Bike swap needed during Australian GP race

The circuit's new surface has caused tyre issues all weekend for Bridgestone

THE Phillip Island circuit has a new track surface which riders have been praising, although tyre degradation has lead to significant problems despite allowing harder tyres to be available.

Riders will be required to change onto their second bike before lap 12 with no more than 14 laps on any one slick tyre.

The Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport’s Tyre Development Department Shinji Aoki explained on Friday: "We anticipated that the new tarmac at this circuit had the potential to make this circuit even more severe on tyres, so we analysed the tyres used by the riders today to see if this was the case.

“Our analysis shows that the tarmac has made this track tougher on tyres, 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."

However, during qualifying it became apparent that the tyres would not last over a 26 lap race and FIM granted Race Direction the power to change the length of the race outside of the minimum and maximum lengths.

The following announcement has been made by Race Direction: “It has therefore been decided to make the following changes to the MotoGP class race in the interests of safety:

1. The race distance will be 26 laps (previously scheduled to be 27)

2. Every rider will be required to enter the pits and change to their second machine with fresh tyres at least once during the race.

3. No rider is permitted to make more than 14 laps on any one slick rear tyre. This means that a bike/tyre change before lap 12 would require a second bike/tyre change to finish the race

4. Riders using ‘Factory’ and ‘Satellite’ machines will be required to use the ‘hard’ option tyre (B51DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone

5. Riders using CRT machines will be required to use the CRT ‘hard’ option tyre (B50DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone

6. The pit lane speed limit zone will be extended both on entry and exit and the exit route to rejoin the track will be marked by a white line in the runoff area; crossing this line whilst rejoining the track from pit lane will result in a penalty

Teams have also been reminded that they must not ignore recommendations of the official tyre suppliers regarding tyre pressures which could lead to cases of abnormal degradation of tyres. A new regulation has been granted explaining that all teams and riders will comply to use the tyres according to the parameters agreed by the Technical Director and the organisers as well as with the official tyre suppliers.

The Moto2 race distance has also been decreased from 25 to 13 despite being on Dunlop tyres not Bridgestone.