After evaluating the new track surface in yesterday’s first practice sessions at Phillip Island, Bridgestone has announced that the MotoGP riders will only have the hard option tires available to them for Sunday’s 17th round of the World Championship.

“This morning’s FP1 session was the first chance for us to assess what effect the new Phillip Island surface would have on tire performance and straight away it was apparent that the new surface offers more grip which resulted in very quick lap times,” said Bridgestone’s Shinji Aoki. “It was great to see times getting close to the circuit best lap time on the opening day. In the morning session softer slick options front and rear were used and the feedback from the riders was that these options were working very well. In FP2, six riders assessed the harder front slick which also received positive comments, and although only one rider assessed the harder rear slicks, the feedback received indicate that it gives good, consistent performance.

 “We anticipated that the new tarmac at this circuit had the potential to make this circuit even more severe on tires, so we analyzed the tires used by the riders today to see if this was the case. Our analysis shows that the tarmac has made this track tougher on tires, so we have decided that although riders can still use the softer rear slicks for the remaining practice sessions and qualifying, for the race we have specified that all riders use the harder rear slick options available to them.”

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