After the horrendous-looking crash of Kawasaki’s Shinya Nakano at Mugello last weekend (thankfully, resulting in no serious injury), Bridgestone has been working around the clock to analyze the failure of Nakano’s rear tire at over 180mph, and come up with a suitable design change. At stake is the safety of the Bridgestone riders at this weekend’s Catalunyan GP, which features one of the fastest straightaways of the season (more than one kilometer in length).
According to a press release from the Kawasaki MotoGP team, Bridgestone believes it has determined the cause of the tire failure, and has already developed a new construction which solves the problem. In our opinion, this is rather remarkable, and evidences the strong commitment Bridgestone has made to the developement of its MotoGP rubber. You may recall that Makoto Tamada (aboard a Bridgestone-shod Honda) ran at the front in Mugello for many laps. After just two full seasons in competition, Bridgestone is already putting tremendous pressure on Michelin – traditionally the dominant tire in MotoGP.