Bridgestone To Bring Softer Compound For Four Races This Year

Bridgestone is to respond to the storm of criticism it has faced over the warm up procedure of its tires this year, by bringing a softer compound of tires to the Laguna Seca, Brno, Motorland Aragon and Motegi rounds of MotoGP. The Japanese tire manufacturer faced severe criticism from riders throughout the year over the difficulties they have in getting the tire up to operating temperature, with cold-tire crashes by Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow seeing the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha riders both breaking collarbones in consecutive races, and several other high-profile crashes disrupting practice and racing.

The plan - presented yesterday to all of the riders by Bridgestone representatives, then discussed in the Safety Commission - is for the current allocation of tires to be modified, with the harder of the two tires being dropped, and a softer tire being added. In effect, the old soft tire becomes the new harder option, and the new tire added to the allocation becomes the new softer option. The switch will be made for the four tracks which are most likely to throw up the coldest conditions, with Laguna Seca infamous for the morning mist which can cool the track, Aragon having very cold mornings, and the possibility of rain and cold temperatures at Brno and in Japan.

The irony of the situation is that Bridgestone have already improved the warmup procedures of their tires, but the improvement has been largely lost due to the much colder and wetter conditions that the MotoGP season has faced this year. Track temperatures at Assen were fully 15 degrees Celsius below temperatures last year, following a pattern that has been seen all season. The offer to bring in softer tires has been made to deal with the colder weather the MotoGP circus has faced.

The riders have met the offer with enthusiasm. Though they would much prefer to have a greater selection of tires - a preference expressed publicly by Marco Simoncelli, Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Cal Crutchlow and a host of other riders - but this is a solution that they can live with. "For me, the best choice would be to bring more choice of tires for each weekend, then when they check the temperatures, see which tires we can use," Simoncelli said at Mugello, "but this change for the four races is good."

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Comments

I personally would love to see the added dimension of tire management be brought back into racing. I think it makes for more interesting races and brings that extra bit of strategy back into the racers mind.

Total votes: 76

I remember marshaling there that year in the blazing sun, when the temperature was in the triple digits and the tarmac was peeling up from the heat. Three compounds there would be wise, just in case..

-jim

Total votes: 63

...is risky business, as Jim pointed out.
I've been there when it was bitter cold and fog, and when it was a furnace.

Committing to softer sets of tires *is* a good way to try and get rid of the cold and rain. :-D

Total votes: 59

Hanging out there by the Southern Ocean?
Why Brno and Aragon. I would've thought these two venues would've been of the more predictable variety.

Total votes: 57

Agree with you. Did they forget Phillip Island ? Seeing its been cool there for the past two years that I have been there.

Total votes: 65

Perhaps a simple wet,intermediate and hard slick is a better way to go.
Run what you brung. Set up accordingly.
This whole thing smacks of pandering.
A little Draconianism is in order.
Otherwise go the whole hog. Welcome back Michelin and sundry Midnight Specials in favour of.... (add name).

Total votes: 70

lets stop calling it a riders championship.
to hell with constructors cup. lets just call it the Bridgestone Cup?
When 1/3 of the bikes on the grid are all made by the same manufacture and they all struggle getting heat into the tire, we wonder why the racing is so boring.
you must have missed the part where ALL of the aliens are complaining about the tires.
I'd love to hear RdP's take on the tires. Better yet let's ask the 2010 Moto2 CHAMPION what he thinks. Isn't moto2 SUPPOSED to be the feeder class for MotoGP?? Its only obvious the reason is that it takes more time than it should for a rider to adapt is the tires.

But no, Rossi is behind this. Surely. Solely by himself.

You want better racing, get Bridgestone to bring at least 3 different dry compounds to every race, let the riders choose which one works the best for their bike. I don't understand bridgestones complaints, demand a new contract from whoever since they are changing the number of tires being brought, cha-ching more $...but seriously how many thousand lbs are we talking here...the compounds are already developed, hell they have already been through the testing and production phases...I think the quality of racing is well worth this minimal re-adjusted cost of the series, and the 2011 season may be saved from its apparent season of boredom.

Total votes: 61

The tires are fine - actually they are fantastic. Riders always complain about the tires. I did, you did (or will). Nothing new.

Oh yeah, one more thing, any rider that doesn't want to go to Japan just let me know. I'll be thrilled to go in your place.

Total votes: 65

I'm sure you guys have noticed that the weather has been shite!! at nearly every round.. Starting from PI last year.
Rossi is being tought a lesson by the Weather for complaining like a girl about Philip islands weather!!

Total votes: 59

Doesn't this not solve the problem at all? Haven't most of the fast guys said, "Yeah, we'd still choose the hard tire for the race, because it has to last the distance"? I know Edwards said that his bike doesn't work well at all on the hard front. Spies and Crutchlow have said the same. Ditto the Ducati guys.

The problem on race day (most of the time) isn't with the lack of selection of tires. It's with the construction of the tires themselves. Bring a softer option and they're all going to be used up in the cool morning practices and in qualifying to get a fast time. All of the racers are still going to show up on the grid on the hard options and there's going to be a first lap cold tire crash.

Have I just been reading the wrong interviews? Because my take on the situation from what I've read is that the riders would prefer a hard option tire that warmed up quicker to having a softer soft tire.

Total votes: 59

re: "I know Edwards said that his bike doesn't work well at all on the hard front. Spies and Crutchlow have said the same."

the M1's dont work on the hard rears either. not only do the hondas, but the hondas can run hard compounds even the lowest grip conditions. i honestly can't remember the last time i saw ANY yamaha grid up without "white walls"...?

Total votes: 55

I should make a correction, as what I meant to write was that Edwards said his bike only works WITH the hard front on. Spies said the same post race: "We usually have to run the hard front, but the conditions caused us to gamble on the soft" (I'm paraphrasing).

I do see whitewalls in the rear on the grid, but how often do you see anyone running the soft front?

Total votes: 51

IMHO, it should not matter what kind of tire/tyre Brigestone provides, as long as they are of the same quality to all riders/teams. It is supposed to be the "constant" that is taken out of the equation for good racing. The riders/team just have to use them to their advantage, be it with setup, conservation etc. Why is tire management only important for the last part of the race as some would propose ? It is just as important at the start when they are cold as it is the same for everyone. Could not pull that gap because he does not have the confidence in the rubber and another rider has, then the other deserved to be in front. Too eager with the right wrist and gets launched into orbit ? Too bad, the other managed to stay planted. Whatever the tire is, somebody is going to exceed its envelope.

Total votes: 55