Oct 18, 2012
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Bridgestone MotoGP™ Race Preview - Round 16: Sepang, Malaysia
Thursday, 18 October 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra-Hard. Rear: Medium (Symmetric), Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Round sixteen of the 2012 MotoGP™ season takes place at Sepang International Circuit, a real test of man and machine with its high ambient temperatures and technical layout.
Comprising ten right-hand and five left-hand corners and measuring 5,548 metres in length, Sepang's standout feature are its two long straights that demand excellent stability from the front tyre due to the very hard braking zones at the end. The rest of the circuit is a mix of high and low speed corners that overall place a lot of stress on tyres particularly at the front.
Following in-depth analysis of tyre performance at Sepang over previous years, Bridgestone has altered its selection of rear slicks for this season. The symmetric medium compound slick remains but the harder rear slick this year will be asymmetric in construction with the same medium compound rubber on the left shoulder as the symmetric slick combined with the hard compound rubber on the right shoulder for enhanced durability in hot conditions. Due to its location in the tropics, Sepang is the only race on the calendar where the soft compound front slick isn't supplied, with the hard and extra-hard front slicks provided to give maximum stability in the severe braking zones at this circuit.
Owing to its high ambient temperatures the main wet tyre for the Malaysian Grand Prix will be the hard compound option and being located in the tropics, sudden wet weather is always a possibility at Sepang.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"This will be the third time this year we have visited the Sepang circuit after the winter tests at the beginning of the year and all the hard work put in by the teams and riders will be very important in establishing a setup for this weekend. The level at which Dani and Jorge are riding right now is very high and they continue to push each other to the limits to the delight of all of us who get to see them compete. Sunday's race will start later in the day than usual at 4pm and there is a strong chance of rain throughout the weekend. I hope that the weather doesn't have an impact on the race and that we can enjoy a thrilling contest at this fantastic circuit.
"Of course, it will be with a heavy heart that we participate in this year's Malaysian Grand Prix as we remember Marco Simoncelli. I believe everyone in the paddock will be thinking of Marco throughout the weekend and will do all they can to ensure the MotoGP fans of the world are treated to a show that is worthy of his memory."
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Sepang is characterised by its two long straights which contribute to it being the second longest circuit on the calendar and the generally high track temperature which is often above 50Â° Celsius. It is one of the fastest circuits of the season with a mix of high speed corners and tight hairpins and features two extreme braking cut-outs at the end of the two straights. The braking zones demand high levels of stability from the centre section of the front tyres, while the high speed corners demand good shoulder grip and durability.
"A good bike setup is important here to ensure good tyre durability in the high ambient and track temperatures and in this regard, the data acquired during the pre-season tests here will be very important to teams this weekend."