Round 6 Preview - Great Britain 15-17 June 2012
Moto3 - 17 laps
Moto2 - 18 laps
MotoGP - 20 laps
125cc - Pol ESPARGARO, Derbi (2010) 2:13.781 = 158.820km/h
Moto2 - Thomas LUTHI, Moriwaki (2010) 2:09.886 = 163.583km/h
MotoGP - Jorge LORENZO, Yamaha (2010) 2:03.526 = 172.005km/h
note - 2007, 2008 & 2009 races held at Donington Park
2011 - Jonas FOLGER, Aprilia
2010 - Marc MAQUEZ, Derbi
2009 - Julian SIMON, Aprilia
2008 - Scott REDDING, Aprilia
2007 - Mattia PASINI, Aprilia
2011 - Stefan BRADL, Kalex
2010 - Jules CLUZEL, Suter
2009 - Hiroshi AOYAMA, Honda
2008 - Mika KALLIO, KTM
2007 - Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Honda
2011 - Casey STONER, Honda
2010 - Jorge LORENZO, Yamaha
2009 - Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Honda
2008 - Casey STONER, Ducati
2007 - Casey STONER, Ducati
MOTO GP: OH TO BE LORENZO NOW THAT SUMMER’S HERE…
Life must be pretty good in Lorenzoland right now. Not only has 25-year-old Jorge won three out of the first five races of 2012, he has just signed a new deal with Yamaha that will keep him there through 2014. “It has always been my first option to stay here and so I’m happy that this important negotiation has finished with such a positive outcome,” he said this week. “Now I can focus on the Championship and I’m looking forward to paying back Yamaha’s trust in me starting at Silverstone this weekend. I look forward to winning many more Championships together; my dream to finish my career with Yamaha is now closer to becoming a reality!”
Lorenzo won at Silverstone – longest track of the year – when the World Championship returned there in 2010, but Casey Stoner’s Honda was top dog last year in trying conditions and the Australian needs a result this weekend to close the 20-point gap between him and Lorenzo. “I'm definitely looking forward to going to Silverstone, it's a track that I really do enjoy,” said Casey. I wish that we still went through the old part of the track, unfortunately we don't go through there now and the new section is very, very tight. The rest of the track is fantastic though, it's fast and makes the heart beat very quick!”
Stoner’s Repsol Honda team is still chasing the chatter problem with the bike, a focal point for the recent test session at Barcelona. “We definitely made some progress with reducing the chatter,” he says, “but we will have to wait until we get on track on Friday to see if what we found also works at Silverstone. Again, we'll be hoping for dry weather so we can maximise every minute of track time to prepare for Sunday's race.”
Bridgestone will bring its medium-soft and medium rear tyres to the British round. Both options use the same medium rubber compound on the right shoulder but a choice of either the extra-soft or soft rubber on the left shoulder of the tyre. Perhaps more contentiously, Bridgestone’s new-spec ‘33’ front, first used at Jerez, now becomes the standard: all nine front slicks for each rider will be this specification, something which Stoner and his Honda sidekick Dani Pedrosa are not thrilled about.
Home hopes rest with Cal Crutchlow, whose five top-five qualifying efforts this year so far are the best by a Brit since 1986, while his 56 points to date represent the best start by a British rider since Ron Haslam back in 1987 – the year Wayne Gardner won the 500cc title. Crutchlow broke his collarbone in Silverstone qualifying last year and would obviously love to make this the round where he scores his first MotoGP podium.
In other top-flight news, Czech rider Karel Abraham – fresh from his first points haul of the season in Spain – is facing a race against time to be fit for Silverstone after sustaining a double fracture to the tip of his left little finger. “I’ll do everything to be at the track,” says the 22-year-old Cardion AB Ducati rider. “On the other side it would be irresponsible to race at all costs, risking that the healing will take longer. There’s a series of four races starting by Assen and it would be really catastrophe to miss those four races.”
MOTO2: TOM TAKES TWO-POINT LEAD TO SILVERSTONE
The dispute over Marc Marquez’s late-race antics with Pol Espargaro in Spain seems set to rumble on with Espargaro’s Pons Kalex team instigating an appeal against the decision not to penalise Marquez. Race Director Mike Webb did not wait for a final verdict to make his opinion known: “Marquez needs to calm down a bit and he needs to learn something from this, regardless of what his final points position is after the hearing.” Undeterred, Suter star Marquez, who crashed out of the GB round after taking pole last year, is focused on bridging the two-point gap Tom Lüthi has opened up with four successive podium finishes.
The Brits have a hero here too in Bradley Smith, who performed heroics last year to go from 28th on the grid to second in the race, his best result so far as a Moto2 rider. And let’s not forget Scott Redding: he won in front of his home crowd in the 125cc race in 2008, his only World Championship victory so far.
MOTO3: MAVERICK TO REIN IN THE LEADER?
Sandro Cortese starts his Silverstone weekend with a handy eight-point advantage over Maverick Viñales, who claimed his first pole at this round (the 125cc) in 2011 but saw Jonas Folger take the race ahead of Johann Zarco and Hector Faubel. That was Folger’s only race win to date.
Frenchman Louis Rossi could be the man to watch: winner in France and a top-four finisher in Spain, the lad from Le Mans who rides for Racing Team Germany turns 23 the week after Silverstone and already has more points this season (45) than he scored last year.