“We have a lot of work but we are ready”
The final MotoGP tests at Jerez in Spain saw the Bridgestone-fitted Suzukis knocked off the top of the times after dominating in Malaysia… but only by rivals using qualifying tyres, according to the quietly satisfied Suzuki team riders.
of three riders ahead of the Suzukis was fellow Bridgestone rider Marco Melandri, in his second outing after his factory-backed Gresini-Honda team switched to Bridgestone tyres for next year, and full of praise for the tyres.
The fastest time was set by Dani Pedrosa, who admitted he had used a super-soft tyre for the lap time. Second-placed Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi did not reveal his choice.
The tests, concluding on the last day of November, were the last chance to try the new- generation 800cc machines before the winter testing ban, which lasts until January 20. Already, Bridgestone were trying new tyre profiles and constructions.
Lap times are little slower than the 990cc machines, achieved with higher mid-corner speed, requiring a change of emphasis in tyre design.
Race and tyre engineers will not be idle in the break. This is the time to incorporate lessons learned at these tests into next year's equipment. When testing begins again at Sepang on January 24, there are barely six weeks before the first race of the season in Qatar.
"We have a very short time, and we are supporting four different manufacturers next year," said Bridgestone Motorsport's Manager for motorcycle racing, Hiroshi Yamada. "Since the characteristics of each bike are different, we have a lot of work to help all our teams, but we are ready for the challenge," he said.