Bridgestone Motorsport Wrap for 5th Oct 2009
VETTEL DOMINATES JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel rekindled his world championship hopes with his third race win of the season at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Vettel used a hard - hard - soft tyre strategy in a dominant performance which saw him finish more than four seconds ahead of Jarno Truli (Panasonic Toyota Racing), who used the same tyre strategy.
The two Brawn drivers managed just three points between them - with Rubens Barrichello finishing in seventh just ahead of Jenson Button, leaving the championships points table as Button 85, Barrichello 71, Vettel 69 with two races remaining.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton used a soft - hard - soft strategy to complete the podium after losing the lead to Trulli coming out of the second pit stop.
"From the beginning of the race the soft tyre worked well, however, in the second two thirds of the race it really came alive and we saw very good race performance from this tyre," said Hirohide Hamashina, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development.
"The high track temperature meant that the hard compound could be used at the start which would not be advisable on a colder track due to longer warm-up requirements. This was a safe strategy for those concerned by any degradation from the soft, however, those who did opt to use the soft at the start saw good performance."
Jenson Button (GBR)
Rubens Barrichello (BRA)
Sebastian Vettel (GER)
LORENZO CUTS ROSSI'S TITLE ADVANTAGE
Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo has continued his domination of the Portugese Grand Prix setting a new record race time and a lap record on his way to victory at Estoril.
Lorenzo's win from pole significantly boosted his title chances with championship leader Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) unable to match his pace and only managing fourth place at the challenging Portuguese circuit.
After two months away due to illness, Ducati's Casey Stoner rode brilliantly in his return to action to follow Lorenzo across the line in second place, while Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was third - his eight podium of 2009.
The new circuit lap record went to Pedrosa, who set a time 0.5 seconds faster then the existing best to set his second lap record this season.
The race's cool conditions and 28-lap distance meant the harder of the available Bridgestone slicks were the favoured choice for riders.
"We expected the pace that Casey and Dani set on our tyres today, but Jorge was faster than we expected and his total race time was very impressive, even considering the change of the date of the race and the resulting good weather conditions," said Tohru Unukata, Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department.
"His pace during the race today was very fast, and his winning race time was 14.5 seconds faster than the total race time record, so I am pleased with the performance of our tyres on this circuit. As was predicted, the harder option front and rear slicks were the favoured option today because of their improved consistency over race distance."
The win was Lorenzo's fourth on Bridgestone tyres this season.
"I felt great on the bike and I was very confident. At the beginning Casey was very fast and the difference between us was not so much, but after a few laps I could remain at my pace and he slowed a bit. Bit I didn't expect to win with such a gap," Lorenzo said.
1 Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha 250
2 Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha 232
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 173