Silverstone MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Of Highsides, Mental Strength, And Lap Records

Time, tide, and race day wait for no one, to paraphrase an old adage. Trite as it may seem, that can become incredibly visceral in a sport like MotoGP. Qualifying happens at 14:35 local time on Saturday, unless the climate or conditions intervene. Sunday is race day, and the flag drops whether you are there or not.

Mostly, we just gloss over this, disregarding how much pressure it puts on teams and riders. But then something like Aleix Espargaro's crash in FP4 happens, and you are confronted with just how harsh the life of an elite athlete can be.

Espargaro suffered a huge highside at Farm, Turn 12 in the early moments of FP4. The Aprilia rider was on his second flying lap after leaving the pits with a brand new hard rear slick when the rear slid, then bit and flicked him into the sky. He landed as badly as you might expect from such a highside, his body slamming into the tarmac, saved from worse injury by the airbag, which inflated with enough power to force the zip on his leathers open.

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2022 Silverstone MotoGP FP4 Result: Zarco Leads After Big Tumble For Espargaro

The final practice outing of the day came with its fair share of drama, with a big high side for the quickest man of the weekend so far, Aleix Espargaro taking a painful-looking tumble at turn 12 and returning to the Aprilia garage with a notable limp but thankfully no fractures. While cameras followed the Spaniard on his trip to the medical centre and back, Johann Zarco claimed top spot on track, half a tenth quicker than Maverick Viñales and Jack Miller. Miguel Oliveira found some pace to climb into fourth, with the reigning world champion rounding out the top five positions.

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2022 Silverstone Moto2 FP3 Result: Dixon Shines On Home Soil

The final practice session in the intermediate class was a bit of a déjà vu, with local favourite Jake Dixon chasing Augusto Fernandez’s benchmark set on Friday for the whole session and eventually taking control of the timesheets with a couple of minutes remaining. That left Fernandez with a four-tenth deficit to the leader, while Aron Canet made a late jump into third, as the final rider within half a second of Dixon.

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