2017 Silverstone MotoGP Race Result: Wise Heads and Mechanicals

The premier class race had to content with the highest temperature they’ve encountered at the British track this weekend and the heat was indeed turned up to the maximum by a handful of riders looking to hunt down the old fox that ran away at the start.

The one man who was victorious in the challenge was once again Andrea Dovizioso, the Ducati man scoring his fourth win of the season after he stopped Valentino Rossi’s charge, the legendary Italian aiming for a worthy celebration of his 300th Grand Prix start. The Yamaha man has to settle with third place honours once teammate Maverick Viñales got the best of the soft rear tyre and snatched second position to score his 50th career podium.

Rossi had stolen the lead at the start in a lively first lap that saw Dani Pedrosa overtaken by Dovizioso and Viñales taking Crutchlow with the early advantage given by the Spaniard’s soft rear tyre - the only lead contender to fit it on. Rossi was trying to run away with it at the front while Marc Marquez had an early moment on the hard rear, the warning keeping him within reach of Viñales. Behind them, Dovizioso made it past Cruthlow on lap two, with Jorge Lorenzo and Pedrosa also within reach of the podium places at the time and Pol Espargaro leading the second group seven tenths down the road.

Rossi also had seven tenths of his own on Marquez by lap three, teammate Viñales making it past his fellow Spaniard soon after to try and make up a gap of over a second on Rossi. Viñales had to get the best of the soft rear while at its best performance but Rossi brought down the four-year-old circuit record on the third lap of the race, making his teammate’s challenge all the more tricky.

The Italian kept the gap at around one second, the pursuers biding their time behind him, only Johann Zarco making a significant move to lead the second group in eighth position. Viñales didn’t let Rossi enjoy his lap record for long, beating it himself on the next lap, while Lorenzo and Pedrosa were struggling to keep up with the leaders down in sixth and seventh position and soon having to contend with Zarco’s charge. The Frenchman made it past Pedrosa for seventh place on lap nine but never got close enough to Lorenzo.

Dovizioso finally made a move on Marquez on lap six, the Ducati a missile on the straights, the duo keeping within reach of Viñales and with Crutchlow ready to hunt behind them. The Yamaha men at the front were separated by around eight tenths of a second for several laps, the young pretender chipping a tenth here and there but never quite close enough to mount an attack.

Halfway throuogh the race, the lead riders were still setting red sectors and the Yamahas did not look like having the usual tyre issues. In other notable events, Marquez and Dovizioso got a bit feisty on lap ten, Marquez taking his turn at breaking the circuit record in the process. Dovizioso struck back and briefly showed intentions to Viñales, letting Rossi get almost a second’s worth of a breather at the front.

The Ducati man made it stick for second position with nine laps remaining, Marquez following him through one lap later and Viñales looking like he was starting to feel the different tyre choice to his rivals. Despite all the dicing around, the chasers finally got within half a second of Rossi with eight laps to go. Viñales was going backwards and out of podium positions but was thrown a lifeline as Marquez‘s engine blew up with seven laps remaining and blew the championship right open once again.

Dovizioso might have inherited the title lead but the Italian smelt a victory, getting right on Rossi’s tail in the final six laps. Viñales wasn’t one to give up either and the Spaniard got within two tenths of Dovizioso, with Crutchlow breathing down his neck in the remaining four laps.

Dovizioso bided his time and finally went for it with three laps to go, getting past Rossi and giving some momentum to Viñales, who got past his teammate just a few moments later. The lead Ducati had stretched half a second’s advantage while the Yamahas battled. Vinales’ tyre choice was vindicated, the Spaniard looking with a realistic shot at the win on the final lap, some red sectors bringing him within one tenth of the leader in the final turns. Too little too late, the Italian taking the win from the Yamaha duo.

Behind them, Crutchlow could not get in on the action and finished as an elite spectator in fourth place. Lorenzo was almost two seconds down the road in fifth, another three seconds keeping Zarco in sixth and pretty much the same gap got Pedrosa seventh position. The top ten was completed by Scott Redding in eighth spot, Alex Rins ninth and Alvaro Bautista tenth - a good result for the trio but particularly for Suzuki, after Andrea Iannone crashed out with Danilo Petrucci in the final few laps.

Marquez’s misfortunes and Dovizioso’s sublime victory put the Italian in charge of the championship by nine points, Marquez now only four points ahead of Viñales. Rossi is now 26 points down on his leading compatriot with Pedrosa another nine points behind.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 40'45.496
2 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +0.114
3 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +0.749
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +1.679
5 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati +3.508
6 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha +7.001
7 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda +10.944
8 45 Scott REDDING Ducati +13.627
9 42 Alex RINS Suzuki +15.661
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati +25.279
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +30.336
12 53 Tito RABAT Honda +31.609
13 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati +31.945
14 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati +33.567
15 76 Loris BAZ Ducati +33.901
16 43 Jack MILLER Honda +43.012
17 38 Bradley SMITH KTM +48.683
    Not Classified    
  41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 2 Laps
  9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 3 Laps
  29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 3 Laps
  93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 7 Laps
  22 Sam LOWES Aprilia 15 Laps


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Brilliant result for Dovi. Great determination from Maverick. And the Doctor, so near. As for Marc, I'd really not considered what effect his crashes might be having on his bike. Perhaps now we know? 

No reference on the MotoGP.com broadcast anyway. That was a weird one. 

Again I watched every session and figured it would be another Marc/Dovi showdown for completely unconventional reasons. (conventional being lap times) Its a shame Marc's bike blew out. I think Marc was watching Dovi very closely the entire weekend as was not too bothered about the Yamaha effort. Neutralizing them was probably within his grasp. Polar opposites, Marc and Dovi and both extremely aware of each other's capability. On the one hand you have a 5x megastar world champion, on the other hand you have a bloke that has buried every highly touted world champion teamed up with him...loosely expressed...let's not get pedantic and dig up stats. It is what it is. Dovi is generally a gear on par with most established aliens Vale, Dani, Jorge and...mmm...Maverick...arguably, but he did a great race today. Give Dovi the kit and he gets the job done. Has done season after season. Imagine had Ducati retained Iannone rather than Dovi. Jorge is chipping away and put on a good show. However, he is clearly as adaptable as Rossi was on the red bike. As early as FP1 Dovi decided to dump the 'hamster fairing' at Silverstone. You can't be giving up 15km/hr to HRC and Yamaha on a Ducati down hangar straight. Great racing all around with some very hard and controlled passes. I just love a late braker like Dovi and Barros of yesteryear and Vale is still one of them. He must be as ticked as Dovi was back in Sepang back then, turn 9, 2010 off the cuff. Misano next but surely Ducati are working a factory balance between their star riders. No doubt Jorge is on the up. He and Dovi's way of working a weekend is totally at odds. Anyway they are happy campers tonight and good to see. Tardozzi sees something very special in Dovi, that's clear, as he saw in Casey back then. Very differenr riders but very capable and adaptable. Speaking of Stoner, I recall Lorenzo early season opting Stoner out in favour of Pirro's input on the test front...high corner speed. Is Dovi lending an ear to controversial(back then), Casey input. The way he dispatched of Jorge,Cal, Maverick, Marc, Vale makes me think.

How many engines do the teams have left? The Desmo L-4 looks bulletproof. Misano is definitely not a Ducati track in my opinion. Even today one could see Dovi muscling the bike to keep mid corner speed, apparently its clealy still  weak point. 

It makes sense that Dovi would be the more sucessful one, at the moment, since it is him that the bike's been built around.  The same way Yamahas went in the direction that Lorenzo lead them, becoming more and more of a corner speed monster.  It is a bit of a shame for Lorenzo though, that Dovi is this successful, because his feedback won't be as prioritized.  Anyway, it seems that part of Dovi's great succcess is in leveraging the Ducati's power to keep managing the tyres.  I think there are plenty of riders that would be superior in an all out sprint, but in these management games he's excellent.

What happened to Pol on the cool down lap? 

David Emmett tweeted that Pol's rear wheel suddenly locked up due to an engine "thing". 

Does the lap record only count when it takes place during a race? Because Marc got pole with the only sub 2 minute lap. 

There is the lap record, and there is the pole record.


To me it looked like the rear wheel came around & spat Pol Espargaro off. I guess the back wheel locked up?

The engine in MM93's bike go boom. After not thinking much about it my guess is it dropped a valve, max revs, shut throttle, Boom tinkle tinkle!!

Great race considering it was a bit of a procession for 15 or 17 laps. Would have loved to see the old bloke win. I actually became more of a VR46 fan while watching last night. If only Vale had removed his helmet to say sorry to Casey Stoner 27.

Espargaro's KTM go boom. After crossing the line, thankfully. Sorry about the rubbish translation but this is the first news I found. A bit more than i wanted to copy & paste from Motorbike mag http://www.motorbikemag.es/pol-espargaro-explica-extrana-caida-motogp-si...

But Espargaró has not only been able to speak for his good weekend, but also for what has happened just after passing the checkered flag. In that moment, the Catalan has carried out an atypical moment, since it has undergone a strange and impressive fall when arriving at the first curve in the return of honor.

I do find Manglish somewhat amusing.

It was not even a mistake or a scandal of Espargaró, but it has had a breakdown in the engine just passing the goal that, coupled with the logical relaxation that occurs just past the goal, has ended In this fall that luckily has settled without injuries."

What happened for A.Espargaro?

Good race. Rossi had an intensity obviously coursing through him when the helmet came off. Super curious what he said there. He made unusual gestures. The Yamaha did better w the rear tire here, but perhaps Rossi lost a bit of rear grip late in the race. How Vinales on the soft did not is beyond me.

Enjoyed it!

The hard tyre apparently spins more when worn than the soft, Vinales looked after his tyre very, very well and I think the nature of the tyre meant it was still providing drive out of the corners, he pulled past Rossi far too easily considering they're on the same bike.

He had some kind of engine failure just before the end. A real pity, after having ridden through the pain all race and even making good progress in the later stages. According to the report on the Aprilia website, a warning appeared on the dash and the engine got switched off. Of course in the official press releases factories often try to turn a nasty mechanical failure into some kind of 'electrical problem', but it would explain why we did not get to see any spectacular smoke clouds in the coverage. So it's plausible.


I'd be willing to bet that Marquez over-reved his bike following the Ducati of Dovi (like Rossi following Lorenzo at Mugello last year). Whether Honda has the stones to admit that is another thing.

The problem for the Yamaha's at Mugello was the rear wheel coming off the ground over the hump down the main straight and the rev limiter not operating quickly enough to catch it. Too many slight over revs eventually causing a catastrophic let go.

I believe the engine management systems will prevent over reving so more likely to be some internal high speed component seeking to become an external low speed one.