#BritishGP Silverstone – Saturday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
There’s a new Tissot Sprint winner on the block! Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) moved through to the front and took off on a wet but drying track, with Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) chasing him down late on but not quite close enough to launch a last lap attack. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) made steady progress to pick his way through the order, the Aprilia rider coming home third for his first Saturday podium.
One headline also saw Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) fail to score, the number 1 having a couple of close moments on track to lose ground and ultimately forced to settle for 14th – outside the points on super Saturday! Bezzecchi therefore gains some ground with second place, and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) too as he took P6.
Bezzecchi held the hold shot from pole, but Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) didn’t waste time to strike and take over in the lead. From there it was a frenetic opening couple of laps to the Sprint, with the track wet enough for the medium wets but conditions starting to dry.
Miller quickly made his way back through on the VR46 rider to take the lead as Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) shot into P3 with Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) trying to force his way through on the rookie. Martin eventually got the better of Fernandez with Alex Marquez quickly following suit, his charge beginning in earnest. Martin then tried his hand at taking the lead but Miller wasn’t letting the Spaniard have it easy as the Aussie had plenty of answers for the Pramac rider’s attacks.
Who dares wins!
The race began to settle with a seven-bike freight train battling for the victory with the top guys swapping and changing postions corner after corner. Once Alex Marquez took the lead, however, he went on to set the fastest lap and begin to stretch out the field.
Marquez, Bezzecchi, Miller, Viñales, and Martin was the order with six laps to go, with a second between Marquez and Bezzecchi, and another half a second back to Miller who had the rest of the front group right in his wheel tracks.
Marquez kept Bezzecchi at arm’s length for the rest of the race but as the rain started to come down once again on the final couple of laps, the Italian began to make up significant ground on the Gresini machine ahead. By the final sector it was only a handful of tenths but Bezzecchi didn’t quite have enough in the tank to make a move, seeing Alex Marquez sweep through to his first ever Sprint win.
Aprilia always deliver at Silverstone
Despite starting down in 8th place, Viñales was a man on a mission during Saturday’s Sprint action. The Spaniard was on the move and eventually pushed his way past the Aussie Jack Miller for the final podium spot, holding onto P3 as Miller faded the other way.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) also had his head down as he climbed his way up from 12th on the grid to 4th, before being demoted down to P5 by a late-charging Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing). Sixth went to Martin, meaning Bezzecchi just edges him down into third in the standings, and behid Miller came Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). Miguel Oliveira (CrytoDARA RNF MotoGP) completed the top ten.
That leaves some big names out. Reigning Champion Bagnaia failed to score in a Sprint for the first time this year, getting pushed a little wide by Zarco but then fading down to P14. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) rode home behind teammate Joan Mir to literally observe as the Japanese giants work to make big steps forward, in P17 and P18, and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) came home in P20 after that difficult qualifying too.
Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was the only rider in the 2:16s as he set a 2:16.953 to blow the field away in Moto2™ qualifying, with Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp) and Zonta van den Goorbergh (Fieten Olie Racing GP) joining the Spaniard in the top 3.
Former Moto3™ World Champion Acosta built his way into the conditions finding phenomenal pace right at the end and fending off attacks from the rest of field, including title rival and Championship leader Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) who came through Q1 to snatch 4th place to start from the front of row 2. Jake Dixon (Tensite GASGAS Aspar Team) is also still in the title picture as he’s sat 3rd in the standings, and was threatening pole at his home Grand Prix before the Brit crashed out and was pushed down to P11. But the news then got worse as that lap was cancelled after the session due to a miscommunication about its validity – it was the lap he crashed on. So he’ll start P15.
Alonso Lopez (Beta Tool SpeedUp) rounded out the top five ahead of Aron Canet (Pons Wegwow Los40). Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegwow Los40) will start from the front of row three ahead of Barry Baltus (Fieten OlieGP) and Sam Lowes (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team), with Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) rounding out the top 10.
Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) is proving he means business in Moto3™ as he put himself on pole position in a drenched qualifying at the Monster Energy British Grand Prix. The Spaniard’s 2:25.072 was enough to fend off Scott Ogden (VisionTrack Racing Team) who secured his first Grand Prix front-row with an impressive 2nd place on home soil. Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) joins the Brit on the front-row, eager to keep his title rival Masia in his sights.
Masia was posting fast lap after fast lap, and as the clock ticked down he posted the pole time in the closing stages. Ogden was in hot pursuit as he latched onto the rear wheel of the Leopard machine to take P2. The Brit did go on to improve further as he set the fastest time of the session, but with the yellow flags displayed was forced to settle for 2nd place as that lap was scrubbed off. Holgado was also threatening the front but two crashes in the wet conditions denied the Spaniard pole position and he’ll start third.
On the second row, Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) who snatched fourth with Joel Kelso (CFMoto Racing PruestelGP) and his teammate Xavier Artigas next up. Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) heads Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) on Row 3, with Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing) rounding out the top ten.