Silverstone, Great Britain
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.
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.