2017 Silverstone MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Who Will Survive The Bumps?

Is it going to be Argentina or Austin on Sunday at Silverstone? Two of the bumpiest circuits of the first half of the season had very different outcomes. At the Termas De Rio Hondo circuit, Marc Márquez took off like a scalded cat to try to take the win, and claw back the valuable points from Maverick Viñales he had handed him at Qatar. In undulating Austin, Márquez rode his usual imperious race to take victory, while it was Viñales' turn to make a silly mistake.

The perils of a American bumps were rather bike-specific. It wasn't just Marc Márquez who crashed out of the lead in Argentina, Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa managed the same feat. Cal Crutchlow rode cautiously to finish third, while there were four Yamahas in the top six. At Austin, Márquez won, Pedrosa finished third, Crutchlow fourth. Valentino Rossi's charge came too late, and he finished well behind Márquez. A year earlier, it had been Rossi making a silly mistake in Texas, and slipping off.

So how does Silverstone compare to the two American tracks (North and South)? In Austin, the bumps were on corner exit, Maverick Viñales explained, whereas at Silverstone, the bumps are on corner entry. "So it seems more difficult to ride," the Movistar Yamaha rider said. In Argentina, it wasn't so much bumps as massive undulations which were causing the problems.

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2017 Silverstone Moto2 FP3 Result: Marquez Looking Comfortable

This morning’s damp track sorted itself out by the time the intermediate class got its turn at FP3, Alex Marquez taking no time to beat his own Friday benchmark by half a second. That early time proved unbeatable, the Spaniard showing consistently good pace at the British track.

Teammate Franco Morbidelli also posted his fastest time of the morning on only his fourth lap, getting as close as three tenths of a second of the leader and keeping close to his Marc VDS colleague’s rhythm.

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2017 Silverstone MotoGP FP3 Result: Zarco Times It Right In Tricky Conditions

After the rain comes the... slowly drying track. Despite the Moto3 session showing that slick tyres were an option on the damp British circuit, the premier class was cautious in the tricky conditions, both slicks and wets getting trialled for an outlap or so, while even more riders decided to just sit it out until the track improved further.

Things livened up in the final twenty minutes, most bikes lapping around, and riders got even braver in the final ten minutes, several attempts at a soft slick rear suggesting overly optimistic thoughts of changing the Q2 order. Conditions were definitely improving towards the end of the session, Johann Zarco sneaking in some red sectors on his very last lap to get within a second of Friday’s best time.

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