful eye of team manager Davide Brivio, the team planned to have test rider Randy De Puniet put in three days of testing at a circuit the team had not yet tested the bike at, in a bid to gather more data ahead of their return to the series in 2015.

Unfortunately for Suzuki, very heavy hail and thunderstorms made testing extremely difficult on Monday, leaving the track very dirty and much slower than it had been for Sunday's race. But testing resumed in earnest on Tuesday, with Randy De Puniet running through testing electronics and another back-to-back test of the two chassis options Suzuki has been working on. De Puniet racked up a total of 56 laps on Tuesday, eventually putting in a lap of 2'06.41. That is roughly on pace with the Open class Honda RCV1000R machines, though De Puniet faced much worse track conditions than the Open class machines due to the aftermath of the weather.

Bridgestone Press Release - Masao Azuma Admits Bridgestone Puzzled By Extreme Front Tire Wear At Austin

As always after a MotoGP race, Bridgestone issued a press release containing their view of the race weekend. In this press release, Bridgestone's chief engineer Masao Azuma discusses the Japanese tire maker's experience of the Austin round of MotoGP. Azuma talks about the choice of the hard rear tire by Marc Marquez, and Bridgestone's hopes that the hard rear will see more use this season. But he also admits that Bridgestone has no ready explanation for the degradation of the front tire experienced by some riders, including Valentino Rossi. The Bridgestone press release appears below:

Americas MotoGP™ debrief with Masao Azuma

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)

The Americas Grand Prix at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas was won by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez for the second successive year. In second place was Dani Pedrosa on the other Repsol Honda RC213V while Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso surged through the field in the second half of the race to take third place for his maiden podium with the Italian manufacturer.

Round Number: 
2
Year: 
2014

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Marc Márquez: 'He’s playing'

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


Marc Márquez: “He’s playing”

If you are a MotoGP rider, may I suggest you don’t read the following, but if you insist on putting yourself through the pain, might I suggest cracking open a beer and then afterwards you can arrange an appointment with your doctor who may be able to subscribe a course of anti-depressants; say 60mg of Prozac or 20mg of Citalopram, just to keep your pecker up, that’s all.

If you are a MotoGP rider who doesn’t go by the name of Marc Márquez, the deeply depressing reality is that whatever you are doing out there is no longer enough. It’s like someone has changed the rules of the game and no one bothered to tell you and now it’s too late to catch up.

MSMA Agree To Freeze Electronic Development Ahead Of 2016 Switchover

With the MotoGP series due to switch over to standard software for the spec Magneti Marelli ECU in 2016, there comes a point at which it makes no sense for the factories to continue developing their own electronics. There is, after all, little point in spending money on software which will be discarded all the way to the last race of 2015, especially as the factories will need to start work on the shared electronics package for 2016 and beyond.

GPOne.com is reporting that the factories have finally agreed a date for an electronics freeze to commence. From the 2015 Assen round of MotoGP, all development of factory software will be frozen, Ducati, Honda and Yamaha racing the rest of the 2015 season with the software they have developed up until that point. Ducati had initially opposed the software freeze, GPOne.com reports, but finally settled for the Assen date.

2014 Austin MotoGP Sunday Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams, the circuit and Bridgestone after Sunday's race at Austin:

Round Number: 
2
Year: 
2014

2014 Austin Moto2 And Moto3 Sunday Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's race in Austin:

Round Number: 
2
Year: 
2014

2014 Austin MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Of Cracking Under Pressure, And Accidental Tire Management

Normally it takes bad weather to shake things up in a MotoGP race. For most of the day, it looked like the rain was ready to start at any time, but in the end it stayed pretty much completely dry, bar a quick and meaningless shower just before the Moto2 race started. Regardless of what the weather decided to do, we still ended up with a bizarre MotoGP race anyway. The weirdness started even before the race had started, and continued pretty much all the way to the very last corner.

Jorge Lorenzo came to Texas knowing he faced an uphill challenge. Last year at the Circuit of the Americas, Marc Marquez had run away with the race, with only Dani Pedrosa able to follow. Lorenzo had put up a valiant struggle, but had been unable to prevent a Repsol Honda whitewash. In 2014, Lorenzo had come facing an even tougher task, if that were possible. After crashing out at the first race, Lorenzo knew he had to score as many points as he could without taking too many risks. He would have to find a very fine balance between pushing hard to try to catch – and who knows, maybe even beat – the Repsol Hondas, and ensuring he didn't risk ending up with a second zero to go with the crash at Qatar.

2014 MotoGP Championship Standings After Round 2, Austin, United States

MotoGP Championship standings for round 2, 2014

2014 Moto2 Championship Standings After Round 2, Austin, United States

Championship standings for round 2, 2014

2014 Moto3 Championship Standings After Round 2, Austin, United States

Championship standings for round 2, 2014

2014 World Superbike Championship Standings After Round 2, Aragon, Spain

Championship standings for round 2, 2014

2014 Aragon World Superbike Sunday Roundup: Racing At Breakfast Time Is Cold

With the shift to a 10:30 start, World Superbike now has to deal with colder temperatures in the mornings. Last year, the noon start meant the race was held at 22ºC compared to today's 16ºC, meaning tyres would play a big part and that settings from the first race would be invalid by the second.

Syndicate content

GTranslate