August 30th, 2015
The track was damp, and both Sam Lowes and Alex Marquez crashed unharmed.
Predicting how a MotoGP race will play out is hard. Scratch that, predicting how a MotoGP race will play out is downright impossible. We scour the sector and lap times, talk to as many riders as possible, try to make sense of what they tell us, and take our best guess based on all we have learned. And inevitably, we get it wrong. Because there was something we missed, or because some random factor intervened, or because we didn't pay enough attention to what the riders were telling us, or perhaps paid too much attention to it. Which is why you should probably take the following with a pinch of salt.
After qualifying and practice at Brno, we confidently predicted one of the best races of the year, with Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Márquez setting almost identical pace during free practice. The chase lasted for five laps, before Lorenzo picked up his heels and disappeared, riding a perfect race to an unstoppable win, and killing any burgeoning excitement stone dead.
Silverstone looks like being very similar. There are two riders who are clearly a step ahead of the rest, and on the basis of practice times on Saturday, their pace is very similar indeed. Though you wouldn't say that just based on the headline numbers: in FP3, Jorge Lorenzo destroyed the rest of the field, beating Márquez by nearly half a second. In the afternoon, during FP4, Márquez returned the favor, laying down a withering pace to put over eight tenths on everyone else, and posting a string of ten laps, the slowest of which was faster than fastest lap set by any other rider on the field. The difference between Lorenzo's FP3 lap and Márquez' FP4 lap? Just 0.062 seconds, in Lorenzo's favor.
Press releases after qualifying at Silverstone:
Repsol Honda duo on first row with Marquez taking record breaking pole
Marc Marquez has racked up his sixth pole position of the season with teammate, Dani Pedrosa, clinching third.
It was a good day for the Repsol Honda team at Silverstone today, with both riders qualifying in the top three. Marc set the pace early in the qualifying session while Dani, who paced second fastest for much of the session, finished with the third fastest time.
The reigning MotoGP World Champion made his intentions clear from his first exit, taking the lead with a time of 2’00.564. During his second and final outing, Marc lowered his time to stop the clock at 2’00.234, a record breaking pole position time which he previously set in 2013 (2’00.691), which surpassed Jorge Lorenzo who qualified second by almost three tenths. This is Marc’s 28th pole in the MotoGP class, the only Spanish rider with more poles in the premier-class is Lorenzo with 31.
Dani joins his teammate on the front row in the third position, after being overtaken by Lorenzo in the closing stages of the session. The Respol Honda rider was less than two tenths off of the second position and less than half of a second off pole with his time of 2’00.716.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying:
Results of qualifying for Moto2:
Results and summary of qualifying for MotoGP:
Results and summary of qualifying for Moto3:
Alex Rins topped the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Silverstone, just holding off a challenge from his former teammate Alex Marquez at the end. The two Alexes were a good deal quicker than the rest of the field, heading up Tito Rabat by over three tenths of a second. Championship leader Johann Zarco finished the session in 4th, while Sam Lowes took 5th spot, just ahead of Tom Luthi.
Jorge Lorenzo has stamped his authority on the MotoGP class in the final session of FP3, putting in a blistering lap right at the end to put nearly half a second between hiimself and Marc Marquez. Both Lorenzo and Marquez were fast all session, taking the top two slots with ease, though the final moments of the session, as riders pushed for a fast lap to ensure safe passage into Q2. Andrea Dovizioso took 3rd, just ahead of Dani Pedrosa, while Scott Redding had an impressive session to secure 5th spot and go straight through to Q2.
Bradley Smith finished in 6th, just a few thousandths behind Redding, but ahead of Valentino Rossi, who had spent the session working on his race pace. After a slow Friday, Cal Crutchlow pushed for a quick lap to grab 8th place, finishing ahead of Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone.
Jorge Martin put the Mahindra at the top of the timesheets in the Moto3 FP3 session, the Spanish rookie putting in a fast lap at the end of the session. Karel Hanika followed the Spaniard round to grab 2nd, demoting Jorge Navarro to 3rd on the timesheets. Navarro had led early on, with a challenge coming from championship leader Danny Kent.
2015 Silverstone MotoGP Friday Notes: Bumps & Wind, Marquez' Changed Style, And Rossi's Recurring Issue
Silverstone was Silverstone on Friday. It pulled its many underhand tricks out of its sleeve, and threw everything it had at the riders, with the exception of rain. Cool in the morning, warm and sunny in the afternoon, with occasional cloud cover to drop the track temperature. High winds, gusting in a few corners where it was trying to lift the bikes and throw them off line. And bumps galore, short ones, long ones, moved around the circuit since the last time the MotoGP riders were here, forcing them to recalibrate their memories, and pick new lines through the corners they thought they knew.
The ever eloquent Bradley Smith explained: "I’m not too worried about bumps coming from my motocross background it is not something I worry about, it might be something some of the other guys are more scared about, but it doesn’t really effect me. It does seem to be quite bad going into the first corner Copse it is quite bad still and there is a nasty one into Stowe at the end of Hanger Straight. Still the braking point at Vale chicane is still like rollers into there. And for Abbey that one is really, really bad there is one in the middle of the corner which always makes the front tuck."