Indianapolis Grand Prix: Bridgestone Race Review
In particularly tricky conditions because of the high temperature and the new tarmac at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Casey Stoner and the Repsol Honda Team delivered a masterclass in consistency and tyre management to romp to a comfortable victory. It’s the Australian’s seventh of the season and his third in succession, extending his championship lead to 44 points with six races remaining.
He was followed across the line by teammate Dani Pedrosa in second and Yamaha Racing’s Ben Spies who recovered excellently having dropped to ninth to climb onto the podium for the third time this season.
Every rider opted for the softer option rear and the harder option front Bridgestone slicks for the 28-lap race, with the exception of Nicky Hayden who was the only rider to gamble with the softer option front slick. Tyre wear was a crucial factor in the outcome of today’s race, as was expected from the conditions experienced all weekend, but durability was good. Stoner set a new lap record on lap 20, Stoner, Pedrosa and Spies all lapped consistently in the high 1m 39s to low 1m 40s bracket until the last few laps, and Andrea Dovizioso set his personal best on the last lap.
This is a clear indication of how significant the bike and rider package is in determining tyre performance – there were clear differences in tyre durability and consistency between riders using exactly the same tyre specifications.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Hard, Extra Hard
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Casey today for a very strong ride, and also to the Repsol Honda Team not just for Casey but Dani too who performed very strongly. It was an impressive recovery from Ben to fight back from ninth to finish third, and it is great for the home fans to see an American rider on the podium. I’d also like to congratulate Álvaro and the Rizla Suzuki Team for their sixth position as they seem to be really finding their stride now.”
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“What we saw today was a clear example of just how important machine setup is in maximising tyre performance – we saw some riders suffer from tyre wear especially in the front, but by contrast those at the front were remarkably consistent and the laptimes show good durability. Casey’s total race time was over 20seconds faster than the previous best set in 2009 and he also set a new lap record on lap 20 of 28. What’s more, Dani set the third fastest laptime and his personal best on lap 24, and Andrea’s personal best was fourth fastest and came on the last lap. In terms of tyre wear appearance after the race I can say that the tarmac improved again and the grip level is high, especially for the rear which led to the front end pushing through corners, increasing wear rate.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport