Sep 4, 2013
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
From a press release
issued by Bridgestone
FIM MotoGP World Championship: The start of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
British MotoGP™ debrief with Masao Azuma
Wednesday 4 September 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo rode one of the races of his career at Silverstone last Sunday to claim a special victory over Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and claw back valuable points in his MotoGP™ title defence.
The decision to shift the British Grand Prix from June to August was a masterstroke with the event enjoying fine weather throughout the three days of on-track action. A peak track temperature of 32°C was recorded during the race and tyre choice for the race was varied with all slick options being used and a significant part of the grid lining up on harder rear slick options.
Q&A with Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
The qualifying and race lap records at Silverstone were smashed last weekend. Can you explain this big improvement in the general pace of the MotoGP bikes at this circuit?
“A lot of the improvement had to do with the dry, consistent weather we had over the weekend. This enabled the teams to find a setup that got the most out of the tyres and put it good use when it was needed most. We knew the one-thousand cc MotoGP bikes had the potential to go extremely quick around Silverstone and with our tyre allocation for this race featuring rubber compounds towards the softer end of the scale, the potential for a big reduction lap times was good. However, to see the existing Circuit Best Lap record beaten by almost two seconds in qualifying and the Circuit Record Lap lowered by almost a second in the race was outstanding. It is good to see such pace over a lap but for Bridgestone, we were most pleased with the overall race time which was about twenty-four seconds quicker than last year, representing an improvement of over one second per lap compared to the previous best time. This shows that the high pace was maintained through the race with a minimal degradation of performance over the twenty laps.”
There was a lot of variation in tyre choice for the race, both for the front and the rear. Can you explain what it is about Silverstone and the tyre allocation for this race that caused this?
“The rear tyre allocation for Silverstone is like the circuit, quite unique in that for the works riders we use the same, medium rubber compound on the ‘harder’ shoulder, which is the shoulder that is placed under the most stress while cornering which for this circuit is the right shoulder. We do this because our data indicates that the stress placed on the right shoulder is not so severe, so we don’t need to go harder than the medium compound on that shoulder. However, our asymmetric slicks need to ensure good temperature retention and warm-up performance on the lesser used ‘softer’ shoulder, which at Silverstone is the left side, so we use softer rubber compounds on that shoulder. So even the hardest option rear slick at Silverstone featured the medium rubber compound and as this compound has proved very popular this season. Another important factor was that all the afternoon sessions featured the same weather conditions and we had no rain. We have had a few instances this season where the harder rear slicks have been used in the afternoon practice sessions, only for conditions for the race being cooler, which has dissuaded the riders from selecting the harder rear slicks.”
The number of incidents seemed to increase in the morning sessions. Was this just because of the cool weather or were there other factors at play?
“Cooler temperatures always create more challenging conditions, there is no doubt about that but Bridgestone has made a big effort in recent seasons to improve both the warm-up performance and feel of our tyres to reduce risk in cooler temperatures. On Friday, MotoGP was the only class not to have any crashes in the morning session and on Sunday morning, three of the five crashes happened at Vale which features a small dip which can unsettle the front of the bike in what is quite an extreme braking zone. This point of the track has always been challenging for the riders, and the cold weather exacerbated the situation. As always we will examine rider feedback, tyre and telemetry data to see if changes need to be made for the future, but with the harsh braking zones at Silverstone if you go too soft with the compound selection, braking stability can become an issue. Front tyre selection at Silverstone is always a juggling act, and I believe we got the balance right but there is no denying that in cool conditions, parts of the Silverstone circuit will always be difficult for riders to manage.”
More, from a press release issued by Bel-Ray:
Bel-Ray Racer Aleix Espargaro Top CRT Finisher in British MotoGP
FARMINGDALE, N.J. -- The MotoGP series continued for its third consecutive weekend at the Silverstone track in Southern England. With more than 60 years of racing, the 3.66 mile circuit is universally liked by racers, which often leads to excellent racing. Bel-Ray-backed Team Aspar fielded five riders in three separate classes at the event.
Bel-Ray-backed Power Electronics Aspar Team riders Aleix Espargaro and Randy DePuniet both put their CRT machines inside the top 20 at the checkered flag. Espargaro’s weekend didn’t begin as planned. A crash in practice left him with a broken finger and a bruise on his neck, but that didn’t stop the talented Spaniard. He finished in 10th place and was again the first CRT machine in the field. “This weekend, as at Brno, I struggled to stay focused,” said Espargaro. “Yesterday I made a big mistake in the last practice session. Right after exiting the pits, with the tires cold, I suffered a crash, which left me with a broken little finger and a bruise to my neck. The medical team did a great job, like at Indianapolis. Thanks to a painkilling injection, I hardly felt any discomfort in the race and was feeling a lot better than I had expected. Today I had to give more than 100% in order to be the top CRT rider. We were ten seconds ahead of the other CRTs, but I would have liked to have been closer to the MotoGP bikes. We’ll keep working for Misano with this in mind.”
Espargaro’s teammate Randy DePuniet has been struggling with bike setup and results this season, but he was back on form at Silverstone. A 13th place qualifying position was hampered by a bad start, but DePuniet pushed on and recorded a 16th place finish at the end of the race. “This weekend we got back on the right track with our work,” said DePuniet, “and thanks to that, we had a good pace, and I was convinced of a good race today. I am surprised, because I did not enjoy it as much as I had expected.”
In Moto2 competition, the Bel-Ray-supported Aspar team riders Nico Terol and Jordi Torres both experienced handling issues with their machines. Terol was able to overcome the front-end handling issues to compete and ear an 11th place finish just outside the top 10. “I struggled to feel comfortable this weekend, and during the race things were no different. Despite losing touch with the group shortly after the start, I pushed hard to keep my position and at least I could take 11th in the end. I’m happy because the team worked flawlessly, as always, and I tried to give everything I had in all of the practice sessions. Now it is time to relax a bit after the three consecutive races and hopefully be back on top again at Misano.”
Teammate Jordi Torres suffered two crashes on Saturday and was involved in another crash on Sunday during the warm-up session. Continuing his bad luck, he came together with another rider at the start and dropped back several places. Torres recovered throughout the race and recorded a 13th place finish at the checkered flag. “We came into the race with a new setup for the front forks, one that we had tried during the warm-up session. We also played around with the geometry of the rear wheel, which gave us confidence for the race. I started well alongside Nico, but on the first corner someone clipped my bike on the inside line and I lost a lot of positions on the opening lap. Luckily, I managed to keep upright. Overall, the race was tough, as starting like that left me shaken. As the laps went by, I noticed that the bike was vibrating a lot, and that diminished my confidence a little. Nevertheless, I recovered some positions, but I reached a point in which I was far away from the group ahead and was riding by myself.”
Bel-Ray’s Moto3 entry, Jonas Folger, has consistently been one of the top racers, challenging for a podium each weekend in this closely matched class. At Silverstone, Folger was again among the top racers in the class and hovered just outside a podium spot during the race. An eventual 6th place finish was the result of rear tire grip issues that made challenging for a podium position impossible. “Today I wanted a good race. I pushed hard from the start, and I got amongst the leading group. But soon I began to notice that something was wrong. Yesterday we found a very positive setting and expected to have continuity today. Just before the race, we made a final change to try to gain more grip in the rear; it turns out that was a mistake. It was a slight change but was not successful. My feeling with the bike was strange from the start of the race; I noticed that I could not find the limit, otherwise I risked crashing.”
The series takes a one-week break before continuing to San Marino for the Misano World Circuit on the 15th of September. With only a handful of rounds remaining before the series concludes, every rider is looking for top finishes to close out the season.
To learn more about Bel-Ray specialty powersports lubricants, visit or call (732) 938-2421.
Follow Bel-Ray racers all season long at
More, from a press release issued by CHill Concepts:
AHRMA Bonneville GP Vintage Races at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah.
August 30-September 1, 2013
Bob McKeever’s Norton Race Team takes another big win at Miller Motorsports Park AHRMA Bonneville Vintage GP races. Rider Alex McLean wins 8 races over the weekend, winning pre-40 Class C, Class C Foot, Classic ‘60s, and 500GP.
Riding Bob Blakely’s 2005 Honda RS125, Alex completes podium finish in two races for two second places in the Sound of Singles Two Stroke.
Alex thanks his sponsors: Arai Helmets, Avon Tires, Morris Oil and Vanson Leathers.