Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fought epic battles today in the British Grand Prix to take their third consecutive double Yamaha podium, finishing second and third respectively.
Starting from third on the grid Lorenzo had a flying start off the line, taking the holeshot into the first corner. He put his head down trying to clear off at the front but wasn’t able to shake off his rival Marc Marquez who followed close behind. The two raced less than half a second apart until with seven laps remaining, when Marquez made his move at Stow corner, taking the lead. Lorenzo tried to pass back at Vale, but was unable to make it stick.
With five laps left Marquez went wide, allowing Lorenzo to re-overtake him. He again tried to break away at the front, but two laps later Marquez put in an aggressive move going into Village. Lorenzo tried to hold on to the lead but a near collision in the Loop forced him to fall back into second position. The pass cost him valuable time, leaving him to finish the race just 0.732 second behind to claim his 80th podium in the premier class.
Teammate Valentino Rossi kicked off his 246th Grand Prix start in style, celebrating now being the rider with the most premier class starts in MotoGP history. The nine time world champion took off from sixth on the grid and tucked in behind Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargarò in fifth place.
The opening laps saw Rossi and Espargarò engaged in an intense battle, ending with the Italian passing the Spaniard going into Stow. Rossi was then able to close down the gap to Dovizioso. With 16 laps left the Doctor put in his first attempt to snatch third going into Abbey, but was unable to make it stick. His second try saw him successfully go through before eagerly trying to close down the gap to the race leaders. Then threat started to arrive from behind. Dani Pedrosa was on a charge and twelve laps before the end, the Spaniard passed. The Doctor bided his time for four laps before retaking third place at Stow, which he held until the line, 8.519 seconds behind the race winner.
The results see Lorenzo hold fourth in the championship, now on 157 points and 32 points behind teammate Rossi. Rossi remains in third, now on 189 points and just ten point behind Pedrosa in second.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will now move to San Marino for the next round at the Misano circuit in two weeks time.
2nd / +0.732
“Knowing what this weekend was like, this race is much better than we expected. I made a really good start and pushed 100%, more than ever, so I am really proud of my riding. The only thing is that here we probably don’t have the best package. Though we did a really good job improving little by little and practice by practice, we were not able to have the same comfortable pace as Marc. I was pushing a lot and maybe he was able to relax a little bit more. I was struggling a lot with my physical condition to keep the bike on two wheels and being able to ride these lap times. Finally I lost a lot of time when he touched me. I knew that he was going to try to overtake me in this corner in first gear on the right, but I didn’t let him enter. On the outside I opened the throttle and he touched me. In the next corner he touched me again as he went into the corner and I lost seven tenths of a second. We started the weekend 1.3 seconds slower than Marc and we finished the weekend with being just 7 tenths slower than Marc after twenty laps. That’s fantastic! Thanks to a very good job from my team, all together we improved the bike. I rode well from the first corner to the last one and I did my best. Unfortunately you can’t ride the Yamaha as aggressively as our rivals. You have to open your lines more else you lose corner speed. That’s a difference, but we have our strong points and they have theirs. It’s just unfortunate that in the braking areas it makes it a little harder to fight for me. We will try to improve the bike and win races.”
3rd / +8.519
“I’m happy for the podium. It’s the first time here at Silverstone and usually this is a very difficult track for me. I am very happy about my pace at the beginning, because Jorge was in front and pushing a lot, so the lap times were very fast. I was able to stay with them for the first laps, but unfortunately I had already a small gap when I was behind Dovizioso. To try and catch them I stressed the rear tire too much, so I had too slow my rhythm and from that moment I started a very hard battle with Dani and Dovi to the end. I decided to stay in front because I had a quite good pace and I could arrive on the podium. We have a lot of positive things. We have another podium. On the other side, I wanted to stay behind Marc and Jorge throughout the race. We have to do another step to prepare 100% for Misano in two weeks, because that will be my home Grand Prix and we will have to do more than the maximum.”
Espargaro Leading Satellite at Silverstone
Pol Espargaro produced a stellar display to clinch sixth position as the leading satellite bike aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 at Silverstone in today’s 20 lap thriller with 138,000 thousand fans attending the race across the whole weekend. The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider opened the day by clinching third place in warm up as he made the final setups adjustments for the race around the 5900-meter British circuit. The sun was shining over Northamptonshire when Espargaro kicked off proceedings from eighth on the grid to finish the opening lap in ninth. After initially slightly struggling to set into his rhythm, the 23-year-old Spaniard found himself fast approaching the group of three in front, battling for sixth which included his teammate. His strong pace saw him continuously close down the pack and surge past to claim seventh by lap ten with the next target being Ducati rider Andrea Iannone who Espargaro breezed past on lap 16. The reigning Moto2 World Champion then continued his good rhythm to gap the group and cross the line in sixth position. His top finish here sees him add to his tally in the MotoGP World Championship standings as he remains in seventh position after another strong result for the premier class rookie at Silverstone.
Home hero Bradley Smith suffered incredible bad luck at his home circuit after undertaking a bright start but then entering the pits on lap 12 due to a cracked rear wheel. Smith started the 20 lap race from seventh on the grid and as the lights went out, the 23-year-old leapt forward and locked into his strong race pace whilst biting at the heels of the factory MotoGP bikes. He undertook an expert overtake to seize sixth on the fourth lap and became involved in a fierce battle with Andrea Iannone, exchanging some memorable moves. However, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider entered the pits at the mid point of the race due to an unusual feeling in the rear section of his bike, which transpired to be a broken rim. Yet the British star persevered to the delight of his fans and headed back out on track to once again set competitive times before finishing in 22nd position due to the unscheduled pit stop.
6th / +24.746
"All in all I have to be pleased with sixth position today as the beginning of the race was not an easy one. It took me quite a while to find my rhythm because we went for a bit of a gamble with running the harder front tire which we never tried during the whole weekend and I was losing a bit of time just after the start. Luckily the longer the race lasted, the more we were able to recover and I managed to pass the riders in front of me and finished just behind the Factory boys and Dovi, who escaped from us during the opening laps. Still this is not where we want to be as the gap to the leader is quite big, but we will continue to work to be stronger in Italy for the next round of the Championship."
22nd / 1 lap
"Obviously I didn’t end up in the position that I had hoped for this weekend. Unfortunately, we had a cracked wheel in the race but we don’t know exactly when or why it happened. I tried to stay out and fight through it but it just got too dangerous to ride. When we changed it, I proved that I have the pace for sixth. It was a good weekend up until the race and the team did a great job, but these things happen sometimes. It’s really disappointing for all of the fans who came to support me, who were fantastic and went crazy when I was on my cooling down lap. So I won’t be defeated just yet and have to learn from every experience. I will again try to give it my all in Misano in two weeks time and give the British fans something to cheer about."
Espargaro First Open Bike at Silverstone
The British GP saw the NGM Forward Racing Team on top of the open bikes with Aleix Espargaro finishing in ninth position after a very hard battle with Bradl, Iannone and his brother Pol.
After a great start that saw him fourth on the first lap, Espargaro lost some positions after some laps. Aleix was suffering on the straight, while he was recovering under braking. After a hard fight, he finished with a well deserved ninth place.
With today’s result the Spaniard of the NGM Forward Racing Team maintains the sixth position in the championship with 92 points.
It was also a complicated day for his teammate Alex De Angelis, who crashed twice this morning during the warm up. Alex started the race from the sixth row and was able to finish 15th despite the pain to his right wrist.
9th / +33.455
“I did a great start and in the first laps I tried to stay with the front guys. Compared to other times, today I was suffering more in terms of top speed. I was loosing a lot on the straight, while I was recovering under braking. I was battling with Iannone, Bradl and my brother Pol. They were overtaking me on the straight, while I broke very late to recover positions. It was frustrating. Anyway, we leave Silverstone sixth in the championship and this is positive. I look forward to race in Misano. It’s a small track and I think we can do well there.”
Alex De Angelis
15th / +59.164
“This morning I crashed twice in the warm up due to some technical issues and this made the race very complicated. My right wrist was very painful and I was struggling a lot under braking. Despite this, I’m satisfied as we succeeded to reduce the gap from the front guys and we earned the first points. We are progressing and I look forward to next Race, the GP of San Marino, my home GP.”