At last weekend’s MotoGP race at the Circuit of the Americas, some riders weren’t happy with the supplied Bridgestone tires, but Bridgestone says the rubber they supplied was fine.
“We can say with confidence that the tires were not in any way faulty, just that the operating conditions during the race were a lot harsher when compared to last year and the practice sessions earlier in the race weekend,” said Masao Azuma, chief engineer at Bridgestone’s Motorsport Tire Development Department. “The high abrasion on the right side of the front tyre that some riders experienced during the race was unexpected. There are some sections of the circuit that are quite demanding on the right side of the tyre, but our compound allocation for this race was designed to meet these demands.”
“We need to look at all the variables including riding style, machine character and the track condition during the race to work out why we had such high levels of abrasion during the race, and why some riders were affected more than others.”
Some experienced riders, including Valentino Rossi, blamed their tires for their performance at COTA – Rossi was challenging for third, then ended up dropping to eighth, and blamed it on his rubber’s poor performance on the right side. Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow had to swap tires mid-race, and crashed shortly after getting back on the track.
Azuma said Bridgestone’s engineers would be inspecting the tires that failed to see what caused the problems.
“As we didn’t see these very high levels of abrasion last year or during practice and qualifying this year, the tyres and race data from the Americas Grand Prix will be analysed at our Technical Centre so that we can find out why this happened.”