Bridgestone's Masao Azuma believes the cool track conditions at Silverstone on Sunday morning played a significant role in the MotoGP warm-up accidents involving Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow.
Marquez dislocated his shoulder in a fall on the entry to Vale chicane moments after Crutchlow went down at the same spot, with his RC213V catapulted towards the British rider and the marshals attending to the incident, fortunately avoiding striking anyone at the scene.
Crutchlow fell twice at Vale over the weekend and Azuma, Bridgestone's Motorsport Tyre Development Department Chief Engineer, said the track temperature combined with a 'small dip' in the extreme braking zone at Vale contributed to the incidents.
“Cooler temperatures always create more challenging conditions, there is no doubt about that but Bridgestone has made a big effort in recent seasons to improve both the warm-up performance and feel of our tyres to reduce risk in cooler temperatures,” he said.
“On Friday, MotoGP was the only class not to have any crashes in the morning session and on Sunday morning, three of the five crashes happened at Vale which features a small dip which can unsettle the front of the bike in what is quite an extreme braking zone.
“This point of the track has always been challenging for the riders, and the cold weather exacerbated the situation,” added Azuma.
“As always we will examine rider feedback, tyre and telemetry data to see if changes need to be made for the future, but with the harsh braking zones at Silverstone if you go too soft with the compound selection, braking stability can become an issue.
“Front tyre selection at Silverstone is always a juggling act, and I believe we got the balance right but there is no denying that in cool conditions, parts of the Silverstone circuit will always be difficult for riders to manage.”