British Grand Prix, Silverstone: Bridgestone Qualifying Review
Alvaro Bautista will start on pole position for the first time ever in a MotoGP™ race after the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider set a time of 2:03.303 in an action packed qualifying session at Silverstone.
Bautista set his pole-winning time on the combination of the soft rear and hard front slick just minutes before a rain shower washed over the circuit that left the circuit in a treacherous state. Starting second on the grid will be Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies who continued his strong form in Friday’s practice sessions, while last year’s British GP winner Casey Stoner completes the front row on the Repsol Honda RC213V. Aleix Espargaro finished just two-hundredths of a second ahead of his Power Electronics Aspar teammate Randy de Puniet to qualify as top CRT rider in eleventh place.
In similar conditions to yesterday, strong winds and intermittent rain showers fell throughout the day with track temperatures just getting above 20°C for qualifying. With such low grip levels, soft slicks were once again widely used during FP3 and qualifying though some riders did try the harder front and rear slicks today and there is a strong possibility that both these options will be used in tomorrow’s race.
The Sunday morning warm-up session takes place at 1000 (GMT +1) tomorrow before race action gets underway at 1300 local time.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium-Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 17-18°C; Track 19-21°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Once again the unsettled weather conditions made it very difficult for riders today. The cold conditions meant that softer slicks were once again widely used today, though some riders did evaluate the harder front and rear slicks and for the front tyre in particular, I believe we will see both the softer and harder options lining up on the grid if we have a dry race tomorrow.
“The decision to revise the compounds in our slick rear tyres for Silverstone has been vindicated as they are working very well in what are extreme conditions, while the feedback on how our new specification front slick is performing has also been very positive. It is very hard to predict what tomorrow’s weather will bring, but I am confident that we have a tyre option to cope with whatever conditions we are presented with for the race.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport Press Release