OCTO British Grand Prix: Nick Harris Preview & UK TV times
Nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi desperately needs a repeat of his rain swept win last year at the Octo British Grand Prix to close the gap of MotoGP™ Championship leader Marc Marquez. The Movistar Yamaha rider moved into second place in the championship following his second place in Brno, but still trails the Repsol Honda of Marquez by a massive 53 points with seven rounds remaining. Marquez, who finished third in Brno, has won twice at Silverstone, in the 125 cc class and 2014 MotoGP race.
Rossi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo slipped to third after another disappointing ride in the rain but the World Champion has a great record round the 3.666 miles flat Northamptonshire circuit. The Spanish rider has won three MotoGP races with the last one three years ago, and he will be praying for some dry weather with three of the last four races in the wet. Dani Pedrosa’s fourth place is coming under threat from the Ecstar Suzuki of Maverick Vinales who is just nine points adrift while Red Bull Ring winner Andrea Iannone is just a further four points adrift in sixth place on the factory Ducati. Cal Crutchlow returns home on the LCR Honda to a hero’s welcome after his historic Brno win while Danilo Petrucci will be praying for rain after his second place to Rossi last year.
The fitness of Spaniard Alex Rins could have a massive bearing on the outcome of the Moto2™ race. After finishing second to German Jonas Folger in Brno, the Paginas Amarillas Kalex rider broke his collarbone in a training accident. He has had the broken bones plated and will ride at Silverstone after closing the gap to 19 points on champion leader and World Champion Frenchman Johann Zarco. It’s a big opportunity for British star Sam Lowes who lies third on the Federal Oil Gresini Kalex and who started last year’s race from pole.
South African Brad Binder is still running away with the Moto3™ Championship despite his crash in Brno. The Ajo Red Bull KTM rider is 61 points in front of Spaniard Jorge Navarro with the Italian trio of Enea Bastianini, Francesco Bagnaia and Nicolo Bulega scrapping for third.
Fans should note that the race times on Sunday are different to the usual MotoGP schedule and are as follows:
DID YOU KNOW
This is the seventh year that Silverstone has hosted a grand prix since motorcycle world championship racing returned to the circuit in 2010 after a gap of 23 years.
• The first motorcycle grand prix event to be held at Silverstone in 1977 was also the first motorcycle grand prix to be held on the British mainland; prior to 1977 the British round of the world championship had been held since 1949 on the 37.73 mile long Isle of Man TT circuit. The move from the Isle of Man was made mainly for reasons of rider safety.
• The winners at that first grand prix at Silverstone in 1977 were: 500cc – Pat Hennen (Suzuki), 350cc & 250cc – Kork Ballington (Yamaha), 125cc – Pierluigi Conforti (Morbidelli).
• The original circuit layout used for the grand prix from 1977 to 1986 was 2.93 miles long (4.71 km) and the fastest lap in a race at the circuit during this time was set by Kenny Roberts riding a Yamaha in 1983 at an average speed of 119.5 mph (192.2 km/h).
• The British grand prix was held for ten successive years at the Silverstone circuit, before the event moved to Donington Park in 1987. The British GP returned to Silverstone in 2010 with a revised circuit layout measuring 5.9 km.
• Kork Ballington and Angel Nieto are the two riders with most GP victories at Silverstone, each having won there on six occasions.
• The only two riders who have had more than a single victory at Silverstone since GP racing returned to the circuit in 2010 are Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez. Lorenzo has won the MotoGP race there three times: 2010, 2012 & 2013; Marquez won the 125cc race in 2010 and the MotoGP race in 2014.
• Since the world championship grand prix series returned to Silverstone in 2010, the best results for British riders in the MotoGP class at their home grand prix is 6th, for Cal Crutchlow in 2012 and for Scott Redding last year.
• Yamaha have won four of the six MotoGP races that have taken place at Silverstone, with Honda taking the other two victories.
• The only podium finishes for Ducati at Silverstone came last year – second place finish for Danilo Petrucci and third for Andrea Dovizioso.
• The best MotoGP result for Suzuki at Silverstone is 5th with Alvaro Bautista in 2011.
• The last British rider to finish on the podium in the premier-class at the British Grand Prix was sixteen years ago, when Jeremy McWilliams finished third in the 500cc race at Donington in 2000.
• Three British riders have won a solo grand prix race at Silverstone; Danny Kent won the Moto3 race last year, Scott Redding won the Moto2 race in 2013 and Ian McConnachie won in the 80cc class in 1986.
• Only two British riders have started from pole at Silverstone, across all solo GP classes; Barry Sheene in the 500cc class in 1977 and Sam Lowes in Moto2 last year.
Friday August 19 BT Sport 2 9.00 – 16.00, Practice.
Saturday August 20 BT Sport 2 9.00 – 16.15, Practice and qualifying
Sunday August 21 BT Sport 2 9.45 – 17.30. Warm –up and races
Monday August 22 ITV 4 22.00 – 23.00 Highlights
Source: Nick Harris Communications