Despite the introduction of a single tyre rule, the recent San Marino Grand Prix at Misano marked the sixth time this season that a MotoGP lap record has been broken.
The single tyre rule puts Bridgestone in a difficult position, where it must balance its competitive instincts to go faster against ensuring equality in terms of tyre supply to each rider on the grid.
The Japanese company seems to have got that balance right, although if lap records continue to be broken the company might soon be asked to reduce grip levels to help contain cornering speeds - a factor mentioned when the decision to end open tyre competition was made. Safety and cost were the two main reasons given for moving to a single tyre.
“Of course I am very happy as it demonstrates the level of performance our tyres are delivering and the speed they are allowing the riders to ride at,” replied Bridgestone's tyre development manager Tohru Ubukata, when asked about the broken lap records.
“We have no tyre competition in MotoGP anymore, but the fact that six new lap records have been set this season gives a good comparison of the level of performance of our tyres this year.
“This season, new lap records have been set by Valentino Rossi at Jerez, Assen and Misano, by Jorge Lorenzo at Brno and Indianapolis, and by Dani Pedrosa at Sachsenring.
“Jerez, Assen, Brno and Misano all have high average lap speeds and both Sachsenring and Indianapolis have abrasive surfaces, so I am very pleased with the performance of our tyres in these demanding conditions.”
The only real disagreement between Bridgestone and the MotoGP riders so far this season has been over the issue of more asymmetric tyres.
This came to a head during the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, when a number of riders were caught out by the rarely used right-hand side of the symmetrical tyres supplied for the event.