Aug 31, 2010
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Bridgestone MotoGP Preview - Round 12: San Marino
Tuesday 31 August 2010
Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Medium, Hard.
Rear: Medium, Hard
The weekend after the Indianapolis Grand Prix, MotoGP action continues in San Marino at the Misano World Circuit which presents Bridgestone with a totally different type of challenge than was faced in North America. San Marino is a much smoother circuit with a lower level of grip, which means that the medium and hard compound slicks have been selected front and rear. The circuit's layout also places equal loads on both shoulders of the tyres, so asymmetric rear slicks are not necessary. It is only the fifth race of the season to which Bridgestone have not brought asymmetric tyres because the circuit has not demanded them.
Although there has not been a wet race so far this season, Bridgestone are prepared with hard compound wet tyres as even though the circuit's surface is smooth, the ambient temperature in the region is generally high and the hard compound wets offer better durability in these conditions.
The nature of the circuit is twisty and riders spend a lot of time on the brakes, meaning that braking stability from the front tyre is crucial. Edge grip is also important especially when exiting turns six, ten and sixteen, all of which lead onto sections of straight.
The right-handed kinks of turns eleven and twelve are high-speed and require excellent tyre stability. Riders must have confidence in their bike and tyre package to commit to these turns else a great proportion of time can be lost through them.
After a time away, MotoGP returned to Misano in 2007, but the circuit layout was changed slightly at turn three in 2008, increasing the track's length to 4.226km. Bridgestone has a great track record in Misano since the circuit's return to the calendar in 2007.
Ducati Team's Casey Stoner took pole and won in 2007 on Bridgestone tyres, and in 2008 and again last year Valentino Rossi set a new lap record on his way to victory.
Hiroshi Yamada Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Misano has been a successful event for us since it was included on the MotoGP calendar again, right from 2007 when the top five riders were all on Bridgestone tyres. In both years of tyre competition there the race was won by a Bridgestone-shod rider, and last year Valentino set a new lap record on our tyres so I am confident that we can play our part again this year in a good race. The many braking points tend to bunch the field and provide close racing, with plenty of opportunities for overtaking. We saw a fantastic race in Indianapolis and there is still much to play for in the championship so I am excited about returning to Europe once more."
Tohru Ubukata Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"The track surface at Misano is smooth and offers relatively low grip, but the ambient temperature is generally high for the grand prix. The climate condition requires harder compounds, but track surface requires softer compounds so we must achieve a balance in our tyre selection.
"The layout is basically twisty, but there are some high-speed corners which require very good stability to give the riders confidence to attack. Overall the circuit is not so demanding for our tyres, but braking stability is important because of the many heavy braking points. Tyre wear and temperature is equal in both shoulders so it is not necessary to bring asymmetric tyres so Misano, even though there are more right hand corners than lefts."
More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:
The action continues to come thick and fast as the MotoGP field returns to the track just five days after the visit to Indianapolis, with the World Championship moving onto Misano for the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Jorge Lorenzo remains the rider to catch, having maintained his 100% podium record for the season in the U.S. along with his substantial lead in the standings.
The fact that third place at Indianapolis represented the Fiat Yamaha rider's worst result of the season to date is testament to his phenomenal form in 2010, and he has now finished on the podium for 12 successive races stretching back to the final race of last season in Valencia. In his two previous premier class visits to Misano Lorenzo has placed second and will be going for an eighth win of the season on Sunday.
Brimming with confidence will be his main challenger Dani Pedrosa, and the pair's intense competitiveness has continued throughout the season. The Repsol Honda rider trimmed his rival's Championship lead to 68 points with victory at Indy, his third of the campaign, and edged back in front of Lorenzo in the GP victory stakes across all classes. The score now is 34-33 to Pedrosa, with Lorenzo leading in terms of premier class wins at 12-11. Last season Pedrosa completed the podium at Misano behind Lorenzo, but will be aiming to upset his adversary's run to a first MotoGP title and become the first Spaniard to win in the premier class at the circuit.
Further back Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner are separated by just seven points respectively as they continue to contest third position. The Repsol Honda man has a best premier class result of fourth which came last season in his first race on new Ã–hlins suspension and was disappointed with fifth last time out at Indy. For Stoner it has been two years since he raced at Misano having missed last season due to illness, and he will want to correct his DNF at Indianapolis. A repeat of his 2007 victory from pole would be the perfect remedy for the Ducati Team rider.
Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi has won for the past two years at Misano, last season from pole, and is hot on the tail of Stoner in the standings having finished fourth in Round 11. Ben Spies in turn has the Italian in his sights after a season's best result at Indianapolis of second and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider won one of the two WSBK races at Misano last year. Just a point behind him is fellow American Nicky Hayden who continues his search for a first podium of the season on his factory Desmosedici GP10.
Randy de Puniet's (LCR Honda) continuing recovery from his broken leg will take its next step, whilst rookie Marco Simoncelli and his San Carlo Honda Gresini team-mate Marco Melandri will both want solid home results. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) is closely grouped with last year's 250cc race winner HÃ©ctor BarberÃ¡ (PÃ¡ginas Amarillas Aspar), and veteran Italian Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) is scheduled to become only the second rider in the 62-year history of GP racing to make 200 premier class starts.
Toni ElÃas holds a commanding Moto2 Championship lead with seven rounds including Misano remaining. The Gresini racing rider is 67 points clear at the top of the standings, a position which was reinforced by his fifth win of the season last time out at Indianapolis.
The result in the U.S. was the Spaniard's third successive win, the first time he has secured a treble of back-to-back victories in his GP career, and he has an impressive record at Misano. In 2008 he finished on the podium in the premier class and was sixth last year.
His closest challenger in the race for the title remains Andrea Iannone and the Fimmco Speed Up rider showed his resilience in the previous round. A crash at the beginning of qualifying in Indianapolis resulted in an injured ankle and restricted the Italian to a start from 25th on the grid, but he still rode to fourth place. He has a best result of sixth at Misano in the 125cc class from two years ago.
Level on 108 points in third and fourth are Thomas LÃ¼thi (Interwetten Moriwaki) and JuliÃ¡n SimÃ³n (Mapfre Aspar). The Swiss rider has a best result of fourth at Misano in the 250cc class, whilst SimÃ³n won there last year on his way to the 125cc title and is fresh off the back of a second-placed finish from pole in Indy.
Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2) is another rider who put in a highly impressive ride in the U.S. after the Italian started from the back of the grid. He finished fifth and has been on the podium at Misano in the 125cc class before so will be confident of picking up more Championship points on his Motobi bike.
Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3 Racing) and Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up) are part of a chasing pack looking for repeats of positive results at Misano. The Japanese rider finished second there in the 250cc class in 2008, whilst Talmacsi won the 125cc race.
The Moto2 field will be supplemented by two Italian wild card entries for the weekend with Mattia Pasini riding for Italtrans STR and Ferruccio Lamborghini the Forward Racing team, both on Suter chassis.
The battle for the 125cc title continued to hot up at Indianapolis and promises to deliver another exciting slice of action this weekend, after Nico Terol cut Marc MÃ¡rquez's Championship lead to just four points with victory last time out.
As if the tightness of the top two was not enough, Pol EspargarÃ³ lurks just a single point behind Terol as the trio continue to size each other up at every round. Just five days after the action at Indy they will be back on track Misano, eager to strike their next blows in the 11th round of an intriguing battle.
Red Bull Ajo Motorsport's MÃ¡rquez was strong in Indy despite his lingering injury concerns and proved his mettle with pole position, but tenth in the race and a first back-to-back set of victories for Bancaja Aspar's Terol saw the 17 year-old's advantage lessened. Third for Tuenti Racing's EspargarÃ³ was enough to maintain a very close check on things.
52 points back in fourth place is Bradley Smith and whilst the Bancaja Aspar rider's chances of challenging for the title appear to be weaker now, the Brit has been on the podium at Misano for the past two seasons and is still in search of a first win of 2010.
A podium for Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo) in the previous round will have boosted the German's confidence further and he will aim to close up further on Smith in the standings, with Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) not far behind.
Returning to action will be Alexis Masbou (Ongetta Team) and Sturla Fagerhaug (AirAsia - Sepang International Circuit Team), with five Italian wild cards adding to the field in the shapes of Francesco Mauriello (Team Semprucci), Tommaso Gabrielli (Racing Team Gabrielli) and Junior GP team riders Giovanni Bonati, Alessandro Tonucci and Armando Pontone.
More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati:
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM TARGET PODIUM RETURN AT MISANO
The Ducati Marlboro Team return home this weekend looking to put on a good show for the local crowd at Misano and make up for a disappointing race last year, which Casey Stoner missed through illness whilst Nicky Hayden was taken out by another rider in the first turn.
Both riders have shown their pace around the Italian circuit previously, however, Stoner having won in 2007 and leading the 2008 race before crashing, and Hayden finding a good set-up and pace for his Ducati in practice last year.
As always the Ducatisti will be out in force to support them from the Ducati grandstand, which is located in the "Variante Parco", the first turn after the start-finish straight.
CASEY STONER, Ducati Marlboro Team
"Indy was obviously a big disappointment for us but we're looking ahead. I am happy to be going to one of Ducati's home circuits and a place where we have gone fast in the past. It is the third of the races I missed in 2009 so we'll see what we can do this weekend. We'll have to work hard on the front again because we don't want to take a backward step on the progress we've made recently. The whole team is working really hard, the guys are giving everything like always so hopefully we can have a good result to celebrate on Sunday."
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team
"We have travelled straight from Indianapolis to Italy so it feels like a short week! We had a really good pace in race trim during practice and warm-up at Misano last year but I got hit from behind in the race on the Sunday. It is always special to race a Ducati in Italy and I can't wait for it. Last year went like I said and in 2008 I didn't race because of a foot injury so we'll try to make up for it on Sunday, when I'm sure we'll have the support of a lot of fans and a lot of people from Ducati."
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
"The race definitely didn't go to plan at Indianapolis but both Casey and Nicky had the pace to be on the podium. Now we head to Misano, a place where both riders have proved in the past that they can be on the pace so we hope that's the case again this weekend. As always the team is doing an incredible job to put them in the best possible shape."
The Misano Adriatico circuit was built at the start of the seventies and has since undergone a series of modifications that have altered both the length, which has been extended from 3.488km to 4.226km, and the layout as well as updates to the pit facilities and paddock. The current layout, which was switched from anti-clockwise to clockwise in 2007 when MotoGP returned after a 16-year absence, looks straightforward but is far from it. It is actually a technical, slow circuit with tight corners other than the famously fast "Curvone" right-hander.
MISANO CIRCUIT RECORDS
Circuir Record: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha - 2009), 1'34.746 160.572 Km/h
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati 2008), 1'33.378 162.924 km/h
Circuit Length: 4,226 km
MotoGP Race 2010: 28 giri (118.328 km)
MotoGP Schedule 2010: 14:00 Local Time
Number of laps: 28
Race distance: 118.328km
PODIUM 2009 : 1st Valentino Rossi, 2nd Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd Dani Pedrosa
POLE 2009: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha 2009), 1'34.338 - 161.266 km/h
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM'S BEST RESULTS AT MISANO
2008: 9th (Melandri)
2007: 1st (Stoner)
More, from a press release issued by Fiat Yamaha:
NO REST FOR FIAT YAMAHA AS THEY RETURN TO EUROPE AND MARVELLOUS MISANO
Despite having just finished a punishing weekend's racing in the searing heat of Indianapolis, the MotoGP riders will be back on board in four days time for the twelfth round of the season at Misano Adriatico on Italy's eastern seaboard. It is another 'home' race for the Fiat Yamaha team, as it lies just a few hundred kilometres away their Italian base, and both championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and his team-mate Valentino Rossi will be planning on a big weekend at the Italian party town.
Lorenzo finished third in Indianapolis, the first time he has been out of the top two all season, and although it was another great result for the 23-year-old he was disappointed not to have been able to mount a stronger challenge after winning there the year before. He still leads the championship by a mighty 68-points however and none can argue that he is in the form of his life, with seven wins to his name this season. After finishing second at Misano for the past two sasons he will be one of the favourites to top the podium on Sunday and will be going all-out to take a first premier class win on Italian soil.
Misano lies just 13km away from Rossi's hometown of Tavullia, where the 31-year-old legend grew up and where he still lives today. The race always brings out the Rossi tifosi in their thousands and this year will be no different as they will their idol on to take a first win since the opening race of the year. Indianapolis was tough for Rossi, who is still suffering the effects of his injury earlier in the season, but the fact that he has won in Misano for the previous two years will give him confidence and he will be aiming for the top come Sunday.
This will be the fourth year of racing at Misano since Grand Prix racing returned there after a 16-year gap, when the circuit was altered to run in the opposite direction to previous years. The tracks sits a kilometre inland, just back from the string of small towns and villages that make up Italy's 'East Coast Riviera' and that turn into a huge party zone for the thousands of fans that pack into them during race weekend. Misano is another completely flat track, like Indianapolis last weekend, but the similarities end there as the Italian track is tight and twisty, with no long straights and a fairly equal balance of right and left corners meaning an agile bike is a must.
"STRAIGHT TO MISANO"
"We are going straight to Misano and I want to continue in the same way and get on the podium again. I've been second there for the last two years and I am feeling very motivated and looking forward to another good race. I hope the temperature is a bit cooler than in Indy because it was really too hot there. Last Sunday was my worst result this year, but I am still happy because it was still third and because it was very important for our goal, which is the Championship."
"HOPING TO GIVE THE FANS A GOOD SHOW"
"In Indianapolis we made some progress with our race setting but the conditions made me realise that I'm still not 100% fit. It's hard going straight to Misano with no break but hopefully it will be a little bit cooler than Indy! Of course it's my home race and it's near my house so it's always very special to race there, in front of all of my fans. I have won there the last two years but this year we come in slightly different circumstances. Still, we will be trying our hardest and I really hope I can give the fans a good show!"
"A TRACK THAT HE LOVES"
"Misano is straight away so it will be important that Jorge gets a couple of days of good rest before we get there. It's a track that he loves and it will be a lot less bumpy than Indy so hopefully a bit easier on everyone. He's been second there the last two years and our bike works very well there so we will be trying for the podium once again."
"GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION"
"We were happy after Indy because despite the difficulties of the weekend it ended on a good note and Valentino was able to ride how he wanted in the race, even if it wasn't for the whole race because of the heat and his physical condition. It shows that we're going in the right direction towards our goal of a strong end to the season. Now we go to our 'home' track, close to our workshop and even closer to Vale's house! We've had two great years there and we will be doing the best we can do put on another good show for all Valentino's fans at Misano."
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
REPSOL HONDA TEAM ON FORM FOR SAN MARINO
The Repsol Honda Team arrives at the Misano circuit in Italy this week in high spirits after Dani Pedrosa's dominant win in the Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday. With the Spaniard's consummate Indy performance showcasing both his outright speed and peak physical condition, plus the impressive all-round strength of the RC212V race bike, the factory Honda team will be satisfied with nothing less than another visit to the top step of the podium for Pedrosa or his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso this weekend.
Pedrosa is in confident mood as the MotoGP World Championship returns from the United States to Europe, his emphatic third victory of the season at Indianapolis having taken him past his record of two MotoGP wins in each of the four previous seasons. The 24-year-old now plans to take full advantage of the momentum he has established in the last few races by getting straight back on the pace from first practice at Misano on Friday afternoo n. Pedrosa led the first seven laps of last year's San Marino Grand Prix before taking a podium finish, and this year he is determined to stay up front for the duration of the race, fight for victory this weekend and further reduce the 68-point gap to leader Jorge Lorenzo in the world championship standings.
Dovizioso too will be truly satisfied with nothing less than a win at his home Grand Prix. The 24-year-old Italian lives in Forli only 70kms from Misano and would enjoy nothing more than taking his second ever MotoGP victory in front of his many friends and fans, or and at least scoring a podium finish to add to the four he has already amassed this season. Dovizioso holds third place in the world championship behind his team-mate and has displayed front-running pace in the early laps at the last two Grands Prix. He and his crew are now looking for the final ingredient so that he can maintain that speed right to the chequered flag.
This will be th e fourth visit to Misano since the circuit made a return to the Grand Prix world championship in 2007 after a 13-year absence from the calendar from 1994 to 2006. Sunday's 28-lap race, which is round 12 of the MotoGP series, begins at 14.00 local time (GMT + 2 hours) and marks two-thirds distance in 18-race 2010 season.
DANI PEDROSA World Championship Position 2nd 183 points
"We are at a very competitive moment right now and three wins so far this year is more than I had in my previous MotoGP seasons. It's a nice milestone to pass and so I'm feeling very confident for the next races. Indianapolis was great and it was very satisfying to win such a physically demanding race, however, we don't have so much time to recover before Misano this weekend. Having said that, we'll be ready. The team is in a good mood and we have proved that we can be competitive for many races in a row, so we want to continue this form. Misano has been a difficult circuit for Honda in the last few years but this time we will try to do the best possible job and be right at the front once again. It's a track with many linked slow corners where you need a very agile bike and also a smooth power delivery, whereas our engine is very strong but can also be qui te aggressive which causes the bike to slide. So we'll have to do a very good job to find the right setting and get good traction - as we did in Indianapolis. It's not so much a power circuit as one which requires good driveability from the engine. The gap in the championship to Lorenzo is still very big and he has been very consistent, so our goal for the rest of the season is simply to continue being competitive at every GP and give ourselves the chance to win races, starting with another one this weekend."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO World Championship Position 3rd 126 points
"We arrive in Misano in very determined mood; our target is the podium. In Indianapolis we were fast during the race weekend but we couldn't maintain consistent speed for the whole race distance and this is something we must work on and improve. Now we need to score some strong results. The Misano track is short and twisty and there are a lot of bumps, but after Indianapolis we are certainly used to bumps and I'm look forward to race there. I'm confident. Misano is a special track for me, not only because it's my home GP - in fact I live only 70kms away - but because I raced my first "real" race bike there in 2000. It was my debut on a proper race machine - it was 125cc - after having raced pocket bikes up to that point. I remember that it was an incredible experience, and at that moment I had the feeling that something big and special was happening. In last year's MotoGP weekend here I raced for the first time with Ohlins suspension and I came home fourth, which was a respectable result. So I'm feeling very positive about this GP because compared to last year we have progressed a lot."