Press releases from the teams and Michelin after Sunday's historic race at Silverstone:
VICTORY FOR VIÑALES AND SUZUKI ECSTAR AT BRITISH GP!
Team Suzuki Press Office – September 4.
Maverick Viñales – 1st.
Aleix Espargaró – 7th.
Maverick Viñales dominated today’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone in the UK with a spectacular start-to-finish victory aboard his Team SUZUKI ECSTAR GSX-RR, winning by more than three seconds!
It was the 21-year-old Spaniard’s first ever victory in the premier class and Suzuki’s first in the modern-day MotoGP™ format since Chris Vermuelen at a ‘wet’ Le Mans race in France in 2007.
Viñales led on the opening lap of the red-flagged first part following a crash at Turn 2, but then repeated it in the restarted and shortened 19-lap race in dry conditions at the Northamptonshire venue. Team-mate Aleix Espargaró put in a strong performance aboard his GSX-RR to finish in seventh position.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Today’s race was perfect. In the last three races we have been someway stressed because we felt we couldn’t achieve the results we deserved, because of some troubles with the weather conditions, we knew we had the potential and today’s result is the evidence that we were right. This came from a perfect job of the rider and the team and the engineers at home; they all gave their best and this allowed us to achieve this result. Also Aleix did a very good race, he finished in seventh and after the tough races he has had recently, it is a good result.”
“This victory has been really emotional, my first in MotoGP and also the first for Suzuki since 2007. I felt I was in a good condition and that here we had the potential, but until the race ends you can never know. The team did an absolutely great job, improving the bike since the last races and also in the whole weekend. After the first start I felt really confident and I thought I had a margin to keep ahead, and this gave me the needed confidence to do it again after the second start. My feeling with the machine was perfect, I tried to push hard at the beginning to take advantage and then I just controlled the race. After the last races we felt we had the potential and finally we proved that the job we are doing is really in the right direction.”
“Finally I could end the race and we finished not that far from the leaders. We still need to work hard to make further improvements, being patient and working step by step. At the same time, I’m really happy for my team-mate Maverick and to see the Suzuki on the top-step of the podium, it’s incredible the evolution that we have made in the last 20 months after our comeback to MotoGP, and this whole Suzuki family deserves this result; we will continue fighting to achieve better results also before the end of the season.”
Rossi Marks 250th MotoGP Start with Third Place in Scintillating Silverstone Race
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi celebrated the milestone of his 250th MotoGP start with a hard-fought third place at the Silverstone Circuit. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo had a tough outing at the British Grand Prix but made his experience count to hold eighth place over the line.
Valentino Rossi, who has been participating in the MotoGP class since its introduction in 2002, kicked off his 250th MotoGP class Grand Prix start in style. He stormed from second on the grid to grab the holeshot before tucking in behind Maverick Viñales, but his assertive start to the race was short-lived when the race was red flagged.
The opening lap to the shortened restarted race, which began at 15:54 local time, saw Rossi hold second place behind Cal Crutchlow into the first corner, but he had to let Viñales and Marc Marquez pass before the end of the first lap. With fifteen laps to go he saw the latter pull a gap on Crutchlow in third place and decided it was time to charge for the front. Within one lap the nine times World Champion passed the local rider and Marquez and focused on closing the margin of 2.4s to the race leader, but his rivals continued to threaten him from behind.
Eight laps on the Doctor came under pressure from Andrea Iannone as his rear tyre started to slide. What followed was a flurry of activity as Crutchlow and Marquez joined the fight for second place. Two laps later Rossi found himself in fifth place when he and Marquez briefly touched fairings. The Italian was quick to respond and close passes followed as they fought a heated battle, while Iannone crashed out of the race.
Rossi was unable to fend off Marquez and rode a smart end to the race, saving his tyres to seize the opportunity and take over third place when Marquez went wide. He held this podium position over the line as he rapidly approached Crutchlow in a last-lap sprint to the chequered flag, but he came just 0.583s short and wrapped up the day in third place.
Starting from ninth on the grid Lorenzo had a flying start off the line, taking seventh place into the first corner. He put his head down trying to close the gap to the front until the race was aborted due to a race incident in turn two.
He resumed his attack seamlessly during the shortened 19-lap race. Perfectly duplicating his start, he tried to progress from seventh place after the first corner, but saw Andrea Iannone put an aggressive pass on him before the end of the first lap. Lorenzo tried to follow and soon overtook Scott Redding to reclaim seventh place.
He continued his chase to the front, closing up on Dani Pedrosa and upped his pace, but lost time as he got engaged in a battle with Andrea Dovizioso for seventh place. Unable to match the pace of the Italian due to a vibrating rear tyre, he then got into battle with Aleix Espargaró, who he had to let pass. Despite the challenges, Lorenzo continued to keep his head down and later gained a position as Iannone retired from the race, to finish the race in eighth position, 19.432s from first.
The results see Rossi hold second place in the championship standings, now on 160 points, with a margin of 50 points to the championship leader. Lorenzo remains in third position, now on 146 points.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will now travel to San Marino for the round at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli that will take place next week.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"Today has been a gamble race. We started the race with tyre choice and set-ups that we couldn't try before due to the wet FP4 and warm-up. Some of our decisions paid off and some didn't. We had a red flag situation after one lap and then we had a second start with the quick starting procedure. The race has been a very close battle, with some hot action between Vale, Marc, Iannone and Crutchlow, that we all enjoyed a lot. After a good start, Vale managed the degradation of the rear tyre very well until the end and he scored another important podium that gives him a good motivation for his upcoming home race. Jorge had a difficult race and suffered from big vibrations and a lack of grip from the rear throughout since the beginning. He handled the situation as well as he could to end the race in eighth place. Now we will have four days off before the next FP1 in Misano, the team's second home race of the season."
3rd / +4.063s / 19 laps, Championship: 2nd 160 points
"For the championship these are just three points but I'm very happy because it was a hard battle. I fought for the entire race and never gave up. Unfortunately, after eight or nine laps, I started to slide a lot on the rear, so it was very difficult to control the bike, but at the end it was very funny with Marc and Crutchlow and I'm very happy with this podium. It was a great race and a great battle, a double battle because at the beginning of the race and also at the end it was great. I enjoyed it a lot and I'm so happy with this podium, because I knew I had to fight from the first corner to the last to arrive in front. On the dry we weren't so strong. We knew we would struggle with the tyres in the second half of the race and in fact it was like this. It was a great battle with Marquez and also with Crutchlow and Iannone. I tried to the maximum and arrived on the podium. It's not very important for the points in the championship but very important for me and for the team. I have some black on me from Marquez's tyres, because we touched two or three times. The battle was good but hard, fair and I enjoyed it a lot. When you try at the end to fight for the podium, between Marquez and me, it's always difficult, but it was a very good battle and I want to see it on television."
8th / +19.432s / 19 laps, Championship: 3rd 146 points
"It's been a difficult weekend, because we couldn't find a good set-up that made me comfortable with the bike. We tried a different setting in the race that we couldn't test in the warm-up, so we gambled a bit on the setting and it didn't work. I could see the second group there in front of me but I couldn't catch them. All of a sudden I felt the bike was vibrating a lot, so I had to close the throttle and relieve the pace and I couldn't keep up the pace I had at the start of the race."
Marquez fourth, Pedrosa fifth in hard-fought British GP
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa took fourth and fifth place, respectively, in today’s British Grand Prix. As has been the case at many of this year’s GPs, the weekend was affected by mixed weather conditions, making tyre choice very difficult.
After the race was red-flagged on lap one due to a nasty crash involving Loris Baz and Pol Espargaro, Maverick Viñales took the lead on the restart while Marc slotted into second position, leading a group that included Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Iannone and Pedrosa. After five laps Marc, Rossi, Crutchlow and Iannone started a long fight for the runner-up position, swapping places several times. Pedrosa, who had made a positive step forward with the setup of his RC213V, closely trailed them.
Iannone crashed out of the race on lap 13, leaving Crutchlow in second. Rossi and Marquez engaged in thrilling battle behind him, with the Repsol Honda rider eventually able to pull a gap and start chasing the Briton. The subsequent duel ended with Marc running wide at turn seven on the penultimate lap and re-joining the race in fifth, then overtaking Dani on the last lap to finish fourth.
The MotoGP paddock now heads to Misano for round 13 of the Championship, with Marc leading the standings on 210 points, 50 clear of Rossi and 64 ahead of Lorenzo. Dani is fifth with 120 points. Honda is actually also leading both the Constructor and Team World Championship Classifications
The Repsol Honda Team wishes to congratulate Tim Gajser for taking his first MXGP crown and becoming the first big-class World Champion for Honda in 16 years, since Fred Bolley triumphed in 2000.
“Today was one of those difficult Sundays because there were many ways of approaching the race, with many options for both the front and rear tyres. Perhaps we got it wrong with the front, because we chose the soft tyre, but that was what we thought was best before the race. I realised the mistake once the race was underway, and from there I decided to make the most of the situation. It’s a pity that I went wide under braking when fighting for second place, but in the end we rectified the situation quite well. We finished fourth and only lost three points from our overall advantage, which is what matters to us.”
“Overall it was a challenging weekend because of the track conditions. It has always been cold, sometimes with rain included, and we’ve never had any sun. It was hard to get a good feel for the tyres because there was no rubber laid down on the asphalt. I chose the soft-soft combination and I knew that I would have some issues in the final laps, but all in all I think it was the best choice at the moment. The good news is we’ve taken a step forward in terms of results and have regained a little more confidence, especially entering the corners. There are still some things that we need to improve, but we had a decent race and set some more-reasonable times. We’ll try to take the positives from here and work on the rest for the next race.”
Andrea Dovizioso finishes sixth in the British GP at Silverstone. DNF for Andrea Iannone who crashes out from second place on lap 14
Andrea Dovizioso took the chequered flag in sixth place today at the end of the British Grand Prix, round 12 of the MotoGP World Championship which was held at Silverstone. The Italian, who started from row 4, made a great charge through the field to catch the leading group, but had to settle for sixth place due to increasing stiffness in his right forearm, which prevented him from pushing hard in the final stages of the race.
A crash on the other hand brought an end to Andrea Iannone’s race, after the Italian, who had started from row 3, moved into second place after getting the better of Pedrosa, Marquez, Crutchlow and Rossi. Unfortunately the Ducati Team rider also suffered a similar physical problem to his team-mate and a crash on lap 14 put an end to his superb run.
The British GP was held in cloudy weather conditions but on a dry surface, with air and track temperatures of 18°. The race was halted on the opening lap because of a crash involving Loris Baz and Pol Espargarò and it was then restarted and run over 19 laps.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th
“After powering away well at the first start, I wasn’t able to repeat it the second time around and was left a little bit behind, so I lost touch with the leading group. I had to push hard to try and close the gap, but I wasn’t able to ride well: half-way through I began to have a problem with my right forearm and from that moment onwards my race turned into an ordeal. I feel bad for the team, today we could surely have got a better result, but I was just unable to push hard enough. I almost crashed a number of times just trying to stay in sixth place, because I was struggling to keep the bike under control. It was a pity, because judging by the pace of the guys in front of me, we could have had a chance of fighting for second place.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – DNF
“I’m very disappointed because I was having a great race and we surely had a chance to finish on the podium. Unfortunately just before the mid-point of the race, I began to have fatigue in my right forearm and I was no longer able to control the bike perfectly, which caused me a lot of problems. I really had to struggle a lot, but I didn’t want to stop because for me this situation was difficult to accept. When I arrived at turn 17 on the fourteenth lap, I was late in changing direction, hit a bump and crashed because I just didn’t have the strength to control the bike. It’s a real shame, because today we could have scored a very good result.”
MOTOGP - APRILIA IN THE TOP-10 AT SILVERSTONE
HIS GOOD PACE REWARDS BAUTISTA, TENTH ACROSS THE WIRE
STEFAN BRADL INNOCENT VICTIM OF A CRASH
The English weekend concluded with a top-10 placement for Aprilia. The Silverstone race had a red flag straight away in the first lap due to an accident involving Baz and Pol Espargaró. Following the quick start procedure, hostilities resumed with race distance reduced to 19 laps.
Both Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl got off to a good start when the lights went out, vying for an important placement with a good, consistent pace. However, as he engaged in battle with a few riders, Stefan was the innocent victim of contact that led to a fall, forcing him to retire.
Bautista continued his progress, battling at length with Hernandez and managing to build up a comfortable gap after overtaking him. Managing his tyre wear well, the Spanish Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider demonstrated very consistent performance, moving into tenth place under the chequered flag. This is an encouraging result in view of the upcoming Italian round, scheduled at Misano in seven days.
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"Alvaro rode a good race today, considering the difficulties we had in practice and his starting position. As often happens, the RS-GP showed good performance in terms of pace, especially in the second part of the race. Where we are lacking mainly at the moment is the ability to take maximum advantage of the tyre, both in the initial laps and in qualifying. It's a pity about Stefan's crash. He had chosen a different from tyre that would probably have been beneficial in the race, given his good sensations. Now we will go to Misano, where we will be able to have a good weekend".
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"Bautista's good performance confirms our race potential. It was not easy today after qualifying where we often struggle. I'm sorry about Stefan. The contact with Laverty kept him from achieving an encouraging result. There are positive signals that we must consider, not the least of which is the rather reduced gap behind the leaders. We need to keep working. If we stay focused we will be able to grow quickly and our performance today shows that".
"There was quite a bit of confusion at the first start. Fortunately, both Pol and Loris are fine. At the second start, I tried to find my pace. We struggled throughout the weekend, but I know that in duels with the other riders I would be able to improve. That is the way it was. I recovered a few positions, battling for a long time then with Hernandez. When I overtook him, I changed an electronics setting on the RS-GP to gain a few tenths and increase the gap. I was successful, thanks to the team and the mechanics who worked hard to give me the best possible bike. I am looking forward to Misano optimistically. Aprilia is on their home pitch, so I hope to give the fans a good performance".
"I'm very disappointed because today my feeling on the bike was good. While I was fighting with some guys, Laverty gave me no space to turn, basically making me crash. As I said it's disappointing, all we can do now is think about Aprilia's home race in Misano".
SENSATIONAL SECOND FOR CRUTCHLOW AT SILVERSTONE
Just two weeks after having sealed a first grand prix victory, Cal Crutchlow gave the LCR Honda Team and the whole of Britain more cause to celebrate as he claimed a third podium finish of the season with second place in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Starting his home race from pole position, Crutchlow didn’t get the best of starts as the event began under leaden skies. However, it wasn’t the weather but a crash which brought out the red flag on the opening lap. Both riders involved were declared OK, and when the race was quickly restarted Cal took his second chance admirably, leading into turn one.
While eventual race winner Maverick Viñales got through and escaped at the front, Crutchlow was involved in an epic battle with Valentino Rossi and Honda colleague Marc Marquez, with positions swapping on every lap. Andrea Iannone also joined in on the fun, but after fighting to get past the Brit, the Italian soon crashed out.
Lying second Crutchlow had to rebuff more attacks from the former MotoGP World Champions, with Marquez at one point clipping the LCR Honda man at around 200mph, but it forced the Spaniard wide, and out of the shout for the podium.
Crutchlow eventually held on despite a late salvo from Rossi, to take a glorious second place in front of his adoring fans, and move him up to eighth place in the 2016 championship.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 2nd
“It was great to be a part of that battle today and really entertain the British crowd. I want to thank the LCR team and Honda for all the hard work they have put in in these recent weeks. We started the year with a few crashes, and problems with the bike, but it shows that all the hard work has paid off.”
“In the race I felt I gave as good as I got, it was a good battle with Marc and Valentino and I also want to say congratulations to Maverick because he controlled the race and did a superb job. Four new winners in the last four MotoGP races is something unique.”
“To stand on the podium in front of my home fans is pretty special and I’m really proud to do so. I feel in great shape at the moment and in good form and I hope that Misano can be another good race, although we know it will be difficult as it hasn’t been the best place for me or Honda in recent years. It won’t stop me trying and I will do so again next week.”
Petrux fights and finishes with a good ninth place. Scott crashes and ends up 17th
The weekend of the Octo British Grand Prix finishes with a ninth place conquered by Danilo Petrucci, who ends his race with determination. Scott, instead, crashes after two laps, while fighting for the Top 8, and is forced to pass under the chequered flag in the seventeenth position.
The British rider begin with a very good start and after two turns is already in fourth place. But the race is stopped immediately by the red flag for the accident, fortunately without serious consequences, that involved Baz and Pol Espargaro. In the second start Scott is not decisive but still manage to stay in the Top 10. After two laps the crash that excludes him from the GP. Redding has the merit to continue until the end also to pay a tribute to his fans.
Petrux maintains the starting position and on lap six he manages to pass Laverty. Two laps after the crash of his teammate, Danilo attacks and overtakes Miller. But the gap with Aleix Espargaro and then with Jorge Lorenzo is already too large. For the rider of the Fiamme Oro, the ninth place behind the World Champion in charge.
17° - Scott Redding
“It is a pity. I started very well in the first race. In the second race, something has changed, I felt I had less feeling. I crashed without any warning from the bike. It can happen. I am sorry it happened here. But never give up! I continued till the end, even though it was not easy, even to thank my fans who have supported me lap by lap."
9° - Danilo Petrucci
"We managed to finish in the top 10 and it is good. Finally, the circuits where I have more difficulties are finished and I am looking forward to going to Misano, a track that I see from my window. I wanted to catch Lorenzo but he was too far away. I thank the whole team for the work they have done in this GP. We have not given up, we are very united and it is great to work with them."
Rabat and Miller show fighting spirit in Silverstone
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tito Rabat and Jack Miller showed their battling qualities in a difficult British Grand Prix at Silverstone this afternoon.
The race was shortened by one-lap from 20 to 19 following an early red flag that resulted from a big crash involving Loris Baz and Pol Espargaro.
Tyre choice for the race was something of a gamble after so much track time this weekend was lost due to cold and wet conditions in yesterday’s practice and qualifying sessions.
Spaniard Rabat opted to race the hard front Michelin tyre and the medium compound rear and he was able to maintain a constant pace throughout the race to claim a hard fought 15th place after a close battle with Alex Lowes and Hector Barbera.
Rabat was pleased to salvage a point scoring finish from a difficult weekend and he is now looking forward to tackling one of his favourite tracks in Misano next weekend.
Round 12 of the World Championship proved to be a complicated affair for Australian Miller, who battled pain and a lack of strength in his injured right hand and fast fading rear grip from his medium compound rear tyre selection.
An aggressive start from the 21-year-old moved him into the top 10 on the third lap, but he was unable to maintain his startling early pace and he dropped back through the field to finish just outside the points.
Despite his physical issues and a lack of rear grip in the second half of the race, Miller rode sensibly to bring his Honda RC213V home to the chequered flag to gain crucial seat time ahead of next weekend’s battle at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Tito Rabat: 15th
“This weekend has been one of the most difficult of my career. I have found it very difficult to go fast at this fast and technical track but as always I will look to take the positives out of it and I finished the last three races in the points. I felt we have made some progress when it was not easy to do so with all the changeable weather and now I go to Misano looking forward to being more competitive. It is one of my favourite tracks and my goal will be to finish inside the points again.”
Jack Miller: 16th
“Today’s race was a difficult one for me and the biggest issue I had was with the rear tyre. I had a really good start in both races and I felt really comfortable in the opening laps. But after about five laps I started to have some issues with grip on the right side of the rear tyre. I was just out there doing laps for the remainder of the race and making sure I didn’t take any risks to avoid crashing. It was impossible for me to fight with anybody and I was happy to get in 19 laps on the bike after a difficult time with injuries. But I am disappointed because I’m sure I could have picked up some important points today.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It was a difficult weekend in every way here at Silverstone. Tito struggled to find a good feeling with the bike in practice and qualifying, while Jack was returning from injury and, while we knew the back was a problem, it turned out that he had an additional fracture in his hand that caused some issues. But even so, Jack was in a good position at the start of the race, but dropped back after having problems with the right hand side of the rear tyre. It was a shame he wasn't rewarded for his effort this weekend with points. Tito did score a point, and better one than nothing, but I hope both riders are in better condition when we arrive is Misano next week."
Lowes impresses by seizing points on MotoGP debut at Silverstone
Monster Yamaha Tech3 team stand-in rider Alex Lowes strongly clinched a point scoring finish in his inaugural MotoGP appearance at his home Grand Prix at the high speed Silverstone circuit. Lowes kicked off his day with a run to 3rd in the mixed conditions in the morning warm up, which filled the 25-year-old with confidence ahead of the 20-lap sprint. When the lights went out, the Briton charged forward, however, the race was stopped shortly afterwards due to an incident involving his teammate and another rider. At the restart, he leapt off the line as he completed the opening lap in 17th, and just two laps later, he moved up to 14th. Later on, he slipped back one position but remained fully focused as he looked to continue gathering as much experience as possible. Then with five laps left to run, he claimed 13th as he battled with Eugene Laverty in the final moments of the GP. After a last lap dash, the Tech3 rider eventually met the chequered flag in 13th which marks a superb close to his first MotoGP race.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Pol Espargaro suffered bad luck at the British Grand Prix after being involved in a collision at turn one on the opening lap. The Spaniard leapt forward from the fifth row of the grid and after the short run down to the first turn, Loris Baz hit him and the incident caused the race to be red flagged. Espargaro was taken to the medical centre to be checked but was later deemed ok. The 25-year-old will seek to make amends at the next race in San Marino in just a few days time.
13th / +40.143s / 19 laps, Championship: 23rd, 3 points
"Overall I have to be pleased with how the weekend has ended and I really learnt a lot in my first MotoGP experience, which I thought was amazing. The ever changing weather conditions made things a bit trickier at this event, and this was even more of a challenge for me because any condition would have been tough as it was my debut on the YZR-M1. With regards to the race itself, it was the first time that I ran with a full fuel load and also the first time that I completed more than six laps in a row. Therefore, of course, the learning curve was steep and it was tough. In the first few laps, I locked the front whilst braking a few times which made me lose a bit of confidence, but after that, I tried to understand the changing behaviour of the bike regarding the fuel and tyre life. I also watched the guys around me and I learnt a lot. In the end, I finished 40 seconds back from the leader and 20 from Lorenzo in my first GP race, which is positive, but the main objective was to reach the flag and I also claimed a few points. I feel that I could have ridden better, but maybe I am being a bit too negative on myself. Plus, I didn't know what to expect here so I shouldn't be harsh for not understanding everything immediately. However, I am a racer! Now I have a few days to digest what has happened so that I can be stronger in San Marino. I have to give a special thanks to the whole Tech3 team who did a great job this weekend and I am thankful for the chance."
DNC, Championship: 9th / 81 points
"I can't say a lot about today because it was over before it really got going for me. In the first lap, I felt a strong impact from behind me at the first corner. I started to roll on the floor and then both my bike and Loris' bike hit me. On one hand, I have to say that this incident was really bad luck, but then again, to be completely honest, the past few races have not gone exactly to plan. On the other hand, I have to be pleased that nothing worse happened. I must admit that I am feeling a lot of pain all over, and especially in my right tibia but this is not something that I am overly worried about and I am sure that with some relaxation and massages, I will be fine. I'm always a bit nervous when I start from quite far back on the grid because it's dangerous and the accident today confirmed this. However, I missed the entrance to QP2 by one tenth and I paid a high price in qualifying when it rained which cost me even more in the race today. Having said that, I have to be happy that I am more or less ok after that hard crash and even though we have another GP in the next few days, I will be a lot better in Misano where I am confident that my luck will change and things will be a lot better."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:
“It was a memorable day in MotoGP and we were treated to a highly entertaining race at Silverstone. For us, we were very worried when the GP began because there was a high-speed crash, which looked nasty. We could see that the bike flew into the air, and before the television cameras showed that Pol was ok and moving, we were really scared. Thank God that Pol is completely ok. He couldn’t restart the race, but the most important thing is that he is not injured, and he is fully fit for Misano. On the other side of the pit box, Alex did a great job. He learnt a lot, rode a strong race and passed some regular MotoGP riders. He is not entirely happy because he wanted more, but I consider this a good thing because he is hungry for success. We were hoping that he could score one point, but in the end, he got three, so altogether, it was a solid performance. I would like to thank him for his efforts and also Yamaha for letting him ride for Monster Yamaha Tech3. Italy is going to be another adventure for Alex because he wants to be closer to the mid-pack and we think he can do it. I also want to tell him that he made no mistakes, he learnt a lot in both the dry and the wet so he is almost a complete MotoGP rider. Now, we have a few days off to rest before Misano, but we are all excited for the next challenge.”
Lucky Loris Baz escapes injuries, Barbera finishes 14th
The British Grand Prix weekend started bad for Avintia Racing and finished in the same way. On the first lap of the race, Loris Baz suffered a scary crash in turn two, when he touched with Pol Espargaró, and the race was red flagged. The French Avintia Racing rider lost his conscience and was evacuated in an ambulance to the Silverstone circuit medical centre. Fortunately, any serious injuries were rules out after the X-Rays, Baz escaped from the crash with nothing more than a sprained right ankle. Tomorrow, he will have a head scan at the Geneva hospital in Switzerland, to make sure he has no concussion after the heavy impact. If everything is fine, Loris will be back on track next week at Misano.
Hector Barbera finished the race, but not in the position he would have liked to. He never was comfortable riding his bike during the weekend, and although he was twelfth in the final stages of the race, he lost two places in the last two laps and finished 14th.
A weekend to forget for Avintia Racing, but the whole team is now looking forward to the next round of the MotoGP World Championship which will take place next weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Hector Barbera - P14
“This weekend was a complete disaster. It was one of the most difficult weekends of my career. I was not comfortable riding the bike, I had no feeling and as a consequence, I never found the right confidence to push. Silverstone is a circuit with a lot of grip and I don’t know if it is my riding style or whatever else it could be that I never felt comfortable. I can neither learn nor take any other positive experiences with me from this Grand Prix. The race was also mentally tiring, because if you ride in such a poor way, the result is a disaster as well. We all had a frightening moment with Loris and the most important thing today is that he is okay!”
Loris Baz - DNF
“Up until the race, this weekend had gone quite well. I was very confident for the race and the crash was a really pity because I could have done well. When I arrived at the second turn, I was running parallel with Pol and just about to overtake him, but then the guys in front of us braked very early, especially Petrucci. I pulled over to the right a bit in order to avoid a collision, but Pol entered the turn from the outside and we touched. After banging into him, I don’t remember a lot of what happened. I woke just before getting into the ambulance. I don’t remember the crash itself, but the consequences could have obviously been worse because it looks pretty bad. I have a sprain in the foot that I was operated on, but they did an X-ray and I there is nothing broken, even though it hurts when I put pressure on the foot. The most important thing is that Pol, who also doesn’t have any fractures, and myself are all right. It was a race incident that shouldn’t have happened, but this corner is quite narrow. I don’t think I did anything stupid!”
Pull&Bear Aspar riders back in the points at Silverstone
Sunday, 04 September 2016 17:35
Yonny Hernandez and Eugene Laverty both fight back to just outside the top ten after a difficult weekend
The British Grand Prix was halted no sooner than it was underway today after a crash involving Pol Espargaró and Loris Baz in between the first and second corners saw the race red-flagged on the first lap. At that point Cal Crutchlow was leading ahead of Pull&Bear Aspar Team rider Eugene Laverty in second place. A restarted 19-lap race, reduced by one from the planned 20, saw Maverick Viñales make an early break and establish a three-second gap that he managed until the end, sealing his first win ahead of Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi. It was the Spaniard's first win and the first for Suzuki since 2007, whilst Viñales also become the seventh different winner from the last seven races in MotoGP. Rossi closes the gap by three points to Márquez at the top of the championship, which now stands at 50 with 150 available.
Yonny Hernández repeated his result from the Czech Republic despite starting from the seventh row of the grid. Eleventh place for the Colombian means he takes five points from a difficult weekend that has been dogged by mechanical problems, with some changes to his engine and electronic mapping today making the crucial difference and allowing him to make up ten positions in the race. Laverty experienced contrasting fortunes in the two races, losing places after the restart until a collision with Stefan Bradl saw him drop back to last position. Despite damage to his bike Laverty equalled the pace of the top 10 to make his way back to twelfth.
11th Yonny Hernández: "The key today was the changes we made after the problems yesterday with the engine. We came to the conclusion that we needed an entirely different engine mapping and it improved a lot, my feeling came back and I could ride like I need to. I am happy because this is a step forward and we are more consistent. I think that if we keep going like this we can have a great race at Misano. I want to say thanks to the team because after a difficult weekend and a lot of hard work it is nice to return to the points."
12th Eugene Laverty: “On the first start, the clutch felt really good off the line, I was fifth into turn one then got past Pedrosa for fourth and then Cal for third. When I passed Rossi for second I thought "this is going pretty good"! A corner later the red flag came out, unfortunately, so I had to do it all again. The clutch didn't feel the same on the second start and then I got hit by a few guys including Iannone in the first corners. I also got locked together with Lorenzo. That sent me backwards and then Bradl collided with me when he crashed. Thankfully I didn't go down too but it damaged the rear of the bike and that was it for my race. I had to stick my hand in there and pull the rear mud guard out, which isn't nice with the chain and everything else in there spinning around! It was tough after that but we kept going and picked up four championship points."
MICHELIN AND SUZUKI SCORE SILVERSTONE SUCCESS AS VIÑALES IS VICTORIOUS
Michelin was involved in a piece of history during the OCTO British Grand Prix at Silverstone in England today as Maverick Viñales (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) won his first MotoGP™ race and in the process equalled the record of seven different winners in seven races.
Pole-setter Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) got the holeshot at the start of the race, but was passed by Viñales on the first lap. The Suzuki man then gapped the rest of the field on his machine which was fitted with a MICHELIN Power Slick hard compound front tyre and a medium rear. Viñales led for the rest of the race, increasing his lead as the laps ticked down. His victory is the first for Suzuki since 2007, when Chris Vermeulen was triumphant at a wet Le Mans, and the first dry win since Kenny Roberts Jr. won at Motegi in 2000. It also sees Viñales become the first rider to win a MotoGP, Moto2™ and Moto3™ race.
The battle behind was a treat for the 73,310 spectators at trackside as Crutchlow eventually got the better of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) to secure second place and give the British fans something extra to cheer about. Rossi was involved in many tussles throughout the 19-lap race before taking the final rostrum position ahead of championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) in fourth and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) in fifth. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was the first man home for the Italian marque as he took sixth, with Aleix Espargaro (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) in seventh. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was eighth and Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich) was ninth, Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) rounded out the top 10 to complete five different manufacturers in the first 10 places.
Today’s race was held in dry, but overcast conditions and the main event had to be restarted and reduced to 19-laps following a first lap incident which saw Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) collide. This resulted in a red flag and an immediate stoppage, fortunately neither rider was injured and the race resumed soon afterwards. The result today saw Viñales become the seventh winner in seven races, this is the first time this has happened since the 1999/2000 season when all seven winners also used Michelin rubber.
Michelin and the MotoGP spectacle will now head directly to Italy and the round 13 of the championship, which will be held at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Sunday 11th September.
Maverick Viñales ̶ Team SUZUKI ECSTAR:
“It was incredible today! We worked so hard with the tyres this weekend. We tried the harder ones on Friday and the team did a great job. Also we worked so hard with Michelin and I am very happy with the result. Richard is our guy at Michelin and he said that the hard tyre was the best choice for us and we trust him 100%, so we took his advice and it gave us the perfect position.”
Piero Taramasso ̶ Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group:
“Today was a very good race and we would like to congratulate Maverick Viñales on his first win. We have not had an easy weekend here at Silverstone with all the different weather, it has been warm, cold, wet, damp and dry, with some wind there as well, but our tyres have coped well in all conditions so we are pleased with the performance over the weekend. During the dry practice sessions a number of riders went under the lap-record, so that was very encouraging and today’s race lap-times were very competitive. That is despite the cold track and the heavy rain yesterday which made the track very slick again as it washed away any rubber that had already been laid down over the weekend. It was not easy for us or the teams to make the correct choice today, as dry track time had been very limited, but at the end it worked out very good as we used two different compounds on the different bikes front and rear and they all performed well. We will now head straight to Italy and Misano. There it is a very demanding track, but we will look to continue with the impressive performances we have had recently, despite all the different weather in the last few races ̶ hopefully we can have a whole weekend of warm sunshine on the Italian coast.”
CRUTCHLOW & ROSSI MAKE THE BOX AT BRITISH GRAND PRIX
Silverstone drips with motorsport history but Cal Crutchlow’s bid to keep altering the MotoGP record books in terms of British achievement stretched on at the twelfth round of the FIM World Championship today as Maverick Viñales dashed away to snare his maiden success at the highest level. Fans well accustomed to the UK climate and propensity for surprises, took a chance on cloudy skies and packed the stands of the largely flat but fast English course as MotoGP reconvened after the recent trip to Brno….And were served with another phenomenal slice of theatre.
Crutchlow’s name has frequently been read in the same lines as ‘Sheene’ since his milestone victory in the Czech Republic two weeks ago and in the damp of Silverstone the Honda man was again aligned with the iconic former world champion as his Pole position on UK soil was the first by a native since Sheene managed the feat in 1977.
The LCR Honda man was part of the cast list in a fantastic MotoGP sprint for second position as Viñales made a breakaway at the head of the pack. Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Ducati’s Iannone (until the Italian crashed out) along with Crutchlow somehow found centimetres to share around the sweeping curves and curbs of the track that first hosted a motorcycle Grand Prix in ’77.
Fairing rubbing, mistakes and a wave of unpredictability meant that the laps counted down quickly while the vast majority of viewers wanted the action to last and last. As the nineteen laps dwindled on Sunday afternoon the decisive moments came in the later stages of the race and as Marquez made a mistake and dropped from second to fifth and Crutchlow and Rossi powered through to occupy second and third positions respectively. Viñales’ success meant the seventh different winner in MotoGP this year and represents the most ‘open’ season since 2006 where there were also seven athletes on the top of the box. In a sterling campaign the sight of ‘CC35’ spraying champagne at his home fixture gave the British fans good value for their buck and showed that the 30 year old had no qualms of handling the pressure and expectation on his shoulders.
“Honestly it is a dream come true to stand on the podium at your home Grand Prix. I’m pleased for my team, they really deserve it,” said Crutchlow whose previous best result on home asphalt had been a sixth position and he now has three trophies for the year. “Sure I wanted to win but I’m happy with a podium; no doubt about that. We had a superb battle and that's what it’s all about: entertaining the crowd.”
“It was a great race and a great battle,” said Rossi after his sixth podium of the year (and 250 career starts in MotoGP) that allowed him to reduce the points deficit in the championship standings to 50 behind Marquez. “I enjoyed it a lot and I am happy with this podium because I had to fight a lot from the first corner to the last. We were not so strong and we know we suffer with the tyres in the second part of the race. It was good! I tried my maximum. It was a good, hard but fair fight [with Marquez].”
Silverstone meant the sixth race without a win for Jorge Lorenzo (in 8th) while the Grand Prix initially had to be re-started due to a red flag waved on the first lap for a crash by Pol Espargaro. The Catalan was later released from the medical centre with the all-clear. Monster Yamaha Tech3 teammate Bradley Smith missed the race due to a knee injury sustained at the final round of the Endurance World Championship and his spot was filled by Pata Yamaha World Superbike racer Alex Lowes who grabbed 13th on his MotoGP debut and in the wake of a recent test with the French satellite crew.
Alex may have been exhilarated by his Silverstone experience but his brother Sam was left distraught in the Moto2 class. The other Lowes had used his Federal Oil Gresini Kalex to set the pace through most of practice and qualification in mixed conditions and was tussling with Johann Zarco and Thomas Luthi for the lead in a typically tense Moto2 contest but a collision between the luckless Brit and the French World Champ with two laps to go put Lowes down and Zarco was also out of the running. Luthi went on to win from the increasingly more confident Franco Morbidelli by less than a second. Moto3 saw Brad Binder get back to winning ways as Pecco Bagnaia again made the top three with a strong second position ahead of Bo Bendsneyder who became the first Dutchman to podium in Grand Prix in over two decades.
MotoGP is in a hurry. The Gran Premio TIM de San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini takes place next weekend at the Misano World Circuit Simoncelli on the west coast of Italy; the closest Valentino Rossi has to a home fixture and for the rest of the vaunted VR46 Academy.