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GP Week : Issue 121
GROWING concerns over the cold-track performance of the one-size-fits-all control Bridgestone tyres loomed large for next weekend’s Dutch TT, in the wake of the cold-tyre crash that injured Cal Crutchlow at Silverstone. With rain forecast at Assen for the coming week, and temperatures predicted to drop to 14 degrees on race Saturday, a repeat of Silverstone is feared.At the British track the ambient temperature on race day was even colder at 11 degrees; but the Assen circuit in the far north of the Netherlands is as notorious as Silverstone for cold winds and frequent showers. In the days of open competition tyres were made for individual riders, bikes and circuits. Bridgestone’s single supply contract works differently. Tyres need to be the opposite of specialised, operating over as wide a range of styles, machines and conditions as possible. At the same time, tyre designs are finalised and the tyres made months in advance and shipped by sea to the races, with no opportunity to react to unexpected conditions. Until now riders have praised the versatility of the wet and dry Bridgestones; but when a prototype for next year was tested after Estoril a number of riders including Stoner and Pedrosa requested in vain that it be made available immediately. The difficulty is racing’s Catch 22: the tyres need to be warmed up (to more than 100 degrees C) to be used hard, but they need to be used hard in order to warm up. Conditions don’t have to be that cold for problems to arise. According to Stoner, there are instances when if you slow down for a few corners in practice to get a clear track, the tyres drop out of their optimum range. Just such an occurrence caused Rossi’s crash at Mugello last year, when he broke his leg. Crutchlow’s injurious qualifying crash was blamed on a tyre still too cold in spite of having already completed two laps. But the three race crashes at Silverstone (Lorenzo, Spies, Simoncelli) were for a different reason, according to Bridgestone’s Hirohide Hamashima, who was satisfied with the performance of the wet tyre. “ The biggest challenge was the amount of standing water on the circuit. Some riders were caught out by aquaplaning,” he said. “Overall Casey Stoner in particular was able to demonstrate great performance in what were very slippery and difficult conditions.” Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... The world of MoTorsporTdirecTly Toyour deskTop Issue No. 146 March16 -22 2010 WHINCUP INA FORMULA 1 CAR AT ALBERT PARK REIGNINGCHAMPSSETFORF1/V8 CARSWAPNEXTWEEK –FULLDETAILS INSIDE! POWER PLAY! Aussies fight itout inIndyCar opener – and Will wins! EXCLUSIVE! Moto GP news >> CROWD favourite Colin Edwards was called upon to explain himself, after he got a bit carried away by his comedy show on stage at Silverstone at the British GP on the eve of his popular rostrum return on Sunday. In a clip that has already received 35,000 YouTube hits, the popular Texan entertains the crowd with his colourful language and wry Texan tough-talk. But when asked whether he was needed by Yamaha for next year, his mischievous streak got the better of him. After saying pointedly that he had never seen either of the factory riders, Spies or Lorenzo, “with a girl”; he then revealed that his team-mate Crutchlow’s girlfriend was extremely cute, adding “I’d do her.” Quickly back-tracking, pointing out he was a happily married man with kids, was not enough. The subject was raised again at a pre-Indianapolis Press conference, when he was asked about his reception when he got back home to wife Alyssia. “She didn't like that too much, either. I had to basically explain the fact that: ‘Honey, I'm a comedian. I was just looking for a laugh. I had no aspirations to do anything I was saying.’ She knows I'm a ding-dong sometimes and say stupid shit.” The crowd, needless to say, loved it. Edwards explains his Youtube moment ... Tyre fears continue as Assen weather looms 17