Japanese Grand Prix, Motegi: Bridgestone Race Review
Jorge Lorenzo dominated today’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider leading from start to finish at Motegi to set the stage for an enticing championship decider at the final round of the season in Valencia.
Starting from pole position, Lorenzo got a great start to seize the lead on the opening lap and although he was pressured by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez in the middle phase of the race, Lorenzo upped the pace – setting the fastest lap of the race on lap sixteen – to streak away and win the race by 3.188 seconds. Marquez claimed second place ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa who finished in third place to ensure two Repsol Honda’s on the podium. The top CRT finisher at Motegi was NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards in twelfth place.
Dry conditions finally eventuated at Motegi allowing teams to work on race setup and tyre choice in this morning’s extended practice session. After a cool and at times cloudy morning, track temperatures increased throughout the day and reached a peak of 32°C at the start of the race. The stop-and-go layout of Motegi puts a premium on braking stability, resulting in twenty-three of the twenty-five riders selecting the harder option, medium compound front slick for the race. Rear tyre choice was more varied, with fifteen riders selecting the softer rear option – including race winner Lorenzo – and the ten remaining riders selecting the harder rear slick option available to them. Rear tyre choice for the race amongst the prototype riders trended towards their harder rear slick option, while among the CRT riders there was a clear preference for their softer rear slick option.
Heading into the season finale at Valencia in two weeks’ time, Lorenzo trails Marquez by thirteen points while Pedrosa has secured third place in the championship by scoring his twelfth podium of the season at Motegi.
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Super-soft (Asymmetric) Extra-soft (Symmetric) & Soft (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 20-18°C; Track 32-26°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Masaaki Tsuya – CEO and Representative Board Member Concurrently Chairman of the Board, Bridgestone Corporation
“I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to Jorge and Yamaha Factory Racing for taking such a special victory at Motegi today. I’m glad that the spectators that were present at Motegi today go to watch such an impressive race under clear, autumn skies. I am honoured that Bridgestone is able to support and participate in such a wonderful racing series as MotoGP as the official tyre supplier. We look forward to the last race of this year’s MotoGP world championship where Bridgestone will once again provide fair and equal support, and the highest level of product and service to every rider and team in the paddock.”
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“It was a very busy day for the teams and our tyre engineers who had very little time to work together to find the best race tyre for each rider in this morning’s extended warm up session. With temperatures becoming warmer this afternoon and the need for excellent braking stability at this circuit, it was no surprise to see that the harder front slick option was selected by almost every rider. For this year at Motegi, we shifted our rear slick allocation one step softer to give the riders more suitable tyre options for the race and this was a success, with both rear options working very well here today. With all the disruption due to the poor weather Friday and Saturday limiting the amount of dry track time, I am really happy with the tyre performance at Bridgestone’s home race here at Motegi.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport