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With Plenty of Bridgestone “Edge Treatment” Coming His Way, Lorenzo is the Favorite From This Point Forward

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While the spectacular elbow dragging of Marc Marquez (Honda) caught everyone’s attention when he entered the MotoGP class a couple of years ago, Marquez is not the king of corner speed in MotoGP.  That would be Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

As a result, it turns out that certain Bridgestone tires work to Lorenzo’s advantage. Those would be the rear tires available with Bridgestone’s special “edge treatment” — tires that are not available at every circuit.  Some circuits simply generate too much heat in the tires … requiring a more consistently stiff sidewall.

Lorenzo is fast when Bridgestone makes the edge treatment rear tires available at a circuit. Indeed, so far this year the availability of those tires tends to make Lorenzo dominant … almost unbeatable. Guess what? Bridgestone indicates that the special edge treatment rear tires will be available at every single remaining race this year, with the possible exception of Phillip Island.

You might think that these special rear tires benefit everyone, and they probably do, but no one seems to be able to exploit the advantage as well as Lorenzo. So far this year, of the five races Lorenzo has won, only Mugello lacked the availability of these tires.

So one can appreciate the tone of teammate Valentino Rossi’s comments after Lorenzo gapped him by 10 seconds at Brno. It conveyed a sense of resignation.

Despite all this, the championship is far from over, and Lorenzo and Rossi are tied on points. Crashes and injuries can get in the way of any march to the championship, so stay tuned, but our money is on Jorge Lorenzo.

47 Comments

  1. Hot Dog says:

    We’ve got control tires (one tire supplier/manufacturer) that everyone has to use. Granted, slower teams get stickier tires, more fuel and greater engine tweaking but why should a tire supplier be allowed to dictate which tire they supply at a race? Who makes that call within the organization? Does a phone call in the middle of the night decide if, or not, a sticky sidewall will be in the mix? If a rider finds an advantage to a certain compound tire, shouldn’t he have access to it, along with everyone else? It seems to me there’s some tomfoolery going on behind the scenes.

    Go JLo.

  2. Artem says:

    I don’t know why, probably, watching, but Lorenzo is like Jim Clark in F1.
    Smooth.

    • Tim says:

      Definitely, that’s why he’s such a good front runner. With nobody ahead of him to dictate braking and nobody on either side to force him off of his preferred lines, he’s free to do what he does best, and he’s silky smooth while he’s doing it. I’ve said it before on here, it is a thing of beauty to watch him work a track. Lorenzo is like a dancer while Marquez and Rossi are like boxers.

      • jacksonk says:

        Agree 100% and that is why he is my favorite rider. I noticed it when he was a 250cc rider and he has just gotten smoother as a MotoGP rider. I’m not certain smoothness is something you can learn either whether it be surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding or racing motorcycles. Some guys have it, most others don’t – at least to JLo’s degree. Watching Alex Rins in Moto2 reminds me somewhat of Lorenzo. Like to see him on a MotoGP bike before too long.

  3. xLaYN says:

    So the “Bridgestone “Edge Treatment”” tires allow JL to go around the track faster: as it is an EDGE treatment I guess this translates to be used while holding those amazing angles around curves.
    With that said faster and curve means more power and possibly more leaning angle; also means more work for the tire per contact area and less area if leaning angle increases (or decreases, it depends on how you look at it :P), this translates to more risk.
    As to modify the riding style I would consider VR, MM or other top notch drivers to be able to achieve it, so it will come down to decisions and as always luck.

  4. kkaze752 says:

    I think Rossi will win with his consistency….he will probably finish first in a race that will involve Marquez tangling with Jorge in an ill-advised late pass attempt. Marquez has nothing to lose which makes him extremely dangerous and I think Rossi knows it is just a matter of time before he takes out Jorge which will hand him the championship on a silver, I mean gold platter.

  5. Mike says:

    That picture is ridiculous. He’s having to pull his elbows in to not drag them.

    • Notarollingroadblock says:

      It used to be that only the passenger on racing sidecars got to experience the feeling of having your chin 12 inches off the asphalt while doing a buck-thirty.

  6. jim says:

    Lorenzo could lose his composure at any time and be out of the hunt for the rest of the season. Rossi just needs to get back in his head.

  7. Will Parker says:

    I think Rossi will find his second wind soon and rides better on the remaining circuits than JLor does.I’m thinking Silverstone, Misano, Philip Island and Sepang are good chance for wins and he just needs to be consistent at other tracks. Rossi’s last and best chance for another title…

    • Terry says:

      It may well be Rossi’s last chance at a title, but with the changes coming next season, Michelin tires and the electronics, Valentino may adapt the best, so don’t count him out this or next year.

  8. Tim says:

    I think the key to beating Lorenzo is to get ahead of him at the start. He’s the best on an open track, but he is not nearly as comfortable in traffic. Unfortunately for Rossi, he’s never been very good at getting out of the starting blocks. Marquez could possibly challenge Lorenzo with his starts, but he’s too far behind in points. Bottom line, I agree it is Lorenzo’s championship to lose at this point.

  9. PatrickD says:

    Engine availability and status could well be the other variable that comes into play.

    I’m not sure where the top three runners are positioned with that regard.

  10. Fitbar says:

    A couple of riders seemed to imply that they had poor quality tires supplied. Are the edge treatment tires more susceptible to variance or is this just something that happens now and again?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think “tire issues” is just the go-to excuse a racer provides when his performance wasn’t enough to give him the win. Not to say that a rider can’t get a bad tire from the vendor – I’m sure that happens from time to time.

      • Pacer says:

        I think that favorites are played, and tire distribution is one way to do it. I know a guy (yeah,we all know a guy :)) that says Spies never got the same rubber the top guys were getting.

        • mickey says:

          Yea because we all know, after Yamaha spent multi millions of dollars designing and manufacturing a GO machine, and paying more multi millions of dollars to Spies to ride it, that they would just bow down and let that happen without saying a word. Right.

          Sounds like a dissatisfied Spies homer.

          • mickey says:

            GP machine

          • Pacer says:

            I’m not a Spies fan except for the go USA factor. If someone wants to guarantee the tires are equal then I want to see teams randomly choose a number out of a hat that is assigned to a tire then watch someone mount it to their rim. That is the only way I would be convinced that there was no chance of funny business. If there is money or emotion involved you will find cheating. As far as Yamaha’s investment in Spies? I don’t have any info except that they don’t make tires.

          • Pacer says:

            Also on the topic of equal tires. I believe Rossi questioned his tire when he went down in the last race of the season when Hayden won. He claimed it was not the same tire he practiced on.

          • mickey says:

            ” That is the only way I would be convinced that there was no chance of funny business. If there is money or emotion involved you will find cheating. As far as Yamaha’s investment in Spies? I don’t have any info except that they don’t make tires.”

            Wow everything is a conspiracy these days if your guy doesn’t win.

            Pacer

            I would assume (but don’t know for sure) that Spies team mechanics mounted up his tires for him, as do the other racers and their teams mechanics. I can’t see 24 teams rolling a bunch of wheels into the Bridgestone garage and saying mount these up, we will be back to pick them up later.

            What would Yamaha have to gain sending one of their riders out on a bad tire? They liked him enough to sign him but don’t want him to do well?

            What exactly would Bridgestone have to gain by handing out bum tires to some riders and not to others? Are you saying they on the take?

            I’m sure riders get different feelings from 1 tire to the next (I do and I have no talent at all), but I would think in morning warm up they would notice if something was squirrely and change the tire before the race.

            Blaming outside influences that can’t be verified, for poor performance or crashes…can’t imagine any rider doing that lol. Wasn’t MY fault …

          • Pacer says:

            I don’t know for sure, but I doubt teams mount their own tires.

          • mickey says:

            Dirck…do you have the inside scoop? Who mounts the tires for the MotoGp teams?

        • Fitbar says:

          Interesting, probably difficult to unravel whether these guys are identifying the problem accurately. Crutch blamed a bad tire early in the weekend, not in the race. Laverty blamed one for his race highside, or maybe the media inferred as much from what he said. Hopefully more variables conspire to make this season less predictable than this article’s conclusion…

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Teams get to choose from the same selection of tires in MotoGP currently, so favorites don’t have anything to do with it in this case.

      • mickey says:

        Apparently they fixed the ” chatter” issue. that was the go to excuse last year.

  11. TimC says:

    “Guess what? Bridgestone indicates that the special edge treatment rear tires will be available at every single remaining race this year, with the possible exception of Phillip Island.”

    Rossi better figure this out. I think he can…cautiously.

    COME ON VR46!!!

  12. Provologna says:

    I would truly like to know what are the maximum lean angles of these bikes. Even in this image, it’s difficult to imagine what keeps the bike from just sliding 200+ feet away from the apex.

    I’m sad for Rossi if he does not make it, but…I have nothing against MM, but just the fact that he’s on a Honda makes me root for ABM (anyone but Marquez), including of course Jorge.

    • mickey says:

      Last year on the show, they showed Lorenzo I believe, with a maximum lean angle of 63 degrees if memory serves me.

      • Provologna says:

        Stunning…think of the velocity, lean angle, and those two tiny contact patches maintaining coefficient of friction for an estimated 475 lbs of bike, rider, and gear. 63 degrees seems more like a video game spec than reality.

        Again, and it can’t be repeated too often: Thank God this season is not another MM-win fest. Please delay the crowning of MM as the world’s best ever two-wheeled road racer till at least 2025. Remember the “Ben Spies” will win it for the Yanks parade?” (For those who never heard of him, he retired from injuries after two years and a couple of podiums. My only point is that predicting the future is different from predicting it accurately.)

        A couple years after Kurt Warner was Super Bowl MVP, he was injured, then during practice a few weeks before pre-season games, Kurt was allegedly fully healed, tossing nothing but strikes, and prepared to destroy the league, again. NFL Network asked all major talking heads to predict, “Who shall be the season MVP?” 90% of them picked Kurt. When they asked two-time SB winner Phil Simms, Phil laughed out loud and said something like, “That’s the dumbest question I ever heard. How can you pick the MVP before the season starts?” (NB: I love Simms and his commentary.) Phil openly mocked his colleagues for their predictions, to which none replied. How do argue with Simms on this subject if you have not won two SBs as QB, which defined only Simms?

        That year Kurt tossed more interceptions than TDs, was benched, and drifted off to enjoy his well-earned retirement.

        “Just sayin…”

      • mickey says:

        Also amazing is the fastest, smoothest guy on the track, setting a new lap record by over 1/2 a second, never dangled his leg out once ( and why is it only the left leg gets dangled? Doesn’t it help in right handers?

        • Fitbar says:

          Because they want to keep it on our close to the brake… I don’t know, but I stick of my leg when I think I am going to fall, maybe they’re nervous?!

          • mickey says:

            Did you see the Ducatis now have a left ” thumb” rear brake lever?

            guess now Ducati riders can dangle both legs

          • mickey says:

            The funny part is when you discuss these things with the ” internet expert riders” they say they never touch the rear brakes, especially on a race track, but on the street too., because front brakes are so powerful they make the rears useless, and that pro racers NEVER use their back brakes, but yet the MotoGP guys keep one foot over the brake pedal and use things like thumb operated rear brakes which they focused on several times during the race for the Ducati riders, and I’ve come to find out Yamaha experimented with thumb brake levers as well… Interesting

            More fodder for discussion lol

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I’ve read all kinds of hypotheses as to what is with the leg dangle. Nobody knows, not even the riders themselves. I’ve done it a few times myself at the track, and each time was unintentional when the bike was wagging a little more than I was comfortable with. It was just that “I’m gonna fall” instinct for me personally. Putting the leg out made it “feel” better, but it certainly didn’t make me go faster. And yes, you rarely ever see Lorenzo’s leg come off the peg.

          • Provologna says:

            Could the reason for straightening the leg be to:
            Relax the knee joint?
            Increase wind drag for braking effect?
            Damp a speed wobble/handling anomaly?

            I’ve done it for the first reason (34″+ inseam).

            Rossi is one of the tallest racers. Have you noticed, when braking, Rossi gets super erect and upright, increasing wind drag? OTOH maybe it’s just to lock his elbows to keep from flying over them.

          • Vince says:

            Hello ; if you google that topic (leg dangle ) and Andrew Trevitt (journalist at Sport Rider) you may find some info that he wrote on that.

          • Pacer says:

            My guess on the “leg dangle would be the equivalent of an outrigger. Reminds me of what some do on a supermoto.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “I’ve read all kinds of hypotheses as to what is with the leg dangle. Nobody knows, not even the riders themselves.”

            i know, Ross started it as a purely tactical illegal block maneuver, but because he was Ross it got overlooked and morphed into something other than what it really is.

            when i see dudes like Chaz and J-Ray literally sticking their legs out deep in the braking zone at uncomfortable 90 degree angles perpendicular to the friggin’ bike…? yeah, they’re bullsh#!ttin’.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Have you noticed, when braking, Rossi gets super erect and upright”

            TMI. no, not personally looking, but maybe his girlfriend…? her name’s Linda.

      • Mike says:

        The contact patch at lean is the same as when upright because the tire is round, not square. The bike’s actually fully balanced at lean. The key issue is whether the tire has tread at a given lean angle (and whether the rider can get his knee and elbow out of the way).

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          The tire isn’t round either – there are multiple arcs to a tire profile. The contact patch is actually larger when leaning and smallest when upright. And slicks don’t have tread.

    • peter harris says:

      Not to take anything away from the immense skill these riders have, but they also have incredibly sophisticated electronics, particularly traction control.

  13. TF says:

    It could all change…….Rossi has been very consistent this year, even more so than JL. It seems to me that JL is more susceptible to falling into a slump than Rossi and when he does, he has a harder time snapping out of it. No one manages the mental part of it better than VR in my opinion. JL has been brilliant though and was unbeatable at Brno. I think the only one that can beat JL at this point is JL.

  14. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Rossi the underdog?
    My, how time changes things.
    Go, Rossi!

  15. mickey says:

    Barring a DNF or injury I don’t see anything keeping him from wrapping it up. Feel bad for Rossi, so close…….