Saturday, August 8

INDY: THE HEAT IS ON

According to Bridgestone, the track temperature at Indianpolis reached 56 degrees Celcius on Friday afternoon, when the MotoGP set their fastest lap times of the day, Jorge Lorenzo just a whisker outside Marc Marquez lap record.

The really interesting thing is that Lorenzo and Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez set their fast time on hard compound Bridgestones, not the soft options several of their rivals used.

Bridgestone's Masao Azuma is predicting a record-breaking weekend.

After the first day, just under seven tenths of a second separated Lorenzo from tenth fastest Valentino Rossi.

For this weekend, here is the Bridgestone tye allocation for MotoGP:

Slick options 

Front: Soft, Medium or Hard

Rear: Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)

Wet tyre options: 
Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Weather conditions in Indianapolis were fine and sunny, with a mild start to the day changing to very hot conditions in the afternoon.  A peak track temperature of 56°C was recorded towards the end of FP2, one of the highest figures ever recorded at the Indy circuit. 

With the infield section of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway seeing little use, the grip levels on the opening day of the race weekend were expectedly poor, but improved after each session and for MotoGP FP2, the riders were able to get close to race record pace in the extremely hot temperatures.
 
In the morning FP1 session, the medium compound rear slick was the most popular option, and while this specification continued to see a lot of use with the factory Aprilia, Ducati, Suzuki and open class riders in FP2, the factory Honda and Yamaha riders switched to using the hard compound rear slick in the warmer afternoon session. 

Front tyre choice saw almost every rider use the medium compound front slick in the cooler conditions of FP1 but as temperatures and grip levels increased for FP2, about half of the riders assessed the hard compound front slick and liked its good braking stability and consistency through Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s numerous braking zones. 

At this stage of the race weekend, the preference for the medium and hard compound front slicks is split quite evenly across the 23 riders contesting this weekend’s race, but more track time may see one of these options firm as the race favourite.
 
Even warmer temperatures are forecast for Saturday, making further evaluation of the different slick tyre options a priority in the remaining practice sessions, the next of which is FP3 which starts at 0955 local time (GMT-4).
 
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department:


“It was a productive first day here at Indianapolis with the fine conditions enabling the riders to test quite a few different tyre combinations.  We expected the grip levels on the opening day to be poor and this was the case, although perhaps it was marginally better that what we encountered in Friday practice last year.  

"This circuit has many braking zones which places an emphasis on good front-end stability and as a result we had a very good response to our hard compound front slick, although the medium compound front slick was also popular due to its advantage in cornering performance.  

"All three rear slick options in our tyre allocation were evaluated today, but with warmer temperatures a possibility for tomorrow, race simulations in FP4 will be important in determining which of these options is best for the riders for the race.  What is positive for us is that all of our slick options are performing well so far and we could see some record-breaking pace in tomorrow’s sessions.”


Indianapolis Weather: 
FP1 - Dry. Ambient 21-22°C; Track 31-37°C (Bridgestone measurement)

FP2 - Dry. Ambient 27-28°C; Track 55-56°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Indianapolis MotoGP: Top ten combined Free Practice 1 & 2 times

Pos
Rider
Team
Combined FP1 & FP2 Times
Gap
1
Jorge LORENZO
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
1'32.860 (FP2)
 
2
Marc MARQUEZ
Repsol Honda Team
1'32.863 (FP2)
0.003
3
Andrea DOVIZIOSO
Ducati Team
1'33.155 (FP2)
0.295
4
Andrea IANNONE
Ducati Team
1'33.166 (FP2)
0.306
5
Cal CRUTCHLOW
CWM LCR Honda
1'33.186 (FP2)
0.326
6
Pol ESPARGARO
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
1'33.362 (FP2)
0.502
7
Dani PEDROSA
Repsol Honda Team
1'33.377 (FP2)
0.517
8
Scott REDDING
EG 0,0 Marc VDS
1'33.443 (FP2)
0.583
9
Bradley SMITH
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
1'33.474 (FP2)
0.614
10
Valentino ROSSI
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
1'33.532 (FP2)
0.672