British Grand Prix, Silverstone: Pre-event press conference
The main title contenders addressed the world’s media at the official Press Conference that marks the start of the Octo British Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) were all present for the Press Conference that kicks off the 12th round of the 2015 MotoGP™ World Championship at the legendary Silverstone Circuit.
Lorenzo arrives at the British GP on top of the standings despite being level on 211 points with his teammate Rossi, due to the fact he has won 5 races to Rossi’s three. The Spaniard enjoys the Silverstone circuit and has recorded two wins and a second placed finish in the last 3 years: “When you see the track and the layout it’s understandable it can be good for my riding as it has a lot of chicanes and very flowing. To be honest from the first time I was here, I just felt great. I won again in 2012 and 2013 and the other year I finished second. I always feel great here.”
The Spaniard is also clearly delighted with his recent upturn in form and what it means for his title hopes: “I’m very proud of my recovery as after Argentina we were 29 points behind and now we’ve recovered all of them. Now starts another championship for both of us.”
Rossi finds himself knocked off the top of the standings for the first time this season by his teammate Lorenzo after his win at Brno. The Italian has won the British GP seven times before (1x125cc, 1x250cc, 2x500cc, 3xMotoGP™), but these all came at Donington Park with his best result at Silverstone a third last year: “Now it will be harder and harder, a great fight. It looks like after the summer break, I arrive with a small advantage into the summer break of 13 points and I was able to battle Jorge in the last two races before the stop. After the stop he came back in better shape and was able to do great races. One in Brno and in Indianapolis, the second place fighting with Marc in the last laps was a great result. So it’s difficult because I need to go faster and stay focused and work well.”
Marquez is currently third in the standings, 47 points behind the Movistar Yamaha duo. The reigning MotoGP™ World Champion arrives to the UK in good form on the back of two wins and two second places in the last four races and has not given up the title fight yet: “I need to do my 100% and be there every race and wait and see. It’s true that in Brno where we usually struggle I was able to be there in the second place with some laps following Jorge. Here last year we had a really good weekend for me, just on Sunday Jorge was really strong.”
Fourth in the standings lies Andrea Iannone. The Italian has not finished outside of the top 6 all season, and hopes to benefit from a one-day private test held by his team at Misano earlier in the week: “For sure the first part of the season is really good for us, but after three or four races the situation is complicated more. After Mugello in Barcelona, Assen, Sachsenring are difficult for us and I didn’t know why. I had less feeling. Last weekend in Brno is a really good positive for me and I was able to come back and close the gap to the best bike and rider and I have a good motivation for this weekend.”
Bradley Smith will be full of confidence in front of his fans at his home Grand Prix having announced the extension of his contract with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 for 2016. Smith grew up about 30 miles from the circuit in Oxfordshire and arrives at the GP as the leading Satellite rider, fifth in the standings, with 106 points: “Certainly it was a great start to the week announcing my new contract with Hervé and the team. It is a good feeling to get that out of the way. It’s been a talking points let’s say and there have been a lot of meetings over the last couple of weeks to finalise those last details. MotoGP is hard enough without meetings and having to talk about your future, so now I can focus fully on my home GP.”
Local hero and runaway Moto3™ World Championship leader Danny Kent joined the riders. The 21-year-old from Chippenham is aiming to be the first British World Champion since Barry Sheene in 1977, and hopes to put on a good show in front of his home fans: “Of course it’s good to come into the home Grand Prix leading, but you’ve seen the last few races we’ve lost 21 points in just two races. We need to keep working hard. The pace is still there and we need to extend our lead.”