Phillip Island MotoGP™ debrief with Shinji Aoki
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner took his sixth consecutive victory at Phillip Island ahead of newly-crowned World Champion Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo in second place, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow completed the podium in third place.
Weather conditions over the weekend were cool, with wind and intermittent rain also contributing to making the state of the track quite challenging for riders on Friday and Saturday. Track temperatures for the race were around the 30Â°C range making the softer option slicks the popular choice. All twenty riders taking selected the soft compound front slick, while all but one rider selected the medium compound rear slick which was the softer of the two options.
Q&A with Shinji Aoki Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
Conditions for most of the weekend were cooler than usual, what effect did this have on tyre performance and tyre choice for the race?
"Tyre performance over the weekend was good, with good warm-up performance and tyre grip reported by riders, but the cooler temperatures limited the riders to the softer front and rear slick options. Many riders evaluated the harder option slicks in practice, qualifying and warm-up, but as track temperatures were still cool for the race, no riders selected the harder front slick and only one rider selected the harder rear slick.
"Analysing feedback after the race, it seems that if conditions were warmer than more riders would have selected harder slicks, particularly for the front end as the medium compound front slick offered greater cornering stability, particularly in the bumpier sections."
With the softer compound slicks being used at such a fast circuit, were there any problems with tyre wear?
"No excessive tyre wear was recorded after the race as both the asymmetric rear slick options we provided had much harder rubber on the left shoulder, which is put under the greater loads. Also, the Phillip Island circuit has a flowing layout and though turns eleven and twelve produce very high track temperatures, overall there aren't many hard acceleration zones which create elevated levels of abrasion.
"Some riders did experience graining to their tyres over the weekend yet this wasn't at a level where it had a major effect on tyre performance. Generally in this situation we would advise teams to switch to harder compounds to avoid graining, but with the cool temperatures making this difficult, our tyre engineers had to advise teams on other ways to manage the situation"
The Phillip Island circuit has a very high average speed and creates extreme rear tyre temperatures. Did the new generation of 1000cc MotoGP machines cause even greater stress on the tyres last weekend?
"Despite the extra power of the 2012 MotoGP machines, lap times were at a similar level to last year and tyre temperatures were not too different from what we have seen in recent years. Bridgestone supplied special construction heat-resistant rear slicks at Phillip Island again this year and in conjunction with the less rigid construction of the 2012 specification tyres, these provided good warm-up performance and edge grip while still ensuring overheating of the rear tyres - particular in the last sector of the track - from occurring."
More, from a press release issued by KWS Motorsports:
KWS Motorsports takes home the WERA Superbike National Championship
The final stop of the WERA National Championship was held at Barber Motorsports Park for the First time in its 40 year History. Weather conditions started out perfect for the final round, but temperatures dropped into the 50's and 60's for the races on Saturday and Sunday. Chassis setup and tire choices were going to be critical but with help from Thermosman Suspension and Dunlop tires we were able to gain ground and finish the weekend on top. Both riders used the WERA National Sportsman races on Saturday to work on setup and strategy for the big races on Sunday. KWS support rider Jason Duplantis was attending his first GNF and last race as an amateur with high hopes of wins and championships. Duplantis crashed passing everyone on the outside of turn one of his first race of the weekend, and came out with some injuries that hindered him throughout the rest of the weekend. Duplantis earned a hard fought 7th place in the A Superstock amateur race and another spill in the C superbike race. Scott Carpenter took third place in the Sportsman Senior Superbike Heavyweight expert race behind Tim Hunt and Billy Ethridge.
The A Superstock National saw action with Bemisderfer leading the points over Dywer going into the last race. There was a three rider battle for the win all the way to the end with Hunt taking the checkered flag, Bemisderfer and Dywer finishing less than half a second behind to round out the podium. Luie took home the fourth place spot while running his personal fastest lap around the Barber racetrack while reserving his energy for the WERA Superbike final. Dwyer took home second in the National Championship points standings with Luie earning fourth place overall.
It definitely felt like history was made in the WERA National Superbike race that saw Sean Dwyer and Tim Bemisderfer battle all the way to the end; whoever won the race would also win the championship. Dywer lost some ground going into the last lap that most did not think he would be able to make up. Dwyer thought otherwise and put his head down to catch Bemisderfer on the back straight, finally squeezing past him in the last corner and beating him to the finish line by a fraction of a second. Luie Zendejas rode his most consistent race to date finishing third in the race and the championship after battling with Tim Hunt and Kris Turner early on.
Kevin Hunt - "I would like to thank to Luie, Sean, Scott and Jason for representing KWS all this year and for the sacrifices they have made. Having guys like Luie doing what he does for a day (and night) job allows us the freedom to pursue racing and all the other fun things we do. My hat is also off to Mike Godin for all the tireless hours at the shop, traveling and work at the races to get these guys on the box so often. I also need to say thanks to all our sponsors who make this happen: Millennium technologies, Pit Bull, Leo Vince exhaust systems, Bazzaz, Motul, VP fuels and Motul."
Sean Dwyer - "What a year! To win the WERA superbike championship with a last corner pass was something I will never forget. I had to work very hard to get this win and championship against tough competition and the way it ended is just how you dream it. KWS put together an amazing machine that made my job easy and boy was I thankful for that horsepower coming off that last turn. Thermosman worked the setup every session and we improved every time out to end up with my best handling bike yet, right when we needed it most, the superbike race. We used a combination of U.S.- and U.K.-made Dunlops and the tires were a huge part of my success, as they have been for years. My first GNF was full of great finishes thanks to Riders Discount, KWS Motorsports, Millennium Technologies, Ballistic Batteries, Leo Vince Exhausts, Zero Gravity, Motul, Motion Pro, VP Fuels, Vesrah Brakes, Andrew Swenson Designs, Thermosman Suspensions, and Dunlop Tires. Thanks to everyone that helped and made this possible!"
Luie Zendejas - "I'm extremely happy with the results for this past weekend's races at the Grand National Finals. My KWS, Millennium Technologies, Riders Discount, Dunlop-shod Suzuki GSX-R1000 was in top shape. We were able to go faster in every race with lots of potential for even more speed. It was a great way to end the season with a 3rd overall in the WERA Superbike Championship. I can't thank my Crew Chief Mike Godin enough for all the hard work and professionalism he brought to my program and team. His hard work really helped me exploit my potential. Mike Fitzgerald from Thermosman Suspensions, for his dedication and support through the years has been instrumental to the team's success. I also want to recognize my triathlon coach Naomi Gallagher for keeping me in top shape the last part of the season (she makes riding a bike a big joke), Kevin Hunt at KWS Motorsports for his continuing support in this sport, Johnny Boy at BackCountry.com (you're my boy!), Brian and TJ at Riders Discount, Dunlop Tires (the fastest tires out there), Millennium Technologies, Arai Helmets, Andrew Swenson Designs, Drippin' Wet decals, Storm Endurance bike shop, and Mike Beanman at Inside Outside sports for his support! We are currently working on a really cool program for next year that should up the competition even more, can't wait for 2013!!!!"
Jason Duplantis - "First I want to thank Kevin Hunt and Michael Godin of KWS Motorsports, Millennium Technologies, Wide Open Motorsports and Fly Racing for giving me the best bikes on the grid. Unfortunately I had a pretty big crash in B Superbike, my first race of the weekend. I hit my head and whole left side really hard. I tried to ride on Saturday, but due to my injuries was only able to muster up a 7th place finish in A Superstock and another DNF in C Superbike. This weekend was a total learning experience for me and I am very excited about competing as an expert next season. I just want to thank everyone who has helped me out this season, especially my wife Emily."
KWS Motorsports (www.kwsmotorsports.com) is proudly sponsored by: Millennium Technologies, Ballistic Performance Components, Pit Bull, Leo Vince Exhaust, Motion Pro, VP Race Fuels, Bazzaz Performance, Yoyodyne, Worldwide Bearing, K&N Filters, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Spider Grips, CP-Carrillo, Web Camshafts, and Motul Lubricants.
Luie Zendejas (www.luiezendejasracing.com) is proudly sponsored by: KWS Motorsports, Riders Discount, Millennium Technologies, Ballistic Performance Components, Thermosman Suspension, Dark Horse Foundation, Infinite Labs, Storm Endurance Sports Bicycle Shop, Andrew Swenson Designs, Drippin' Wet, Pit Bull, Dunlop Tires, VP Racing Fuels, Leo Vince Exhaust, Bazzaz Performance, Arai Helmets, Alpinestars, Oakley, Ice Box Cryotherapy, Web Cams, CP-Carrillo, Motion Pro, K&N Filters, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Worldwide Bearings, Parts Unlimited, Vesrah Brake Pads, Spiegler Brake Lines, Spider Grips, and Motul Lubricants.
Sean Dwyer is proudly sponsored by: KWS Motorsports, Riders Discount, Millennium Technologies, Ballistic Performance Components, Thermosman Suspension, Andrew Swenson Designs, Drippin' Wet, Pit Bull, Dunlop Tires, VP Racing Fuels, Leo Vince Exhaust, Bazzaz Performance, Arai Helmets, Alpinestars, Oakley, Web Camshafts, CP-Carrillo, Motion Pro, K&N Filters, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Worldwide Bearings, Parts Unlimited, Vesrah Brake Pads, Spiegler Brake Lines, Spider Grips, and Motul Lubricants.
Scott Carpenter is proudly sponsored by: Ron Ayers Motorsports, Michelin, KWS Motorsports, Shoei, JRI Shocks, Motul Lubricants, Pit-Bull, Millennium Technologies, EBC Brakes, Teknic, VP Racing Fuels, Sharkskinz, Cornerspeed, Tape Works Graphics, and Ballistic Performance Components.
Jason Duplantis is proudly sponsored by: KWS Motorsports, Millennium Technologies, Wide Open Motorsports, Fly Racing, Ballistic Performance Components, Thermosman Suspension, Motion Pro, VP Racing Fuels, Leo Vince Exhaust, Pit Bull, and Motul Lubricants.
For Information: http://www.kwsmotorsports.com.
More, from a press release issued by Honda East of Toledo:
October 31st, 2012 Maumee, OH Honda East Yamaha Suzuki of Toledo's sponsored rider Eddie Kraft finished off the 2012 WERA season this past weekend at the WERA Grand National Finals held at BarberMotorsportsPark, located in Birmingham, Alabama. Eddie raced against some of the strongest competition in the country, highlighted with an outstanding 4th place finish in the 600 Superstock invite-only finale showdown, against a stacked field of nearly 30 riders.
Eddie, a Michigan native, finished 7th and 6th respectively in the 750 Superstock and 750 Superbike finale races as well during the prestigious 40th annual Grand National Finals - and leading up to the event, had won both the WERA North Central 600 Superstock and 600 Superbike class championships aboard his Pirelli-shod Yamaha R6.
Honda East's Gabe Miller comments, "This being our fifth year working together with Eddie and the team, we've had yet another successful year. Not only have the results been there with wins and championships, but we've been extremely happy with everything we've been able to do together as a business with Honda East and our involvement in racing. Again this year, we're very happy and proud to be working with the team and look forward to 2013."
"There was a lot of fast talent out there this weekend," commented Eddie Kraft. "This was our second year at Barber and we found some good time around the place, which can be tricky to do at a technical track like Barber. In our last race, I felt something might have been loose on the bike so I pulled off, but I think the cold weather might have just been the culprit, so that's on me. We still had a strong showing and it was an absolute blast racing in these huge grids! I can't wait to come back here next year to try and further improve on our results."
Kraft continues, "I can't thank Honda East enough for standing behind me, especially with the injury I've been dealing with. It's been a great rebound season and I'm looking forward to what next season has in store!"
Honda East is the largest motorcycle dealership in the state; offering a full line of sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, ATVs, scooters, watercraft and snowmobiles not only by Honda but Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Aprilia, Victory, Sea-Doo, Bombardier, Polaris, Arctic Cat and Ski-Doo as well. Honda East also offers genuine OEM parts for all makes and models, deliverable to the store or directly to your home. Honda East prides themselves on the best out the door deal, period. No games, no hassles.
The team would also like to thank Zipfizz Energy, the Animal Aid Foundation, Pirelli Tires, SportbikeTrackGear.com, Oakley, Hanshaw Engines, Pit Bull, Dynojet, Sharkskinz, Worldwide Bearings, NGK, Motul, Chicken Hawk, Samco, Full Spectrum, Motion Pro, M.C. Designs, Spider Grips, Knox Armour, Bell Helmets, RS Taichi, Spiegler, GP Tech, Detroit Custom Paint, Sportbike Track Time and the Jason DiSalvo Speed Academy.
For more information on Honda East, visit www.hondaeast.com. For information and news on the racing team, please visit www.hondaeast.com.