Bridgestone Motorsports Press Release:
Jorge Lorenzo dominated today’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider leading from start to finish at Motegi to set the stage for an enticing championship decider at the final round of the season in Valencia.
Starting from pole position, Lorenzo got a great start to seize the lead on the opening lap and although he was pressured by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez in the middle phase of the race, Lorenzo upped the pace – setting the fastest lap of the race on lap sixteen – to streak away and win the race by 3.188 seconds. Marquez claimed second place ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa who finished in third place to ensure two Repsol Honda’s on the podium. The top CRT finisher at Motegi was NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards in twelfth place.
Dry conditions finally eventuated at Motegi allowing teams to work on race setup and tire choice in this morning’s extended practice session. After a cool and at times cloudy morning, track temperatures increased throughout the day and reached a peak of 32°C at the start of the race. The stop-and-go layout of Motegi puts a premium on braking stability, resulting in twenty-three of the twenty-five riders selecting the harder option, medium compound front slick for the race.
Rear tire choice was more varied, with fifteen riders selecting the softer rear option – including race winner Lorenzo – and the ten remaining riders selecting the harder rear slick option available to them. Rear tire choice for the race amongst the prototype riders trended towards their harder rear slick option, while among the CRT riders there was a clear preference for their softer rear slick option.
Heading into the season finale at Valencia in two weeks’ time, Lorenzo trails Marquez by thirteen points while Pedrosa has secured third place in the championship by scoring his twelfth podium of the season at Motegi.
Masaaki Tsuya – CEO and Chairman of the Board, Bridgestone Corporation:
“I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to Jorge and Yamaha Factory Racing for taking such a special victory at Motegi today. I’m glad that the spectators that were present at Motegi today go to watch such an impressive race under clear, autumn skies. I am honored that Bridgestone is able to support and participate in such a wonderful racing series as MotoGP as the official tire supplier. We look forward to the last race of this year’s MotoGP world championship where Bridgestone will once again provide fair and equal support, and the highest level of product and service to every rider and team in the paddock.”
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development:
“It was a very busy day for the teams and our tire engineers who had very little time to work together to find the best race tire for each rider in this morning’s extended warm up session. With temperatures becoming warmer this afternoon and the need for excellent braking stability at this circuit, it was no surprise to see that the harder front slick option was selected by almost every rider. For this year at Motegi, we shifted our rear slick allocation one step softer to give the riders more suitable tire options for the race and this was a success, with both rear options working very well here today. With all the disruption due to the poor weather Friday and Saturday limiting the amount of dry track time, I am really happy with the tyre performance at Bridgestone’s home race here at Motegi.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner:
“Looking at the classification and seeing as the two riders behind me on the podium were Honda’s, it means this track is better for Honda, so to take this win at Honda’s ‘home circuit’ and winning Yamaha’s two-hundredth MotoGP victory was a pleasure. It was also a good result for me as I took a gamble with my tire choice as I chose the softer rear tire. It was a hard race physically, but I kept my concentration and I really wanted this victory.”
Japanese MotoGP Top 10 Race Classification:
1 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing
2 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team
3 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team
4 Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini
5 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP
6 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing
7 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3
9 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team
10 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team
For more information: www.bridgestonemotorsport.com