Bridgestone today issued their customary post-race debrief after the latest round of MotoGP. This press release is of particular interest, as in it, Masao Azuma addresses the issue of the new tarmac at Misano, and how it, and the highly changeable weather conditions during the race, affected tires and tire allocations. The press release appears below:
San Marino and Rimini MotoGP™ debrief with Masao Azuma
Wednesday, September 16 2015
Bridgestone slick options: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft & Hard (Symmetric) & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre options: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
The 2015 San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix was subjected to variable weather resulting in almost the whole field changing bikes twice over the twenty-eight lap contest. In the end, Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez won the race ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith in second place, and Marc VDS rider Scott Redding who claimed a maiden MotoGP podium by finishing in third place.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and others after the thrilling race in Misano:
Press releases after Sunday's races at Misano:
Racers are gamblers. The helmet designs featuring dice, cards and other gambling paraphernalia bear witness to that. They have to be gamblers, a willingness to take risks is a prerequisite to being fast on a motorcycle, running the odds through your mind and betting the house on your own ability to get the upper hand. Sometimes the gamble pays off, and when it does, the rewards are bountiful. Other times, however, you lose, leaving you a hard, hard row to hoe.
There are gambles to be taken at every MotoGP race, but Misano turned into the biggest casino the series has ever seen. Rain which came after the start then stopped again meant gambling on the right time to come in for tires – twice, once to go from slicks to wets, once to go from wets to slicks – left some riders reaping rich rewards, while others were left with empty hands. Come in too late for wets, and you could lose 10 seconds wobbling round on a wet track on slicks. Come in too late for slicks, and you could lose 10 seconds or more a lap trying to find grip on wet tires as they were tearing themselves apart. Be too cautious, as Cal Crutchlow did, and you could end up way down the finishing order. Push too hard too early, as Jorge Lorenzo did, and you could end up in the gravel.
That the rain came at all was a surprise. The forecast had been for hot and sunny weather on Sunday, as temperatures climbed through the weekend. It was only on Sunday morning that the first signs of trouble showed up, with rain and thunderstorms predicted for the afternoon. Moto3 and Moto2 went off without a hitch, but as the MotoGP bikes headed out on their sighting laps, it was already spotting with rain. That spawned panic in the pit lane, with teams checking set up, and sometimes radically changing it on the spot. Front springs were being rapidly swapped, and at Suzuki, a new shock went into Maverick Viñales' wet bike.
Jorge Lorenzo in pole position, changed tyres on the grid while his teammate Valentino Rossi lined up to his right, with Marc Marquez splitting the pair, with wings on his bike. Would it rain, just to add yet more excitement?
Back-flipping Frenchman Johann Zarco, leading the title chase by eighty-five points, sits on pole position, but the fight for second place between Alex Rins and Tito Rabat is still very much undecided.
Enea Bastianini on pole position started the race seventy points behind championship leader Danny Kent. He was the only rider at the front to fit a soft front tyre for the 23 lap race.
2015 Misano Saturday Round Up: The Prospect Of A Furious Fight, Mind Games Which Weren't, And Three Stop Strategies
Remember Brno? A scintillating qualifying left Jorge Lorenzo on pole, with Marc Márquez beside him and Valentino Rossi filling out the front row. Race pace for the three was very similar, and the fans were left with the mouthwatering prospect of a thrilling race on Sunday. They were disappointed. Jorge Lorenzo surged to the lead off the line, and shaking off Marc Márquez, disappeared into the distance, winning comfortably. The battle royal promised by free practice never materialized, and we were all left with a hollow feeling of disappointment, no matter how brilliant Lorenzo's victory was.
Hence my reluctance to play up the prospect of a good race at Misano. The ingredients are the same. The same three riders on the front row, in the same order. The same comparative strength in race pace, Lorenzo and Márquez very close – in this case, running several low 1'33s in FP4 – while Valentino Rossi a couple of tenths behind. The sort of gap he and his crew usually manage to find on Sunday morning, leading to the suspicion that what they find is Rossi's insatiable desire to race to win, a setting that has been known to be good for up to three quarters of a second a lap in the distant past. This has all the makings of a classic race, but that is no guarantee of that actually happening.
Valentino Rossi expressed the fears of everyone, except perhaps Jorge Lorenzo. "Usually at the beginning of the race Jorge is always very strong," he told the press conference. "Especially when he has this pace like in this weekend. For sure he will start and he will push from the first corner very strong. Usually also Marc is able to stay with him. So it’s crucial try to stay with them in the first laps. And after you can see what’s happen, if you are close. If you are already far it’s already finished." Dani Pedrosa, starting from fourth on the grid, saw something similar. "I think one of the keys is the beginning," he told us. "When [Lorenzo] puts his rhythm it is hard to do his style on the track, how he rides the bike is quite different. So when he has more free room to race, he is faster."