This weekend, MotoGP will kick off the 2015 season with the first round of racing at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Lean Angle, we will be following this season closely and cant wait to see what kind of competition we will see this season. There are several big questions this year: Will Rossi bring home #7, Will Marquez continue his streak of absolute dominance on the Repsol Honda, will Suzuki surprise everyone and be standing atop the podium at the end of the year? But one of the biggest questions viewers may have is this: whats with the colored tires?
No matter what the prediction, we can all agree MotoGP is one of the most entertaining forms of Motorsport to watch. And if you are a loyal follower, the return of the color-coded system from last year may already be familiar to you. For our readers who may not know,MotoGP”s newly appointed official tire supplier, Bridgestone, introduced the color-coding last season as a way to keep fans more involved with their team’s strategy. Here at Lean Angle, we think this is a great way to get fans more involved in the sport, and we want to make sure you know exactly what you are looking at, including two all new additions to the selection for this year: an extra-hard rear tire compound as well as an all new asymmetrical front slick option.
The new extra-hard compound comes out of necessity. Last year, MotoGP added the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina to the schedule, which proved to be a bit of a challenge for most teams. The tight turns of the Argentinian circuit proved to be testing for the standard hard compound tire, and even more so for teams like Ducati who were limited to softer compounds due to following open class rules. This year Bridgestone has created the extra-hard compound, available in rear tire only, to specifically combat the previous issues at Termas de Rio Hondo. We are anxious to see how this new compound holds up to riders, and will be keeping an eye on any machines running extra-hard rubber, which will be denoted by a yellow stripe.
The other new addition to Bridgestone’s selection will be an all new “asymmetrical” front tire which will be denoted by a light blue stripe. Some of you may be wondering what an asymmetrical tire is. So that you don’t have to Google it, Lean Angle has done the leg work for you. An asymmetrical tire is simply one whose tread or compound is not the same on one side as it is on the other. The reasoning for such a tire is that it allows teams to set the bike up to run differently in different corners or changing conditions (anyone remember Assen last year where teams went from wet to dry conditions?). The asymmetrical front slick will offer one profile per round available to all teams, so there will not be multiple types of asymmetrical compounds at each circuit.
The rest of the Bridgestone lineup will remain unchanged from last season. Hard-compound tires will still sport their red stripe,while medium compound retains its black designation. Soft-compound tires will be sporting a white stripe, while the extra-soft will remain with it’s blue ring, which could get confusing when trying to designate between soft and asymmetrical tires in the front. While met with some skepticism at first, Bridgestone seems committed to doing all they can to improve the sport for both riders and fans as evidenced by this year’s offering. And here at Lean Angle, any improvements which keeps racing competitive and exciting, and allows fans to be more engaged in the sport is just fine by us.
Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page throughout the season for more articles and updates on the 2015 season. ont forget to comment on our post telling your predictions for this season. Racing kicks off this Sunday at Losail at 2:00 ET, coverage can be found on Fox Sports 1.