Jonas Folger has topped the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Silverstone, the German taking a clear lead as the session came to an end. Tito Rabat took second, and could have been in for more had his bike not packed up on him as the session came to an end. As it was, it left him pushing his bike back to the pits. Maverick Vinales took third, just ahead of Rabat's Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio. Marcel Schrotter took a strong fifth position, the Tech 3 bike clearly more suited to the Silverstone track.
The session was marred by a couple of serious crashes. Azlan Shah and Tetsuta Nagashima went down early on, in a very ugly collision which caused the session to be red-flagged. Nagashima was transported to the medical center, where he was treated for hip and back injuries. After the session restarted, Axel Pons crashed heavily, and was left lying on the ground for a long time while he received treatment. The crash brought to an end a strong run of results for Pons at Silverstone, the Spaniard having performed very well so far this weekend.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Silverstone:
Moto2 Championship leader Tito Rabat lead the way during a shortened second Free Practice session at Silverstone, after early rain had cleared and the track had dried out the Spaniard managed to set a time of 2:08.652 which put him eight hundredths of a second ahead of fellow Kalex riders Simone Corsi and Jonas Folger. The morning's pace-setter Johan Zarco had to settle for fourth position aboard his Caterham Suter, finishing ahead of Maverick Vinales and Mika Kallio.
Briton Sam Lowes continued his strong home race showing to post the seventh fastest time, less than half a second behind Rabat while Dominique Aegerter, Sandro Cortese and Mattia Pasini completed the top ten. 50 year old British wild card rider Jeremy McWilliams managed to improve on his FP1 lap time by almost four seconds and put his Taylor Made-Brough Superior machine within 107% qualifying range for Sunday's race.
The annual Day of Champions at the Silverstone circuit was once again a roaring success. The event, and the auctions, raised nearly £200,000 for the Riders for Health charity. Riders for Health issued the following press release to mark the event:
MotoGP™ stars raise nearly £200,000 for Riders for Health
MotoGP™ stars and fans came together at Silverstone yesterday to raise nearly £193,802 (€244,264) to support the life-saving work of the official charity of MotoGP, Riders for Health.
More than 3,500 fans flocked to the Silverstone Circuit, ahead of this weekend’s British MotoGP, to see the stars of MotoGP at Riders for Health’s annual fundraising event, Day of Champions.
The gates to the exclusive MotoGP paddock and pit-lane were opened to ticket holders, who had the chance to glimpse into the garages as teams prepared for the weekend’s racing. Some lucky fans even met their favourite riders, as they stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
As always, the highlight of the day was the famous Day of Champions auction which was kicked-off by Riders for Health co-founder and MotoGP legend Randy Mamola. Once again the stars of the MotoGP paddock were out in force to raise £79,590 (€100,105), as fans bid on 104 lots over five hours.
Frenchman Johan Zarco has finished at the head of the time sheets following Moto2 FP1 at Silverstone, the Caterham Suter rider immediately looked comfortable around the fast and flowing circuit and blazed to a respectable time of 2:09.312. Simone Corsi finished a tenth behind Zarco but managed to edge out his Forward Racing team mate Mattia Pasini. Axel Pons put in one of his better performances of recent memory to claim fourth.
Maverick Vinales finished ahead of two fellow rookie riders in local hero Sam Lowes and Jonas Folger who set the sixth and seventh quickest lap times respectively. Italtrans racing's Franco Morbidelli ended in eighth while Takaaki Nakagami and Marc VDS rider Mika Kallio rounded out the top ten. Championship leader Tito Rabat had to settle for a disappointing twelfth place and 50 year old Moto2 wild card rider Jeremy McWilliams had a stark reality check as he took the local Taylor Made-Brough Superior machine to last place; over ten seconds behind Zarco.
Preview press releases from the Moto3 and Moto2 teams, as well as Dunlop, ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone:
2014 Silverstone MotoGP Preview - Yamaha Territory, Racing At Home, And The Future Of The British Grand Prix
Since the beginning of the season, as he racked up one victory after another, Marc Marquez faced the same question over and over again: can you keep on winning? And over and over again, Marc Marquez gave the same answer: one day, he would not win. On that day, he added, it would be important to think of the championship, and get on the podium if possible.
That day came 10 days ago, at Brno. After struggling all weekend with a lack of rear grip on his Repsol Honda, Marquez couldn't match the pace of his teammate Dani Pedrosa, and the two Movistar Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. Fourth was all that Marquez could manage.
The measure of a champion is not just how he wins, but also how he handles defeat. As Marquez rolled back into his garage after the race – a rare occurrence indeed, this the first time Marquez finished off the podium in his MotoGP career – there were no tantrums, no anger, no shouting. He patted his mechanics on their shoulders, sat down in his seat, and immediately started analyzing the defeat he had just suffered with his team. This was clearly not an experience he was keen to replicate any time soon. If any doubt still lingered, the eagerness with which he attacked the official test at Brno on the Monday after the race quickly removed them.
Interview: Nicolas Goyon, Pol Espargaro's Crew Chief, On Developing The Yamaha M1 To Exploit The Strengths Of Moto2 Riders
Many MotoGP followers, both inside and outside the paddock, were sceptical when news leaked that Yamaha had signed Pol Espargaro to a factory contract early in 2013. A year later, and halfway through his first MotoGP season, that scepticism has been replaced with admiration. The younger of the two Espargaro brothers is the best satellite rider in the championship standings, and has been competitive from the start of the season.
Yamaha clearly had a plan with Pol Espargaro. The riding style which young racers develop in Moto2 is very different from the style which came from the 250cc class. Where Moto2 racers use a sliding rear tire to help turn the bike into the corners, the 250 two-strokes rewarded riders who could brake early and carry as much corner speed as possible. The Yamaha YZR-M1 has been primarily developed around the 250cc style, but as riders schooled in the Moto2 class enter MotoGP, Yamaha realized they will have to adapt their bike to this new generation of young riders. By signing the reigning Moto2 champion, Yamaha have started to seriously examine how the new intermediate class is affecting MotoGP bike development.
Leading this development has been Pol Espargaro's crew chief, Nicolas Goyon. The Frenchman has been a data and electronics engineer in MotoGP since 2003, the first year in which the class switched over fully to four strokes. With the departure of Daniele Romagnoli, who followed Cal Crutchlow to Ducati, Goyon was given the role of crew chief to MotoGP rookie Espargaro. Since then, Goyon has been working with the Moto2 champion and Yamaha to explore how the Moto2 style can be made to fit to the Yamaha M1. We spoke to Goyon after the Brno test, to ask him about how he had adapted the bike and the feedback Pol Espargaro was providing.
MotoMatters.com: We know what the Yamaha style is to be as smooth as possible and to carry as much corner speed as possible and not upset the bike. That means braking in a straight line, keeping your wheels in line as much as possible. A few times, Pol Espargaro has been riding in more of a Moto2-style. First of all, why did he decide to do it, and did he talk to you about it?
Nicolas Goyon: Yes, of course. This is one direction Yamaha wanted to try, and obviously, Pol is the first Moto2 world champion working with Yamaha, and so Yamaha is really interested in this new style. We realize that all the Moto2 riders, the new generation of riders, they have a specific style, one we all know, they have the elbow on the ground, their bike is shaking from the rear on braking. Pol is really the first guy with this style working with Yamaha.
The Silverstone circuit issued the following press release, containing a list of activities going on this weekend at the British Grand Prix:
MotoGP™ rider appearances top off a fantastic weekend of entertainment at the British Grand Prix
The FIM MotoGP™ World Championship returns to Silverstone this weekend (28-31 August) for the Hertz British Grand Prix. Five Brits – Bradley Smith, Cal Crutchlow, Scott Redding, Michael Laverty and Leon Camier – will line up on the starting grid alongside legends of the sport including Marc Márquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, who will all be pushing for maximum points in front of the passionate Silverstone crowd.
As well as the breathtaking on track action, which includes MotoGP™ and the highly-competitive Moto2™ and Moto3™ classes, Silverstone has lined-up a packed schedule of entertainment for the whole family, throughout the weekend.
Another hallowed name is to make a return to the Grand Prix paddock. At Silverstone, Dakota Mamola, son of famed former 500 GP winner Randy Mamola, is to replace Nico Terol. Terol is absent due to illness, the Spaniard suffering a mystery metabolic disorder which is causing extreme muscle fatigue. While Terol undergoes treatment, Mamola will take his place, with Terol hoping to make a return at Misano, two weeks after Silverstone.
Mamola has been racing in the Spanish CEV Moto2 championship with the GRT racing team. The 19-year-old is currently in 11th place, having scored 18 points at two races at the Motorland Aragon circuit. In 2013, Mamola raced in the European 600 Superstock championship, ending in 19th place with 28 points. The youngster has been receiving technical support from Aspar in the CEV, so he is a natural choice to replace Terol.
Jeremy McWilliams is to make a return to Grand Prix racing at the ripe old age of 50. The Northern Irish racer is to ride the Brough Superior Moto2 machine at Silverstone as a wildcard.
It will be McWilliams' first Grand Prix since 2007, when he rode the ill-fated Ilmor, which was withdrawn after just one race due to a failure to raise sponsorship. Since then, McWilliams has been active in both the US and Ireland, racing in the XR1200 championship which serves as a support race to the AMA, and racing on the roads in Northern Ireland. Before leaving Grand Prix racing, McWilliams had a long career in both the 250cc and MotoGP classes. His most memorable rides were with the QUB TSR-Honda in 250s, aboard the Aprilia 500cc twin at the start of the century, and riding the Proton KR bike in MotoGP. McWilliams won the 250cc race at Assen in 2001 aboard the Aprilia.
Nico Terol has decided to sit out the Silverstone round of Moto2. After enduring a dismal year with a mystery ailment, Terol has been forced to withdraw and focus on locating the source of his problems, so that he can return to racing in full health.
Terol was expected to challenge for the title in 2014, after scoring three wins and one podium last season with the Mapfre Aspar team. But there had been warning signs of something amiss previously. In the middle of last year, Terol was suspected of suffering late onset lactose intolerance, exactly the same condition that affected Casey Stoner during the 2009 season. Treatment for that appears not to have had the desired effect, as Terol has suffered all this year with extreme fatigue and elevated testosterone levels.
The issue has now reached the point where Terol can no longer be competitive in his current condition. Terol and the Mapfre Aspar team have decided that the Spaniard should sit out Silverstone while undergoing a battery of tests to locate the source of the problem. Though the press release issued by the team speaks solely of Silverstone, it is not completely certain Terol will be back at Misano.
Below is the press release issued by the Aspar team:
Nico Terol to miss British Grand Prix
Press releases after Sunday's races at Brno:
The hot-hand fallacy finally caught up with Marc Marquez. His amazing streak of consecutive wins stays at ten, the Spaniard being beaten for the first time this year. In his twenty-ninth race in the MotoGP class, Marquez and his crew finally failed to find a good enough set up to win, or even make it onto the podium. The Repsol Honda man has only missed out on the podium twice before, once at Mugello last year, when he crashed, and once at Phillip Island, when he was disqualified from the tire fiasco race.
Defeat had been waiting in the wings for Marquez for a while now. Look solely at the points table, and his dominance looks complete. But go back and look at his winning margin, and his advantage has not looked quite so large. Of his ten wins, only two were by a considerable margin: one at Austin, where he has always been better than the rest; one at Assen, where rain created large gaps. His advantage at Argentina and Indianapolis was 1.8 seconds, at Jerez, Le Mans and the Sachsenring under a second and a half. Marquez could only eke out victory at Qatar, Mugello and Barcelona, races he won by a half a second or less. At most races, Marquez was winning by a slender margin indeed, lapping on average just five or six hundredths of a second quicker than his rivals. It was enough, but it was really not very much at all.
Marquez' slender advantage over his rivals was a sign of just how close they really were. Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa had all come close to beating Marquez, and in the case of Pedrosa at Barcelona, Marquez had been forced to delve deep into his bag of tricks to beat his teammate. Marquez' talent may have loaded the dice he was rolling, but eventually they would fall another way. "People said winning was easy for me," Marquez told the Spanish media, "but I know how hard it was."
Race report follows.