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Aug 28, 2013

The Final Round Of Press Releases From Last Weekend's Various Motorcycle Road Races

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Jorge Lorenzo (99) in action at Brno. Photo courtesy of Bridgestone.
Czech Republic MotoGP™ debrief with Shinji Aoki

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez extended his winning streak to four races after the rookie beat teammate Dani Pedrosa in an enthralling contest at Brno last Sunday. The Repsol Honda duo finished ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who challenged the pair all the way to the end of the twenty-two lap contest.

Conditions at Brno on race day were cool, with a peak track temperature of 23°C recorded during the race – a massive thirty degrees cooler than was recorded during the previous race at Indianapolis. The cool temperatures resulted in all riders selecting softer rear slick options for the race, while all but three of the twenty-five riders selecting the hard compound front slick tyre.

Q&A with Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

Track temperatures on race day were ten degrees cooler than in Free Practice 4 and Qualifying. Did this have any effect on tyre performance?

“The lower track temperatures on Sunday didn’t have any great effect on tyre performance; rather it influenced tyre choice, especially for the rear tyre. The warmest temperatures we experienced were on Friday afternoon when some riders tried the hard compound rear slick, and the rider feedback and lap times of this option were quite good so we assumed this would be an attractive race option. However, track temperatures for the race were around fifteen degrees cooler than Friday which put the hard compound rear tyre out of its working range. The cooler temperatures were no problem for the softer rear slick options as a new race lap record was set and the overall race time was the quickest ever recorded at the Brno circuit.”

The cooler weather prevented any riders selecting harder rear slick options for the race, but the harder front slick was by far the most popular choice for the race. Can you explain why this front option was chosen in what were quite cool temperatures?

“Brno features many downhill braking zones and sweeping corners which demand a lot of stability from the front-end of the motorcycle and the harder front slick does offer more stability than the softer option. The warm-up performance and edge grip of the soft compound front tyre is a bit better than the hard option, but most riders felt they could make better and more consistent lap times using the hard front slick. The soft compound front slick was mainly used in morning sessions when riders were assessing track conditions, but over a race distance most riders felt they hard front slick would yield the better performance, hence it being so popular on race day.”

Bridgestone planned on bringing a new hard compound rear tyre to Brno, but changed the allocation before the race to include the existing hard compound rear slick. Why did this change in allocation occur?

“Our decision to introduce the new hard compound rear tyre at Brno was based on the positive feedback we had from riders in tests earlier this year. This new compound worked quite well at circuits like Montmeló in high temperatures, but following a recent Yamaha test at Brno, the new hard compound didn’t seem to offer an advantage over the softer specification even in high temperatures at the Brno circuit. As a result, we consulted with the teams and it was agreed that we would supply a different hard option rear tyre using the soft compound on the left shoulder and the current hard compound on the right shoulder. I believe this was the right decision as when track temperatures were higher at Brno during the race weekend this current hard tyre was working well. The new hard compound will form part of our future tyre allocation, however we will test it further to find out which circuits it is best suited to before deciding where we will supply this option.”




More, from a press release issued by Jimmy Merck's publicist:

JIMMY MERCK ON THE GAS AT TALLADEGA

Atlanta, Georgia’s Jimmy Merck enjoyed a fabulous weekend of racing at the Talladega Gran Prix Raceway during WERA’s Regional Race event this past weekend onboard his Vesrah-sponsored GSXR 600, as well as his 2013 Vesrah-sponsored GSXR 750 with four sprint race podiums with three wins, including his first entry and win in the A SuperStock class.

Saturday brought gorgeous weather to Mumford, AL and the Talladega Gran Prix track. Jimmy was set to participate in practice in the morning, and do some testing during the Solo 20’s. With a few sessions under his belt, Jimmy and his Crew Chief John McGarity experimented with different settings during the Solo’s. With a fantastic set-up on both bikes and lap times in the 58’s, Jimmy was well poised for Sunday’s sprint races.

Perfect weather welcomed the competitors as the grids started to line up on Sunday. First up was A SuperStock, mainly made up of competitors on 1000 CC bikes. Jimmy had not competed in the class, resulting in a last place starting position. When the flag dropped, it was game on, and Merck worked his way from P12 into second on the last lap, and pulled away for his first win of the day – quite an accomplishment with him riding a GSXR 750!

Next up was C SuperStock, where Jimmy lined up fifth on the grid. Consistent times in the low 58’s and a great start resulted in Merck’s second win for the day. Back to the pit and pulling the warmers off his GSXR 750, Jimmy lined up for the B SuperStock race. With another great start and laptimes in the 58’s, Merck pulled away for his third win of the day!

The last race of the day for Merck was Formula 1, again lining up against 1000 cc machines. Gridded sixth, Merck had to immediately be on the gas. The lead swapped a few times during the race – on the second to the last lap, Merck made a pass for the lead. On the final lap, while exiting the carousel, Jimmy got a little heavy with his throttle hand and the rear stepped out, losing drive, and came up less than a second behind for a second place finish.

Jimmy would like to personally thank his sponsor Dan Covington of Truck System Technologies (TST) who offer top of the line tire pressure monitoring systems. Jimmy would additionally like to thank John McGarity for his trackside assistance!

Jimmy is proud to work with Mark with Vesrah, Vesrah Brakes, Nielsens Enterprises, Dunlop and Race Tire Services, Graves Exhaust, Livengood, Traxxion Dynamics, Penske, Maxima Oils, Shoei Helmets, Pilot Leathers, Chris with MPH, DID Chains, Bazzaz, Spiegler Brake Lines, Vortex Sprockets, Pit Bull, Cycle Gear, his father Jimmy SR, and girlfriend Bobby.




More, from a press release issued by SMT Racing:

Up and down weekend but Jenkinson still extends Championship lead

SMT Racing's Adam Jenkinson increased his lead in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship on Bank Holiday Monday when he took a hard fought fifth place at Cadwell Park. The Knutsford rider picked up 11 points for fifth and with closest rival Hudson Kennaugh retiring on the warm-lap, he extended his lead in the table to 19 points.

Despite a heavy crash in the second qualifying session, Adam qualified in third place around the demanding 2.18-mile circuit, and with Kennaugh back in 12th, Adam had a great chance to build on his Championship lead and this was increased when the South African went out before the race had even started with a mechanical problem. A good start to the race saw Adam slot into second place behind early pace setter Tristan Palmer but such was the ferocious pace, Adam soon found himself pushed back to seventh place whilst undetected damage from the qualifying crash also meant the bike wasn't working as well as he'd liked.

Simon Andrews made a move on Palmer that saw the latter crash out thus moving Adam up to sixth and a lap later, lap 11, the red flag came out due to a crash involving Dan Hegarty. The result was declared at ten laps with American Tommy Aquino the winner and Adam in sixth but there was more drama when Andrews was excluded for his overtaking maneouvre on Palmer and it all meant Adam ended up finishing in fifth for 11 valuable points.

Speaking later team owner Robin Croft said; "It's been an up and down weekend for SMT Racing but the end result has been positive in that we've left Cadwell Park with a greater Championship lead than what we arrived with. The crash in qualifying was a big one and although the team did a great job in rebuilding the bike, it was only when Adam was running at full race pace that problems came to light. A problem with the front shock hadn't shown up initially and it left Adam riding a bike that handled, in his own words, like he was riding on marbles. The faster he tried to go, the worse it became and he dropped back a fair bit so the red flag did us a favour without doubt."

"The result could have been a lot worse so to finish sixth, and then get promoted to fifth, is a major relief and you could say it's been a damage limiting weekend. We've extended our Championship lead and whilst there's still a lot to play for, there are only three rounds to go now so we know what we need to do."

The next round of the Championship takes place at Donington Park, Leicestershire on September 6-8.