Silverstone, Great Britain
The annual Day of Champions at Silverstone circuit has been a roaring success. The combined activities raised over 250,000 euros for Riders for Health, with some 90,000 of that being generated by the auction. See the Riders for Health press release below for full details:
MotoGP™ paddock and fans raise over £200,000 [€250,000] for Riders for Health
Thousands of MotoGP™ fans flocked to Silverstone ahead of the British MotoGP to support Riders for Health’s annual fundraising event, Day of Champions, raising an incredible £216,249 [€253,562] for the organisations’ lifesaving work in Africa. The whole MotoGP paddock came together on Thursday (29 August) to support the championships’ official charity.
Riders for Health’s co-founder and CEO, Andrea Coleman, explained the appeal behind one of the UK’s largest outdoor fundraising events: ‘What’s fascinating about MotoGP is that it is the only sport in the world that’s ever grown a humanitarian movement, to deliver health care in Africa. The fans come here because they love to see the MotoGP riders, their heroes, but they also come here to support Riders for Health because we’re showing that motorcycles save lives.’
Scott Redding got his home Grand Prix off to a good start by topping the first session of free practice in the Moto2 class. The Marc VDS rider waited until the last minute to take over the lead, just edging Moto2 title rival Pol Espargaro into 2nd place. Espargaro had in turn knocked Dominique Aegerter into 3rd place, after the Swiss rider had led for much of the session.
Johann Zaro took 4th spot, ahead of Tito Rabat, with Tech 3 rider Danny Kent putting on a strong showing at his home race to take 6th.
Marc Marquez continues his run of form in MotoGP, picking up at Silverstone where he left off at Brno. The Repsol Honda rookie topped the first session of free practice at the British circuit, holding off a strong challenge by Jorge Lorenzo. As the session went on, Marquez extended his advantage, pulling out a gap of over two tenths of a second over Lorenzo at the end of the session.
Cal Crutchlow took 3rd in FP1, the Tech 3 Yamaha rider finding a burst of speed at the end of the session to end up just nine thousandths of a second behind Lorenzo. Dani Pedrosa was 4th quickest, four tenths off Crutchlow and over six tenths behind his Repsol Honda teammate Marquez. Alvaro Bautista settled in well at Silverstone, taking 5th just behind Pedrosa and two tenths ahead of Valentino Rossi, the Factory Yamaha rider ending in 6th. Stefan Bradl grabbed 7th, a second behind Marquez, and just ahead of Nicky Hayden on the factory Ducati and Bradley Smith on the second Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. Andrea Dovizioso rounds out the top 10 on the factory Ducati.
Luis Salom set the fastest time for the first session of free practice for the Moto3 class on a bright and dry morning at Silverstone. Salom was two tenths faster than Maverick Vinales, but the Spanish pair were over a second quicker the rest of the field, with Jonas Folger a fraction quicker than Alex Rins.
2013 Silverstone MotoGP Thursday Round Up: Of Frayed Nerves, Stopping Marc Marquez, and Hayden's Quest For CF
As the last of three back-to-back races, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone sees the teams and riders looking a little more tired and frazzled around the edges than when they first convened after the summer break at Indianapolis. Tempers are a little shorter, stubble is a little longer, and eyes are a little redder. Add to this the fact that Thursday at Silverstone also plays host to the Day of Champions, and the teams and riders have a lot more PR duties to do, going up to the stage to help sell some of the items up for auction to help Riders for Health, and you have a group of tired and irritable motorcycle racing followers all clumped together in a room.
Despite the weather, the overwhelming consensus is a positive feeling going into the weekend. The track is widely loved, every rider I spoke to singing the praises of the circuit. What's more, the forecast fine weather has also had a positive effect on the general mood. In the past, Silverstone has inspired dread among the paddock, as it has all too often been cold and very, very wet. Moving the race from June to late August/early September has been a masterstroke, however, as the chances of warm dry weather are vastly improved. Nicky Hayden even half apologized to the waiting British journalists for having given them a hard time about the British climate.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone previewing the upcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone:
MotoGP's worst-kept secret - the latest in a very, very long line of badly-kept secrets - is finally out. As had been widely reported, Gresini Honda finally confirmed that they have signed a two-year deal with Scott Redding to race in MotoGP. Redding will race the Honda production racer for the 2014 season, with the plan being that Redding will move up to ride the factory RC213V at Gresini the following year.
The deal sees Redding placed in Gresini with strong support from HRC. Redding's main mission in his first season will be to learn to use the Bridgestone tires and acclimatize in the premier class on the production racer, before moving up to the factory bike in the Gresini team to start challenging for podiums and perhaps even wins. Due to Redding's strong backing from HRC, the current Moto2 championship leader has avoided the fate of Alvaro Bautista of being a Nissin and Showa test rider, and will race with the industry standard Brembo and Ohlins.
With Redding confiirmed at Gresini, attention now shifts to the NGM Forward team, and their wealth of choices of who to place on the Yamahas they will be racing in 2014. News on that front is unlikely to come at Silverstone, those decisions perhaps being moved forward to Misano.
Below is the official press release from Gresini Honda:
MotoGP bikes have a tendency to make a race track feel very, very small. Where Jerez on a road bike can feel spacious and unhurried, ride it on a MotoGP bike and it's like everything happens at warp speed. No sooner have you finished change up a couple of gears than it's time to get back hard on the brakes and start tipping the bike into the next corner. But then, 260 horsepower, 160 kg and carbon brakes will do that to a track.
Silverstone is different. The fast, flowing circuit around the former World War II airbase - one of the unintended legacies of that vast and bloody war was to leave a string of deserted military installations which were perfect for racing, and which formed the basis for the British domination of motor sport for three decades after the war - is so wide on a road bike it feels like a motorway. Doing a track day there, it feels like you have time to sit up and have a look around between corners.
That scale of circuit really does justice to a MotoGP machine. The breathtaking acceleration and speeds of a MotoGP bike bring the corners close enough to feel natural, while having enough space to feel like the bike can be really opened up. It is not quite the death-defying speeds of Phillip Island or Mugello, but Silverstone at least gives you a chance to put some wear on the cogs of fifth and sixth gear.
Though there are plenty of reasons to attend the Silverstone round of MotoGP - the chance to see history being made by Marc Marquez, or hearing the British national anthem once, or perhaps even twice, or seeing the bikes roar through Woodcote and on to Copse, or even the chance to watch a British round of MotoGP without getting wet, as so far, it is predicted to be a dry weekend - but one of the best is the Day of Champions, held on Thursday 29th August, the day before the on-track action begins. It is a very full day of activities to help keep the crowds entertained, and well worth the paltry £15 entrance fee, all of which goes towards helping Riders for Health.
The action centers around the main stage, with a mixture of chat, quizzes, live music, and topped off with the Day of Champions auction. There is also plenty to do in the pits and paddock, as access includes entrance to the otherwise-closed paddock. BBC TV presenters Matt Roberts and Steve Parrish will be hosting the 'Question of Bikes' quiz, where contestants will be asked questions from motorcycle racing's rich history. Legendary Eurosport commentator Julian Ryder will host a chat on stage with some of the top Moto2 and Moto3 riders, which is always fascinating and gives the audience a chance to hear from the stars of tomorrow (and today). And at the end of the day, Roberts and Ryder are joined by Toby Moody and Gavin Emmett to host the Riders for Health auction at which a host of fantastic memorabilia and signed items go on sale. The Day of Champions auction is your best chance of buying something truly unique from your favorite riders. Some of the items up for auction are listed below, but there will be an awful lot more there as well, if past years are a guide.
Silverstone is a fast, flat track with only one slow corner worth writing home about. The fact it’s at the top of a hill, like most airfield tracks, means that the weather can change fairly quickly and the size of the track means that each end can have its own weather. Couple this with the ripples and bumps caused by the formula one and other cars pushing the tarmac into the corners under braking and you have a unique track. What was forecast earlier in the week, a dry Sunday, was thrown away when bikes hit tarmac and the weather did its thing. We also learned the difference between waved white flags, there is rain somewhere on the track, and stationary white flags with a red cross from corner to corner, it's raining right here.
Press releases from the series organizers, World Superbike and World Supersport teams after Sunday's incident-packed races at Silverstone:
The weather at Silverstone once again was damp and cold.