Bridgestone To Offer Three Different Specs Of Front Tire For 2014

Bridgestone is to add an extra compound of front tire for MotoGP riders to choose from. After complaints from the teams over problems at some circuits, Bridgestone has responded by expanding the number of front tires allowed for each rider from 9 to 10, and adding an extra compound of front tire to help deal with differing conditions.

The change to the allocation had long been a wish of the MotoGP riders. Though Bridgestone's two selected compounds performed well under most conditions, a sudden drop in temperatures sometimes left riders and teams struggling. The problem was most pronounced in the morning sessions at circuits like Valencia and Aragon, where temperatures can be very cold. There were several front end crashes in those morning sessions, as tires struggled to get up to temperature. Adding a softer tire should make the morning practice sessions safer, and allow teams to work on setup without compromising safety.

The added tire also makes Bridgestone's job a little easier. The tire firm already produces rubber which works under an exceptionally wide range of temperatures and conditions, and expanding that to handle the more exceptional conditions was an expensive business. Adding a special softer tire for cold mornings means they can optimize their tire selection for expected conditions in the afternoon, giving teams better tires for the race.

Riders will initially be provided with 7 tires: 3 of the medium and 3 of the hard compound, and 1 of the softer compound. Adopting the terminology of Formula One, the medium and hard compounds will be viewed as the 'Prime' compounds, while the softer compound is regarded as the 'Option' tire. After practice on Thursday, riders will be allowed to select a further 3 tires, which can be 3 of any combination of the Prime tires, or 1 or 2 extra Option tires, plus the remainder in Prime tires.

By conceding to demands from Dorna and the Safety Commission, Bridgestone has (at least in part) demonstrated their willingness to solve some of the issues which remain with the single tire. Whether this should be regarded as a display that Bridgestone is still determined to retain the spec tire contract when it comes up for renewal at the end of this year remains to be seen.

The press release from Bridgestone explaining the change appears below:

Bridgestone expands front tyre allocation for MotoGP™ riders

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Bridgestone, the Official Tyre Supplier to MotoGP™ has made a revision to the front slick tyre allocation system to give riders more choice and a greater number of tyres at each race weekend.

The change in the allocation means each rider will now be able to choose their front tyre allocation from three different compound options, whereas before only two compound options were available. Additionally, the total number of front slicks each rider can use per race weekend increases from nine to ten tyres. The decision to change the front slick tyre allocation was made following last weekend’s Argentina Grand Prix, where the provision of three front slick options for the inaugural race at Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo was welcomed by the riders and teams.

The change in front tyre allocation was ratified by the FIM and Dorna, and will take effect from this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

“This change to the front slick tyre allocation will give riders greater choice at each race weekend, and will ensure that we have a tyre allocation that can manage any weather or track conditions encountered. MotoGP machines are becoming ever more demanding on tyres, with improved lap times and a greater variety in the performance characteristics between bikes, so an increased front tyre allocation will benefit everybody. Following the positive experience with the expanded front slick allocation at the Argentina Grand Prix, Bridgestone proposed to offer three front slick compound options to riders for the entire MotoGP season, and the FIM and Dorna have agreed to implement this change.”

Below is a summary of the new front tyre allocation system.

10 front slicks per rider (up from nine) from three compound options (up from two compounds)

Riders can select a maximum of six slicks in either of the two prime specification compounds, and a maximum of three of the option specification compound.

Each rider will receive an initial allocation of seven front tyres and can choose the rest of their allocation following FP2.

After FP2, each rider can choose three extra tyres to complete their allocation. The rider can choose a maximum of three front tyres in either of the prime allocation compounds. Alternatively, each rider can select a maximum of two front tyres from the option compound, plus one of the prime compounds to make up their full allocation of ten front tyres.

This table illustrates the front slicks available to every rider each weekend, up to a total of ten tyres. The yellow boxes indicate the riders’ initial tyre allocation.

  1 2 3 4 5 6
Prime (e.g. Medium)
Prime (e.g. Soft)
Option (e.g. Hard)      

The previous front tyre allocation system is shown below.

  1 2 3 4 5 6


Back to top


Could that be good for Ducati? Wasn't Hayden often asking for a softer compound front tire on the Ducati?

But then again it might not be too durable. After all Iannone cooked his front tire just like all the rest in Austin.

Could that be good for Ducati? Wasn't Hayden often asking for a softer compound front tire on the Ducati?

But then again it might not be too durable. After all Iannone cooked his front tire just like all the rest in Austin.

I'm a little confused. In the post the "option" tyre is the softer as in F1, but in the table of the press release says that the "option" tyre is the hard.

Surely everybody understands soft/medium/hard...
It is self-explanatory relative terminology.
When the press release gets everyone confused you know that you have a communication problem.

Taking the press release by itself, without reading it in the context of David's post, I would interpret the press release as saying that the option tire, could technically be any compound. It sounds like the prime options would be two compounds thought by Bridgestone to be most likely to suit the needs of the majority of the teams for the majority of the time.

The option tire compound, would be chosen by Bridgestone before the weekend, as a compound thought most likely to best compliment the prime compounds in order to resolve the biggest issue in tire performance that they foresee occurring, based on the nature of the track, likely temperature range and the characteristics of the bikes.

So this terminology of "option" leaves them free to pick a soft tire for cold fp1 and 3 in Europe or a harder tire for the same sessions in Qatar, where a better prime tire could be softer for a lower temp, slightly damp race time.


The press release leaves both options open. I suspect that at some tracks, they will bring a much softer option, at others, they will bring a much harder option. At Austin, they may have brought a harder option, at Valencia, maybe Phillip Island, certainly Aragon, they will bring a softer option to cope with the cool morning temperatures.

However, in the story, I was definitely drawing conclusions based on what I have learned from talking to teams, rather than the text of the press release.

Just in case you took my opening line as critical of your summary, I did not intend it to be taken that way. Maybe I could have worded that better. Keep up the good work! It's pretty obvious from the absolute flurry of comments on your last GP post, that there are many, many of us who are just hanging for your next post to stimulate another round of debate, fantasy and a few laughs! Now, I really should get back to what I'm paid to do...

About time! I have long felt that that tire concerns could be improved by Bstone shifting from developing "that one amazing tire" towards more good options.

Would like to see it go a step further and have a second construction as well as another compound. Bring the better racing and flexible bike design!

Wasn't B-stone just complaining about the HUGE logistics bill it would have to swallow if they altered compounds or brought new compounds? I believe they said that tyres for some of the rounds were shipped months in advance... Were they talking through their hats or am I dreaming?

Bravo Bridgestone! The Bridgestone engineers have listened to the riders and are making a responsible move motivated by safety. I have been critical of some of Bridgestone's policies but they deserve praise for this allocation change.

In light of recent events, seems like BStone is clearing out unusable inventory. Hmm, is that why they brought 2013 rubber to Austin?