ROUND 6 - Great Britain 15-17 June 2012
Circuit Length:5.900 Km
Laps:Moto3 - 17
Moto2 - 18
MotoGP - 20
The Silverstone results:
MotoGP1 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha),41 mins 16.429 secs (race average speed 171.537 km/h)
2 Casey Stoner (Honda), 3.313s behind
3 Dani Pedrosa (Honda), 3.599s behind
PP Alvaro Bautista (Honda), 2:03.303 = 172.258 km/h • FL Lorenzo, 2:02.888 = 172.840 km/h
Moto21 Pol Espargaro (Kalex), 38 mins 29.792 secs (race average speed 165.521 km/h)
2 Scott Redding (Kalex), 1.462s behind
3 Marc Marquez (Suter) 1.521 behind
PP Espargaro, 2:08.011 = 165.923 km/h • FL Tom Lüthi (Suter), 2:07.667 = 166.370 km/h
Moto31 Maverick Viñales (FTR Honda), 38 mins 55.210 secs (race average speed 154.624 km/h)
2 Luis Salom (Kalex KTM), 0.933s behind
3 Sandro Cortese (KTM), 1.023s behind
PP Viñales, 2:16.187 = 155.962 km/h • FL Cortese, 2:16.055 = 156.113 km/h
MOTO GP: Three on the bounce for Lorenzo
In a Silverstone display that bordered on the arrogant Jorge Lorenzo swept to his third consecutive race victory and his fourth of the season to increase his lead over Casey Stoner at the top of the World Championship standings. Yamaha ace Lorenzo qualified on the outside of the second row, dropped to fifth but made his move after six laps to cruise to second behind Stoner, then passed the Australian’s Honda just past the halfway mark to win by over three seconds.
Four laps from the finish Lorenzo sat up dramatically but quickly regained control.“When I caught up I didn’t want to crash,” said Lorenzo, “so I waited for my moment and was patient. When I caught Casey we had a wonderful fight, luckily for us I had a better pace and I passed him. Four laps from the end I made a big mistake and almost crashed! I’m very happy with the result, and for the team who gave me a good bike again.” Good enough to have put Lorenzo in either first or second place for all six races so far in 2012…
Second-placed Stoner fought off team-mate Dani Pedrosa in the closing laps to claim second place for the first time in 2012 and is now a full race, 25 points, adrift of Lorenzo in the standings. Fourth was Alvaro Bautista on the Honda Gresini bike that carried the 27-year-old to a brilliant first pole in MotoGP. Beaten off the start-line by Ben Spies on the second factory Yamaha and Stoner, Bautista ran third early on but couldn’t quite hang on to the ‘Big Three’ at the end of the race. Bautista’s previous best grid position was fourth (which became third when Lorenzo was injured) at Phillip Island in 2011 and he is now seventh in the standings.
“Today was a bitter sweet day,” said Spies, who has struggled all season but led for the first four laps until tyre wear started to hinder his progress. “We made a good start and had a really good pace in the beginning. After four or five laps we had a big problem with the rear tyre and lost all our momentum and pace. It turned into damage control after that. From the start of the season to now, top five is a better result. The potential of the bike was great today and we could have been fighting for the podium or the win with Jorge.”
One of the stars of the day was home rider Cal Crutchlow, who lost control of his Yamaha on Saturday morning and missed qualifying with a damaged left ankle. Determined not to miss his home race as he did in 2011, Crutchlow strapped himself up, started from the back of the grid and performed minor miracles to surge through the field, claiming sixth with a last-lap pass on Nicky Hayden’s Ducati. Crutchlow is now an outstanding fourth overall, six points ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who showed up well early in the race but crashed, created a major brake problem for himself and trundled home last of the classified finishers.
Top CRT rider was Aleix Espargaro, winning a private duel with Aspar ART teammate Randy de Puniet and is now 12th overall, while the luckless Karel Abraham was forced to admit defeat in his fight to recover from a hand injury and missed the race. The only other non-finisher was Mattia Pasini (ART).
Moto2: Revenge of the right kind
After the headline-hitting clash with compatriot Marc Marquez in Barcelona, Pol Espargaro took revenge in the best possible way with a high-class ride to his second victory of 2012. The 21-year-old Kalex rider is now just six points behind Suter star Marquez, who recovered well from a huge Saturday accident to finish third after a stunning last-lap duel with British favourite Scott Redding on another Kalex.
Redding and compatriot Bradley Smith thrilled the Silverstone crowd with their early dice for the lead, and while Smith fell away to finish seventh, Redding took his second podium in three races with a gutsy and clever performance. Former Championship leader Tom Lüthi (Suter) posted his worst result of the year in eighth but is still joint second on 96 with Redding.
Moto3: Maverick takes two in a row
Maverick Viñales emerged from a thrilling 17-lap Moto3 race with his second straight victory, a result that saw the 17-year-old FTR Honda rider reclaim top spot in the World Championship by two points from Sandro Cortese, whose KTM was third. Between them on the podium was Luis Salom, the 21-year-old Kalex KTM rider making a gallant bid for his first GP victory after dicing with Viñales for most of the race.
Le Mans winner Louis Rossi crashed out of contention for a good points haul on the last lap – 16 laps later than Australia’s Jack Miller, who broke his collarbone with a fall on lap one. His compatriot Arthur Sissis on the KTM rode a strong middle section of the race, kept his head in the hectic closing stages and came home in eighth place.
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 in the whole of 2011!