Bridgestone will introduce a new specification front tyre for the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship, giving the twenty-one riders taking part in this year’s competition access to the very latest in tyre technology.
This new front tyre is the latest evolution of the 2012 specification MotoGP™ front tyre. This latest specification front tyre features a revised construction that further enhances rider feel and warm-up performance and was developed following analysis of performance data and rider feedback acquired in pre-season testing.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive appraisal this new front tyre received when tested by riders, Bridgestone, after consultation with Dorna, the FIM and IRTA, has agreed to replace the current front tyre with the new 2012 specification front tyre from the Silverstone round while also making a limited number of the new front tyre available for the Jerez, Estoril, Le Mans and Catalunya rounds.
Starting from Jerez, riders will be allocated two of the new specification front tyres to increase their total allocation for the race weekend to eleven front tyres. The new specification tyre will only be made available in the harder compound option, as the greater durability this option provides makes it better suited for race use. At Silverstone, when the new specification front tyre becomes the standard, the front tyre allocation will return to nine tyres.
The tables below illustrate how the front tyre allocation will change with the introduction of the new specification front tyre at Jerez, and then revert back to nine tyres once the new specification front tyre becomes the standard from the Silverstone round.
|Front tyre allocation for Jerez & Catalunya (11 tyres)
|Front tyre allocation for Estoril & Le Mans (11 tyres)
|Front tyre allocation from Silverstone and remaining Special Case races in 2012* (9 tyres)
* Due to the particular track and weather conditions at Sepang, the two front options available for this race are hard & extra-hard.
|Front tyre allocation for races after Silverstone where a third front option is available (9 tyres)
|〇 = Original 2012 specification front tyre||Δ = New 2012 specification front tyre|
Certain circuits may be designated as Special Case by agreement between Bridgestone, the Safety Commission and organisers where, due to weather or track conditions, the availability of a third specification of front tyre is not necessary (i.e. only two front options will be made available) as the soft front compound is part of the standard allocation. For 2012, circuits designated as Special Case are Estoril, Le Mans, Silverstone, Assen, Phillip Island, Sepang and Valencia.
The highlighted boxes in the tables above mark the initial allocation of front tyres distributed equally to every rider on the day before FP1. The remaining boxes indicate the remaining front tyre compound choices available to each rider after the completion of FP2, at which point the rider can select an additional four tyres to complete their total allocation of front tyres. At rounds where three front tyre options are available, riders can only choose a maximum of three of the softer option front tyre, and five front tyres each of the medium and harder compound.
Bridgestone proposes change to Wet Tyre Allocation
Following a request from the Safety Commission, Bridgestone has proposed a revision to the wet tyre allocation for each race. Riders are currently allocated four rear and four front wet tyres in a single compound option, or in the case of all practice sessions being wet, five front and rear wet tyres.
Currently, riders have access to only one compound option of wet tyre per race. Under the new proposal, after the first wet practice session, Bridgestone, in consultation with the Safety Commission and organisers may agree to provide wet tyres with an alternative compound option to ensure rider safety in wet conditions. In this case, each rider may choose to replace a maximum of two of their front and/or rear wet tyres with the alternative compound.
To expedite the revisions to the front tyre and wet tyre allocation, the FIM will propose changes to the tyre allocation regulations to members of the Grand Prix Commission. Should the proposals presented be accepted by the commission members, they will be implemented with immediate effect.
The introduction of a new specification front tyre, and the revision to the wet tyre allocation are the latest in a series of initiatives implemented by Bridgestone to improve rider safety. At Mugello last year, Bridgestone proposed bringing softer rear slick tyre options to six of the remaining races in the 2011 season and a revision to the rear tyre allocation to provide riders with greater flexibility in choosing their final rear tyre allocation. Additionally, Bridgestone increased the number of front tyre compounds available to three from the Brno round, ensuring the availability of a softer front compound at each race.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Last year we set out with a clear set of technical objectives for our 2012 specification tyres and since they were first tested, we received very good feedback on our path of development. Though rider comments on our original 2012 specification front tyre were positive, we haven’t rested on our laurels and brought new specification front tyres to the pre-season tests as part of our ongoing tyre development programme. One of these new front tyres was met with such an encouraging appraisal from the riders that we proposed to make it available as soon as possible. Due to logistical constraints, we are unable to supply a full allocation of this new specification front tyre until Silverstone, but we have changed our production schedule and made every effort to provide a limited allocation of the new front tyre to riders from the next race.
“I would like to thank all the riders and teams for their commitment to evaluating during pre-season testing and also Safety Advisor to Dorna Loris Capirossi for his ongoing efforts in collating feedback from the riders. I look forward to Jerez with great interest as not only will riders be using our latest specification front tyre in a race setting for the first time, they will also be showcasing the very latest in Bridgestone tyre technology to the world.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta – CEO, Dorna Sports
“Dorna is pleased that Bridgestone will make their new specification front tyre available to riders from the second round of the season at Jerez. During the regular meetings during pre-season testing between Bridgestone and Safety Advisor to Dorna Loris Capirossi, it became apparent that this new specification tyre provided even greater levels of front-end feel to the riders and so we welcome the decision to make the tyre available as soon as possible.
“I would like to thank Bridgestone for continuing to equip MotoGP riders with their latest tyre technology and sharing in Dorna’s commitment to continually improve rider safety.”