2014 Phillip Island Tire Test: Lorenzo Fastest As Riders Pound Out The Laps For Tire Makers

Times from Monday:

Pos No Rider Bike Class Time Diff Diff prev.
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha MotoGP 1:29.213    
2 35 Cal Crutchlow Ducati MotoGP 1:29.576 0.363 0.363
3 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha MotoGP 1:29.730 0.517 0.154
4 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda MotoGP 1:29.961 0.748 0.231
5 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati MotoGP 1:29.965 0.752 0.004
6 53 Tito Rabat Kalex Moto2 1:32.316 3.103 2.351
7 18 Nico Terol Suter Moto2 1:33.290 4.077 0.974
8 36 Mika Kallio Kalex Moto2 1:33.440 4.227 0.150
9 81 Jordi Torres Suter Moto2 1:34.000 4.787 0.560


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Jorge's fastest race lap last year was almost a whole second faster than his best time here. All the riders were trying out different tyres at different times for Bridgestone, so these lap times can't be considered as being anything more than vaguely indicative.

Lorenzo said at Sepang that Bridgestone was not going to change the spec on the 2014 tires which he disliked. Now at Phillip Island Bridgestone has three new tires for him to try? In 2012 Bridgestone didn't change the spec on the tire that Stoner and Pedrosa said was usafe and gave them huge chatter (not only them either) which basically ruined their season. If the new tires Bridgestone tested are used anywhere else than at Phillip Island it demonstrates a clear bias toward Yamaha. This is inconsistent and a manipulation of the championship. Dorna should take immediate action against Bridgestone if they are in fact rigging the championship in Yamaha's favor.

Bridgestone is hosting a test for factory riders to "test" out some different tire compounds. wouldn't be much of a test if there was only one compound to choose from.
This is nothing new, Bridgestone was introducing new tires and asymmetric tires all throughout the 2013 season.
The other big part of this test was to try and avoid the fiasco of last year at Phillip Island.
This is not Bridgestone playing favs, its a tire test.
And I'm pretty sure the chatter problems actually started when they had to add the weight to the bike. The tires weren't causing chatter before that.

I agree with R6, except one point. Yes the added weight really upset the Honda, but the effect was much worse on the "softer for the slow guys" tire. In the first 4 or so rounds, they were still allowed to use the old front tire and so 27 did. He won at Jerez and Portugal. 2 tracks that he hadn't won at in his championship years. He was looking good. Then he had to go on to the soft tires, which he said he didn't like from the beginning and the rest is history.

So I do admit to being a little bitter about that move from b'stone/dorna. 27/26 told them from the start the problems they had with that tire - the 2011 champion is telling them the tire is too soft, unsafe, moving around too much, and they ignored him! Fair enough that they make a different tire for the slower guys who couldn't get the harder tire up to temp without crashing from time to time, but I thought it was weird that they penalise the 2 really quick guys on a Honda who needed the stiffer construction to go fast.

Putting my bitterness aside (and I am no where near the stoner fan I used to be - in his retirement it has become obvious to even a one eyed fan like me that he is WAY WAY too negative - embarrassingly so) I don't trust this single tire make, limited options, but change them when when we feel like it approach from dorna/b'stone. We know that dorna's number one motive is to create a racing series that has close racing so that it is exciting to watch, therefore makes good money from TV and gate. Am I too cynical? Does anyone else suspect that dorna will do what it can to bring the field back together? So while I am not pressing alarm bells yet, I am suspicious that b'stone will do what they need to (at dorna's request) to make sure that Lorenzo can compete with mm93 because - despite Rossi's one lap wonder in Sepang 2 - Lorenzo is the only rider who can compete with 93 right now.

Now don't get me wrong, I want close racing and I don't care who wins out of JL or Mm, especially if we have the Valencia version of JL... But it doesn't sit well that dorna/b'stone have the ability to influence the competitiveness of the different bike makes and riding styles by changing the characteristics of the tires. I think the single tire make needs to be scrapped, just put a limit on what companies can charge for their tires (like they did to Brembo?).

Anyway, continue...

I'd have given your thoughtful response five stars but for the needless crack about Stoner.

We really don't need to reopen that can of arguing worms.

Moto4, there is no way I want to start Stoner bash, I was a massive fan of his when he raced (went to PI several times pretty much just to see him race - usually booking the ticket after watching Laguna that year...), and Even watched a few rounds of V8s last year (yawn...) I just wanted to put my comments in perspective lest they be discounted by Stoner haters as fuelled by a blinded love of 27. Apologies to any offended. I'd say the same to Casey (re his negativity), in the context of acknowledging him to be a the best I've seen on a road bike.

except for going back to open tires. I used to think having more tire manufacturers would help, but then we're right back to Michelin flying in Sunday Specials for Rossi and no one else or you have a champion "who only won because he was riding on X tires and didn't have to struggle with B tires like..."
When I was at Indy this past year I actually got to speak with Livio Suppo (wow, sweet name drop) and I asked him what he thought about going back to the old days of multiple manufacturers (I assumed he would be all for it) but he emphatically said that the single tire supplier was better essentially for the reasons I just stated.

btw you get 5 stars even with the Stoner dig. Did you read his book? Pretty good stuff I thought.

Right, that IS interesting that Livio doesn't want to go back to multiple tires. I gather that he also would have thought of many other permutations in addition to the oft suggested price cap. Oh well, back to the drawing board...

was he said "If we go back to multiple tire manufacturers, then we get a situation like in 2007 when Casey only won the Championship because he was on Bridgestone tires, and of course we all know that this is bulls***!"

While it's correct that Honda suffered with the added weight the tires were introduced late in the testing season after Honda had tested with the weigh on other tires and had good results. The Honda riders both commented on the spec tires as a problem as did other riders on other teams. Bridgestone responded by deleting all other tires for the final tests and for the season. I realize that the Phillip Island test is a new tire test but the possibility for manipulation does exist and with Bridgestone's past behavior must be monitored, in my opinion.

lets say that Bridgestone know full well that the 2014 tires work better for Honda and the Yamahas are going to struggle to be competitive. If Yamaha brought these concerns and Bridgestone did nothing would THAT not be manipulating the series so that Honda win?

I thought this test was for Factory teams. If Ducati has gone the Open route why are they allowed there?

I thought it was a test for tires only for Phillip island? Far as I know it's so they can have a tire that will last the race and the tires are only for Phillip island!

This test is specific to PI only. Before people get all up in arms about it, know the facts first. Every article I read about this test so far mentioned that they are working to create a PI specific tire.

Sepang is low grip. P.I. is now super high grip (and has fresh WSBK rubber laid down on the abrasive surface). Both ends of the spectrum.
Before we let loose on Bstone and their motives too far remember that before the 2012 shift to a softer construction LOTS of riders were having trouble getting the front to heat up and work AT ALL, and we had low - power CRTs on the grid that would work heat into it even less. Riders were literally crashing out b/c of a too hard F construction. HRC bikes (esp Stoner) and the one exception of Rossi (who has always loved a firmer construction and harder compound for his riding style) were the exceptions to the rule. Right way for Bstone to go then!
This time they have been given a task of a tire that will make it on the couple of tracks at which they came apart last season. They MUST do so!

The difficulty Bstone has is big. Huge discrepancy of tire wear/traction needs at different tracks. AND huge discrepancy between Barbera's bike and Marquez's and tire wear/grip needs. AND very limited finances with which to provide tires for the year relative to prior to spec tire rule. AND They haven't but begun to tackle the immediately unfolding Open Ducati and Open Yamaha tire wear issue!
They don't have the convenience of tinkering around w manipulating race outcomes in favor of a certain manufacturer at the moment.
If we are looking for such things, the whole Manufacturer's Association (including Yamaha) really did a number on Yamaha w the fuel limits when they went under 22 liters. However, we see now Yamaha loses that battle and perhaps if we also hold a big birds eye view, we can see Yamaha (and everyone but Honda?) making huge gains in the war as their anemic Factory bike and powerhouse Open bike are the undoing of ill conceived regulation constrictions.