Bridgestone recommended that the factory class Honda and Yamaha riders race with the extra-hard rear tyre in Sunday's Argentinian MotoGP.

Honda riders Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and stand-in Hiroshi Aoyama instead chose the hard rear, which Marquez used to pull a four-second lead - before being reeled in by Yamaha's Valentino Rossi on the new extra-hard.

The battle was decided one lap early when a collision between the pair ended with Marquez on the ground, promoting Andrea Dovizioso to second for Ducati and Crutchlow to third.

Due to the Open class concessions, Ducati did not have access to the new extra-hard rear, meaning two of the three rostrum finishers ran the hard rear.

"Based on our analysis over the race weekend, our recommendation was for the factory Honda and Yamaha riders to use the extra-hard rear for the race but in the end each rider had to make their own decision based on their race strategy and bike setting," Bridgestone's chief engineer Masao Azuma said.

"Making a final decision on race tyre choice was difficult for some riders as conditions for the race were cooler than on Saturday when they did their race simulations. Rossi's quick, consistent pace on the extra-hard rear slick was impressive but Marquez also rode a very strong pace and challenged for the win on the hard rear.

"Also, Crutchlow was third and set his fastest lap on the last lap of the race with the hard rear, so it is obvious that this option also performed well. Tyre management in this race was key, with either rear slick option for the factory Honda and Yamaha riders capable of producing race-winning performance."

 

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