The first test of the 2009 MotoGP season was successfully concluded last weekend with all 17 riders in attendance using Bridgestone tyres under the single tyre ruling that has come into effect for this season.
After three days of uninterrupted running
in the Malaysian heat, Ducati Team's Casey Stoner finished fastest, followed closely by Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi. With every machine equipped with the same tyres, the top five riders were separated by just 0.5seconds.
As per the new single tyre supplier regulations, Bridgestone brought two compounds of its slick tyre to the test - medium and hard. Each rider was supplied with a total of ten sets of tyres during the course of the three days, as well as an additional three tyres (one front and two rears) for Bridgestone's testing purposes.
On the opening day of the test every rider was allocated two medium sets and two hard sets of tyres. A further three sets of tyres were provided per additional day with each rider selecting his combination of compounds.
“The test has been very successful for us as all the teams responded positively to the performance and durability of our tyres, and we have gathered some valuable data relating to our extra hard compound rear tyres”, commented Tohru Ubukata. “This will allow us to determine the best way to develop these for races later in the season. The test has also given us a lot of information that will allow us to ensure we select the correct tyre compound choices for future hot races.”
“We are very pleased with the performance of our tyres following the first test of this season”, added Hiroshi Yamada.
“Of course we have good relationships with many teams from previous years, but there are also new teams that we have recently started working with and the test has allowed us to continue to build these relationships. I'd like to thank all the teams and riders for their cooperation in this first test of the year as we look forward to the first race in Qatar. We have had very positive feedback from all the teams over the last three days and the times at the front are very close which is exciting for competition this year.”
The test gave Bridgestone an excellent opportunity to continue working closely with all this year's teams and riders and also to introduce two different specifications of extra hard compound rear tyre, under development for races later in the season such as the Sachsenring and Phillip Island. Each rider was offered one of each specification, along with an additional hard compound front tyre for the testing runs, and the performance of each closely monitored.