British Grand Prix, Silverstone: Raceday roundup – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi produced a fearless ride in the rain to claim his first ever victory at Silverstone, and open up a 12-point lead in the MotoGP™ World Championship standings over his teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
Rossi had earlier topped the wet Warm Up session, and there was drama before the lights even went out at Silverstone as it was originally declared a dry race, but rain on the grid prompted every rider to return to the pits on their warm up lap to swap for wets. This led to a 30-minute delay to allow the teams and riders to safely re-form back on the grid.
When the action started in anger, Rossi enjoyed a solid start, before moving his way up from 4th on the grid to take the lead on just the second lap. Rossi managed to pass his teammate and main title rival Lorenzo at Village corner, much to the delight of the 73,000 fans at the legendary Silverstone Circuit.
He then tried to break away at the front, with only Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda able to stay with him. Lap after lap Rossi and Marquez pulled away at the front, opening up a gap of 7 seconds to the 3rd placed Petrucci by just the ninth lap. The 36-year-old Italian was setting a blistering pace in the dreadful conditions, and it proved too much for even Marquez. The reigning MotoGP™ World Champion crashed out on lap 13 at Copse Corner to effectively end any chance he had of defending his title. The Spaniard now trails Rossi by 77 points in the standings, with just 6 races remaining.
Without Marquez to push him, Rossi seemed to relax and at one point it seemed as if the chasing Ducati’s of Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso would close him down towards the end of the race. Petrucci had reduced the gap to just 1.6s with two laps remaining, but Rossi got a signal from his pit board and upped the pace once more. The ‘Doctor’ went on to take the race win by 3.010s.
Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci delivered an incredible ride to secure his first ever MotoGP™ podium as the leading Satellite rider. The Italian, starting from 18th on the grid, rode through the pack superbly before getting involved in an excellent battle for second with Dovizioso on the factory Ducati Team GP15. Petrucci’s GP14 is known as a good bike to ride in the wet and he made sure that he secured his best ever MotoGP™ career result to the delight of his team.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso (+4.117s) completed an all-Italian podium to equal his best result of the season in Assen. The former 125cc World Champion started from 12th on the grid but rode superbly in the tricky conditions to secure his 29th MotoGP™ Podium.
Rossi’s main title rival and teammate Jorge Lorenzo (+5.726s) had a frustrating race. The double MotoGP™ World Champion led into the first corner, but found himself dropping back through the field at an alarming rate. At one point Lorenzo was as low as sixth before he seemed to recover and fought back to cross the line in fourth, limiting the damage to his title chances.
Dani Pedrosa (+11.132s) on the second Repsol Honda battled hard throughout the race to secure fifth spot. The Spaniard was right in the mix for the podium during the race but started to drop back in the latter stages, eventually crossing the line over 5 seconds behind Lorenzo.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding (+25.467s) won the ‘Battle of the Brits’ as he pulled off his the best result of his MotoGP™ career in front of his passionate home support. His compatriot Bradley Smith on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha was a further second back, after he enjoyed a race long battle with his teammate Pol Espargaro, before the Spaniard crashed out at turn 3 on lap 14.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) finished in eighth ahead of the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR of Aleix Espargaro in ninth. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista secured the team’s first top-ten finish of their return to the premier class.
Nicky Hayden (Aspar MotoGP Team) was the leading Open Honda in 12th ahead of the Avintia Racing duo of Hector Barbera and Mike Di Meglio, while his teammate Eugene Laverty crossed the line in 17th.
LCR Honda pair Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller both enjoyed excellent starts to the race and found themselves battling for the final podium spot. Unfortunately Miller would take out his British teammate at Vale on the 3rd lap, with both men forced to retire. Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) also crashed out of the race with 8 laps to go.
Ajo Motorsport’s Johann Zarco made it 11 podiums in a row and extended his lead in the Moto2™ World Championship standings after taking a commanding win during a wet race at the Octo British Grand Prix. The Frenchman crossed the line 3.360s ahead of Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Alex Rins, with Tito Rabat on the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex completing the podium.
Heavy rain during the morning’s Warm Up session saw all the riders line up on the grid with wet tyres but it had stopped by the time the lights went out, leading to a dramatic and tense race. Frenchman Zarco showed that he was the master in the wet as he managed to preserve his tyres when a dry racing line appeared while many others struggled.
Zarco, starting from 3rd on the grid, was involved in an excellent early battle with Rabat and Rins with the three riders swapping the lead numerous times. On the second lap Zarco and Rabat almost touched, with Zarco running wide and dropping back to fifth. It took him until lap seven to work his way back to the front and take the lead. Zarco immediately set about creating a gap at the front as the others seemed to suffer from greater tyre degradation. By lap thirteen the gap between Zarco and second placed Rabat had reached 8 seconds. There was a slight scare for the championship leader as Rins started to close him down in the final stages but he responded to take his 6th career GP victory by a comfortable margin.
Rookie Rins came out on top in an excellent scrap for second between himself and the two EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalexs of Rabat and Alex Marquez. Rins made a move with 5 laps to go to secure second for his own, leapfrogging Rabat in the championship standings in the process.
Rabat (+5.527s) had led into the first corner and looked like he could match the pace of Zarco in the early stages of the race, but after 8 laps you could visually see the rubber flying off his tyres. The reigning Moto2™ World Champion ran wide while fighting with his teammate Marquez for third on the penultimate lap, but managed to recover to take third and secure his fifth podium of the season.
Marquez (+6.489s) came from ninth on the grid to take his second fourth position in a row ahead of AGR Team’s Jonas Folger (+8.228s). Pole man and local hero, Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes, had a terrible start and was down in eighth by the end of the first lap. The British rider responded in front of his passionate home fans and fought back to cross the line in sixth.
Australian wet race specialist Anthony West (QMMF Racing) fought his way from 22nd on the grid to claim seventh. Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), Thomas Luthi (Derendinger Racing Interwetten), and Ricard Cardus (JP Moto Malaysia) completed the top ten.
There were crashes for wildcard Bradley Ray (FAB-Racing), Forward Racing duo Lorenzo Baldassari and Simone Corsi, plus Thitipong Warokorn (APH PTT The Pizza SAG).
Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent delighted the 73,000 fans at the Octo British Grand Prix by claiming his 8th GP career victory in dominant fashion. The Moto3™ race saw the worse weather of the day at Silverstone, but even this could not stop runaway Moto3™ championship leader Kent. Starting from 3rd on the grid, the British rider took over the lead with 13 laps to go after Isaac Viñales crashed out and never looked back.
Once he had established a 10 second lead, he managed the gap perfectly to become the first British rider to win at Silverstone in the lightweight class despite a huge moment in the latter stages as the weather worsened.
With such a big lead, it became a test of concentration for Kent, but he passed with flying colours to cross the line 8.492s ahead of Jakub Kornfeil. He now has a 70-point lead over Gresini Racing Team Moto3’s Enea Bastianini after the Italian crashed out of fifth on the penultimate lap.
Drive M7 SIC’s Kornfeil secured his first ever Moto3™ podium as he battled through the pack from 13th on the grid to finish as the leading KTM, ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (+13.819s) on the Ongetta-Rivacold Honda who completed the podium. The Italian followed up his maiden win last time out in Brno with only his second career podium.
Almost 37 seconds further back was Estrella Galicia 0,0’s 16-year-old Fabio Quartararo in fourth. The French rider struggled with his helmet steaming up during the race, but managed to win an excellent battle with RW Racing’s Livio Loi (+51.755s) and Scotsman John McPhee (+53.726s) on the SAXOPRINT RTG Honda. Loi and McPhee once again demonstrated their prowess in the wet after finishing on the top two steps of the podium at Indianapolis.
Mapfre Team Mahindra’s Juanfran Guevara pulled off his career best result as he finished in seventh. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Husqvarna Factory Laglisse) scored points for the first time in his career in only his third race, finishing in eighth.
Efren Vazquez (Leopard Racing) and Tatsuki Suzuki (CIP) completed the top ten while British wildcards Luke Hedger (FPW Racing) and Taz Taylor (RS Racing) finished in 18th and 19th respectively.
There were falls for Francesco Bagnaia, Andrea Locatelli, Maria Herrera, Brad Binder. A total of 16 riders fell, including pole man Jorge Navarro who crashed out of the race on the very first lap whilst in the lead.