Blyton Park near Gainsborough, UK provided the perfect backdrop for PB’s comprehensive 2012 Trackday tyre tests for 1000cc sportsbikes. The newly resurfaced 1.6 mile circuit offered a jaw-dropping 160mph straight together with the usual undulations, technical chicanes, hard-braking areas, off-camber corners and plenty of run-off to really put the selection of top-tier tyres through the wringer.
A pair of 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000s were chosen for the tests, predominantly for their lack of electronic aids and power delivery. As such, the GSX-R1000 is a good representation of a typical road-spec 1000cc sports bike and, ridden by the likes of Bruce Dunn and Emma Franklin, it gives a good representation of the true meaning of road-legal performance.
Both riders were overwhelmed by the Battlax Racing R10’s speed, agility, cornering grip and all-round performance on the track.
Bruce Dunn: “The R10s perform absolutely brilliantly. They deliver total stability, grip and feedback. From a racer’s point of view these tyres perform so well they can act as a bit of a get out of jail free card because you can get away with braking deep into corners, or changing line at the last minute without any penalty. The way they change direction is probably one of their most outstanding attributes. It’s quite overwhelming. You get that real knife-edge race tyre performance without compromising stability.”
Emma Franklin: “These feel exactly how I expect race tyres should. These Bridgestones do incredible things to this Suzuki’s handling. They make the bike feel like its up on its toes, primed and ready to move. They turn the quickest of any tyre here, in fact they caught me out because they don’t need as much input to get them over. I could just fly through the chicane on them. If I wanted a set of tyres purely for track day use, these would be them.”
The R10s really came into their own, however, at ‘the Ump’, where the right-left flick requires a lot of physical input to get the big Suzuki from the right knee onto the left. In fact, the R10s were easily the fastest through the chicane, demonstrating the tyre’s incredible agility and steering response. Even in the case of high-speed direction changes, such as the ‘Port Froid’ 100mph chicane, the R10s’ reactivity and linear steering characteristics ensured impressive through-times on every lap.
PB’s final evaluation? “The R10s deliver performance in a totally unflappable, reassuring way. Brilliant tyres, highly recommended.”
The test results confirm Bridgestone’s own R&D data and demonstrate the tyre’s outstanding grip under acceleration and stable handing under hard braking thanks to its revolutionary 3D, multi-angle sipes. The tyre’s soft carcass construction and compound, on the other hand, allowed for fast warm-up times and good traction under less than optimal conditions.
Summary of the article "2012’s best sticky hoops", published in Performance Bikes Magazine, Issue June 2012.