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MotoGP Q&A - Hiroshi Yamada (Bridgestone)

"The performance of the new open class machines is quite high. It will be a challenge for us to supply a softer rear slick option for these machines"
A Bridgestone generated interview with its motorsport manager Hiroshi Yamada, looking back on this year's MotoGP World Championship and ahead to the 2014 season.

Bridgestone has been MotoGP's exclusive tyre supplier since 2009…

Yamada-san, how would you summarise the 2013 MotoGP season?

Hiroshi Yamada:
“Overall, I think this season has been fantastic – one of the best ever for the series. All the riders were performing at a very high level and to witness Marc break record after record and Jorge defend his title with so much passion, I think it brought many new fans to MotoGP. Personally, I was very happy to see that despite our focus on producing safer, more user-friendly tyres, eleven Circuit Best Laps and ten Circuit Record Laps were set this year, showing the performance potential of our Battlax tyres.

“Also, to start the year with 24 riders – the largest grid since Bridgestone started in MotoGP – shows how the series continues to grow and when I heard that the overall attendance figure this year was the highest ever, it reaffirmed to me that the 2013 season was one of the best ever.”

From a rider perspective, what were the standout performances for you this year?

Hiroshi Yamada:
“To be honest, there are too many highlights to choose just a couple. Marc's domination at the Americas Grand Prix was significant as it showed the world just what a talent had entered the series.

“Jorge's brave performance at Assen was the mark of a true champion, and his race at Motegi was one of the most impressive displays of controlled riding I've seen. Marc and Jorge's battle at Silverstone was also an amazing show for the fans. Valentino winning at Assen – I could go on and on! Then you have performances like Aleix qualifying fifth in Germany which was so impressive on a CRT machine.

“The fact that I can't just choose a few highlights shows the depth of talent in MotoGP at the moment. The future of the sport is looking very bright indeed.”

There were many highlights, but the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island must have been a shock for you.

Hiroshi Yamada:
“Yes, Phillip Island was an extreme situation and something we've never experienced before. We've always known Phillip Island is a severe circuit for tyres and so we prepared by running a lot of simulations heading into the race. When presented with the situation we made sure two things happened. We did the best within the circumstances to ensure things ran as smoothly as they could, and we made sure we learned from the situation to avoid a repeat in the future.

“Given the tyre allocation we had at Phillip Island, I am pleased that we could work with race direction and Dorna to ensure rider safety and put on a good show for the fans. Now our focus is on developing a tyre allocation that will suit the new Phillip Island surface, and a major part of that development will take place after we test there early next year.”

During your long career with Bridgestone, you've worked in both a competition and sole tyre supplier environment in MotoGP. Which supply situation do you think offers the most excitement?

Hiroshi Yamada:

Tagged as: Bridgestone

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Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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December 03, 2013 11:21 PM
Last Edited 746 days ago

Yeah, making tyres must be a barrel of monkeys? Overheard at the Bridgestone water cooler: "Last week I had the flu and accidentally sneezed into the compound mixing machine, You know that batch of tyres produced 0.5% more edge grip and 0.75% greater lifespan. I think we should look into that a bit further......"


December 04, 2013 8:03 AM

"Private testing that finished last week" Just how "private" is that testing? What bike do they use, and if it's not a current bike then what's the use? If Bridgestone use Honda or Yamaha or Ducati then there must surely be some feedback via the mechanics, and if they use just one make of bike to improve their tyres then inevitably that Manfr. goes into the season with an advantage. Any ideas?

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