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GP Week : Issue 151
The weather is often bad in Jerez, especially at this time of year. And the track is rather strange with it. As Stoner said: “it never gets really wet, but it never gets really dry either.” It made for nightmarish conditions on all three days. Because of this quirk, the wet tyres were wearing out after just a couple of laps, while the dry tyres were responsible for a number of crashes. Posing the question: whatever happened to intermediate tyres and cut slicks? A question that Jorge Lorenzo raised to Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta at the regular riders’ Safety Commission. “He told me, it is not Bridgestone philosophy,” he said. In fact, half-and-half tyres went away some 10 years ago, when tyre numbers were restricted for the first time. The introduction of Bridgestone control tyres in 2009 simply continued what was already established. For a while, nobody noticed ... because the Bridgestone wets proved remarkably grippy and durable in half-wet conditions. Things have changed since the Japanese company acceded to rider requests and introduced this year’s new-generation of ‘safety’ tyres: softer in construction. They’re durable enough in normal conditions, but at lower speeds than the old ones. Conditions at Jerez weren’t normal, but they weren’t all that abnormal either. And the latest wets were a serious worry, shredding after just a few laps. If the race had been wet, crews were preparing for tyre changes in the race, just to get their riders to the end. As it happened, they weren’t needed. With similar to-and-fro weather the norm at next weekend’s Estoril GP, that might not be the case there. But that’s the way it is, and it’s not going to change. As Pedrosa said: “We need them sometimes, but we’re not going to get them.” TYRES, WEATHER, AND WHAT LIES BETWEEN 24 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> JEREZ