Silverstone, Great Britain
Why do we keep watching motorcycle racing? Because sometimes magic happens. Today was one of those days. Two riders took their sport to the known limits in qualifying at Silverstone on Saturday, and then pushed at the edges to see what was beyond. What happened then took the breath of the crowd away, and left the press room sitting in stunned silence. And shutting the media up takes some doing.
Veteran broadcaster Dennis Noyes described the atmosphere in Parc Ferme after qualifying like being in a church. There was an air of awed reverence, quietness almost, as the teams of all three riders on the front row showed their respect for what they had just seen happen. Jorge Lorenzo had put on a display of as near perfect riding as it is humanly possible to achieve, destroying the lap record in the process. And then Marc Marquez had gone faster still, with almost effortless ease.
As Lorenzo stopped in Parc Ferme after qualifying, he gave a little shake of his head. He knew what he had just done - afterwards, he would say the lap was one of the best of his career, and that there was really only one sector where he could have found more time - and it had not been enough. It doesn't really matter what Lorenzo tries, matching Marc Marquez seems to be impossible.
Full Report and Results Below:
Full Report and Results Below:
Jorge Lorenzo has displayed phenomenally consistent race pace in the final practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Spaniard reeled off a concession of laps within the mid 1:52 bracket and ended up at the top of the time sheets. He was followed closely by a resurgent Dani Pedrosa, who was a mere hundredth behind in second place. Stefan Bradl, Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow completed the top five.
Valentino Rossi continued to struggle, 'The Doctor' failed to match the pace of his teammate and finished the 'race simulation' session almost a second slower than Lorenzo. Bradley Smith, Andrea Dovizioso, Alvaro Bautista and Nicky Hayden rounded out the top ten positions.
Aleix Espargaro had a nasty high side late in the session, he was thumped by his trailing bike and looked to be in some discomfort, but managed to walk away. He was later taken to the medical centre to have an inspection of his neck. Several of the riders were showing impressive pace on the harder option tyre, in particular Lorenzo and Pedrosa. Tyres choice could play a big part in the outcome of tomorrow's race.
Danny Kent has secured an extension of his contract with the Tech 3 team to race for another year in Moto2. The 19-year-old Englishman has made sufficient progress in the difficult transition between Moto3 and Moto2 - switching to a bike with nearly twice the weight and twice the horsepower - to convince the Tech 3 team to extend his contract.
The second seat in the Tech 3 Moto2 team is still open. Frenchman Louis Rossi has not matched the progress of Kent, but still has a chance to keep his place. Meanwhile, rumors linking riders from the World Superbike paddock to the Tech 3 seat continue to circulate, though without much confirmation for them. A decisoin on that seat will most likely wait until later in the year.
Below is the press release from Tech 3:
Tech 3 Racing confirm Danny Kent for 2014 Moto2 challenge
The Tech 3 Racing Team is delighted to confirm that highly rated British rider Danny Kent will remain on board its Mistral 610 machine for the 2014 Moto2 World Championship campaign.
Kent’s dedication and commitment to building his experience in the ultra-competitive Moto2 category is starting to pay off in the second half of his rookie campaign and the 19-year-old is starting to show the talent and speed that took him to two victories in the inaugural Moto3 class in 2012.
Full Report and Results below:
Frenchman Johan Zarco has maintained his strong Silverstone form and topped the timesheets after the third Moto2 free practice session. He finished a mere thousandth of a second ahead of home-town hero Scott Redding. Redding lead for the vast majority of proceedings and looked in fine form aboard his Union Jack emblazoned Kalex machine. Takaaki Nakagami took third position ahead of Thomas Luthi and Esteve Rabat.
Another crowd favorite in Danny Kent showed excellent promise and improvement on his early season form to finish in sixth place ahead of Belgian rider Xavier Simeon, Pol Espargaro, previous race winner Mika Kallio and Nico Terol, who completed the top ten.
After setting the pace in FP1 yesterday, Marc Marquez returned to the top of the time sheets following MotoGP FP3 at Silverstone. He finished a tenth ahead of compatriot and overnight pace setter Jorge Lorenzo. Stefan Bradl, Alvaro Bautista and an impressive Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the top five.
Valentino Rossi's struggles continued, finishing some seven tenths behind his teammate Lorenzo. He was followed by less than a tenth by Nicky Hayden in seventh. Cal Crutchlow had a massive crash early in the session, pushing hard on cold tyres, he then crashed again later in the session and ended up in eight place, leaving himself a lot of work to do before QP later today. Aleix Espargaro and a disappointing Dani Pedrosa completed the top ten placings.
Michael Laverty also took a tumble midway through the session, he walked away OK.
Sam Lowes was forced to sit out with bike problems.
Maverick Vinales has sent a stern warning to his title rivals and continued his impressive form at Silverstone to top Saturday's Moto3 FP3. The Spaniard did so with a scorching lap time of 2:14.003 in the closing stages of the session, which was some six tenths quicker than his circuit record breaking lap yesterday. The front runners had a familiar feel about them as Luis Salom, Alex Rins, Alex Marquez and Jonas Folger rounded out the top five placings, as they have done for most of the season.
Alexis Masbou finished the session in sixth place and top FTR Honda. He was followed by a gaggle of fellow Honda riders in Isaac Vinales, Jack Miller, Niccolo Antonelli and Lorenzo Baldassarri who completed the top ten.
2013 Silverstone MotoGP Friday Round Up: Nicky Hayden Issues A Retraction, Some Intimidation, And Pedrosa Cheers The Media
The media duties are one of the more difficult parts of a MotoGP rider's job. Every day they spend at a racetrack, they have to spend 10 to 15 minutes answering a barrage of questions from the assembled press. The questions range from stating the obvious, to inane ramblings, to blatant provocation chasing a printable quote, and even, on the odd very rare occasion, to sensible questions provoking subtle and thoughtful answers. In terms of time, the scope of the questions can range from what happened five minutes ago to events of five or ten years ago.
So it is hardly surprising that from time to time, the facts of relatively ancient history get confused. Such was the case at Silverstone, when on Thursday, Nicky Hayden said he would have liked to test the carbon fiber frame he tried at Jerez back in late 2011. On Friday, Hayden made a retraction, or a clarification, or call it what you will. He explained that what he had actually tested was the aluminium monocoque frame which was the intermediate chassis between the old carbon fiber frame and the aluminium perimeter beam chassis of which the current bike is an iteration. He had not, he said, called for a return to the carbon fiber frame, he had merely stated he would have liked to give that aluminium frameless front chassis one more try, but he was thwarted when he broke his hand in a first-corner crash with Alvaro Bautista at Valencia, and was forced to miss the test.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Silverstone:
Johann Zarco put on a late charge in the afternoon session at Silverstone, taking over top spot in the dying seconds of FP2 for Moto3. The Frenchman displaced Takaaki Nakagami, who had also been building pace as the session went on, but came up just three hundredths of a second short. Thomas Luthi took 3rd spot, just ahead of Tito Rabat on the HP Pons bike and championship leader Scott Redding. Redding just edged his way ahead of Pol Espargaro, the Spaniard ending up in 6th position at the end of practice.
Jorge Lorenzo has seized control of the MotoGP class at Silverstone by setting a ferocious pace, under the race lap record. Lorenzo set a blistering lap early on in the session, and his time would not be matched. Fastest man in the morning Marc Marquez ended the day in second, nearly a quarter of a second behind the factory Yamaha man, and the same ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa. Alvaro Bautista, having an excellent weekend at Silverstone, grabbed 4th spot, nearly seven tenths behind Lorenzo, and making it three Hondas in the top four.
Valentino Rossi made a big step forward after struggling in the morning, taking 5th behind Bautista and missing out on 4th by just under two hundredths of a second. Cal Crutchlow ended the day in 6th, fractionally behind the Italian, and tightly bunched with Bautista and Rossi. Andrea Dovizioso also made a big leap forward, taking 1.6 seconds off his time, and grabbing 7th spot. Dovizoso also led another tightly bunched group, with Bradley Smith and Stefan Brald within a few hundredths of the Italian. Nicky Hayden rounded out the top 10.