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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2017 Silverstone Moto3 FP3 Result: Fenati Masters Drying Track

The forecast might have promised a rare sunny weekend but it wouldn’t have been Britain without a splash of rain to tease us. Rain falling intermittently in the morning dampened the track so the lightweight class went out on wet tyres on a slowly drying cold track – although little surprise that several riders bided their time before joining the action.

While riders were reporting the track was too wet for slicks in some parts and too dry for wets in others, Fenati braved a change to slick tyres in the final five minutes, showing that to be the better option as he went two seconds faster than the rest. He only went to improve that by another second, leaving his rivals to fight for ‘best of the rest’.

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2017 Silverstone MotoGP Friday Round Up: Glorious Weather, Big Crashes, And The Unfixable Flag-to-Flag System

Silverstone was its glorious best on Friday. The sun shone, fans wandered round in t-shirts and shorts, and bikes bellowed their way around a magnificent circuit. It was a good day for motorcycle racing. "First of all, riding the MotoGP at Silverstone with this incredible weather is great," Valentino Rossi summed up his day. "I enjoy it a lot, because this track is fantastic and this weather is a big surprise for everybody."

So good has the weather been that it has given the small contingent of British journalists in the MotoGP paddock a new hobby. A conversation overheard on Friday afternoon: "I've just been over to taunt some Italians about the sunny weather." "Ah yes, I was just doing the same to an Australian." Two weeks ago, we English speakers were getting stick about having to pack winter coats and rain gear for Silverstone. Revenge is all the sweeter when served up under blue skies and radiant sunshine.

The good weather complicated tire selection for the MotoGP teams. Many a rider was out trying the hard rear much earlier than expected, trying to judge how it would hold up over race distance. The warm weather has pushed the temperatures to the upper range of the Michelins' operating window. The tires are still working, but everyone is having to go a step harder than expected.

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2017 Silverstone Moto2 FP2 Result: Marquez Gets A Minor Revenge

After leading almost the entirety of FP1 only to see his headline stolen by Dominique Aegerter, Alex Marquez looked determined to pick up where he left off, at the top of the timesheets. Mission accomplished early on and the Spaniard’s early time went unchallenged until the checkered flag came out.  In a deja-vu from this morning, Miguel Oliveira followed him closely to finish second, two tenths down on his rival.

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2017 Silverstone MotoGP FP2 Result: Crutchlow Keen On Home Heroics

After the morning session offered some insight into the soft and medium rear tyres, it was the hard’s time to shine in FP2. And its time in the sun started with a dramatic high-side for the reigning world champion, Marc Marquez thrown off his Honda in fast turn four, on his first timed lap.

Meanwhile, Cal Crutchlow was the first rider of the day into the 2:01s, on the same hard tyre combination as his factory colleague. Marquez fought back on his number two machine but Crutchlow was keen on some home headlines by putting on a hard front with a soft rear in the final few minutes and grabbing the lead once again, this time keeping it to the flag.

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2017 Silverstone Moto3 FP2 Result: Canet Scores A Friday Double

If sun spoiling us in the morning wasn’t enough, Silverstone turned up the heat even further, the lightweight class not taking long to reach the benchmark from FP1. Romano Fenati did not seem to be particularly affected by missing much of the morning session, the Italian being the first rider to beat the time and he seemed set for top honours until Jorge Martin limped his way to his bike, picked up the pace and went over half a second faster than his rivals.

But the winner at the flag was Aron Canet, the FP1 leader snatching another session after barging his way into the fastest lap of the day in the final five minutes.

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2017 Silverstone Moto2 FP1 Result: Aegerter Steals It From Marquez

After the topsy-turvy premier class session, the Moto2 boys basked in the sunny twenty degrees and took it steady. Alex Marquez grabbed an early lead in FP1, ahead of the usual suspects, everyone then setting to work and no longer troubling the timesheets until the final ten minutes of the session.

Even with the late improvements reducing the gaps in the top ten, there were few changes in the ranking, Marquez sneaking in some late red sectors but eventually being dethroned by Dominique Aegerter on the softer rear tyre. The EG0,0 Marc VDS rider remained second, almost two tenths down, with Miguel Oliveira only two hundredths of a second behind him.

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2017 Silverstone MotoGP FP1 Result: Early Victory for Viñales

As soon as the sun was out in Silverstone, Marc Marquez was out to make a statement on the soft option rear tyre, while his rivals preferred to have a look at the circuit on the medium rear. The world championship leader installed himself at the top of the timesheets right away and waited for his challengers to cut the three tenths of a second gap.

Jorge Lorenzo was one of the few to attempt a last-minute shootout on new soft rear rubber, the Spaniard putting a Ducati in top position for the first time this weekend. Viñales also followed his lead but the Spaniard only left himself one lap to make a difference – and so he did, finding five tenths of a second on the brand new tyre to finally settle the score and top FP1. Lorenzo remained second, with Crutchlow completing the top three.

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2017 Silverstone Moto3 FP1 Result: Canet Blasts Into The Lead

The Rainy Kingdom decided to surprise us with a decent seventeen degrees and beautiful clear skies for the first practice sessions of the weekend. The temperatures went up as the session progressed and helped the riders find some extra time in their final run on medium tyres.

What appeared to be an unbeatable time from Bo Bendsneyder went on to be improved by Aron Canet a couple of laps later, the Spaniard going to the top of the timesheets in the final two minutes. Bendsneyder gave it a good go at recovering this minor metaphorical crown but then Canet fired in the first 2:14 time of the weekend to lead the morning session by over eighth tenths of a second and squash his rivals’ late red sector aspirations.

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2017 Silverstone MotoGP Preview: A Race Saved, Best Over The Bumps, And KTM Making Moves

The 2017 British Grand Prix at Silverstone is the race which nearly didn't happen. OK, that's an exaggeration: Dorna was always going to ensure that a British Grand Prix would happen. The British Isles are such an important market that it is unthinkable for the series not to race here. But the collapse of the Circuit of Wales project meant that a lot of negotiation had to go into ensuring that the British round of MotoGP would actually take place.

For many observers, the refusal of the Welsh Government to underwrite the construction of the circuit was inevitable. The numbers being claimed seemed at best wildly optimistic, and at worst woefully inaccurate. Was Dorna wrong to get into bed with the Heads of the Valley Development Company, the organization behind the Circuit of Wales? Possibly. Dorna have form with making deals with circuits that never get built, as anyone who can recall the saga of the Balatonring can surely tell you.

Then again, what have Dorna lost? They signed a deal with the Circuit of Wales for five years starting in 2015, with an option to extend for a further five years. The deal was reportedly lucrative, well above what Silverstone was offering to pay to host the race. Donington Park was no competition at the time, the circuit in financial difficulty and badly in need of upgrades. Since the deal was signed, Dorna have had two successful races at Silverstone, for which they have been well paid. When the Circuit of Wales project collapsed, Silverstone stepped in to take over. Dorna will still be paid by Silverstone, though it will be less than the Circuit of Wales would have paid.

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New Flag-to-Flag Bike Swap Procedure To Be Tested At Silverstone

A new bike swap procedure is to be tested at Silverstone for flag-to-flag races. After the riders failed to reach agreement on a single procedure at the Safety Commission meeting in Austria, Race Direction met with the teams to agree a new procedure. That procedure is to be tested on Friday, after FP2 at Silverstone.

French Eurosport reporter Vanessa Guerra tweeted out the diagram of the new procedure shared with the teams:

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Tom Lüthi Confirmed On Second Marc VDS Bike For 2018 MotoGP Season

One more jigsaw piece has been slotted into place in the 2018 MotoGP line up. This morning, the Marc VDS team confirmed that Tom Lüthi is to take the second Honda RC213V alongside Franco Morbidelli for the 2018 season. 

Lüthi was reckoned to be the outsider for the open seat at Marc VDS, with both Sam Lowes and Stefan Bradl in the running. But the Swiss rider's maturity and previous - albeit brief - experience aboard a MotoGP bike was what swung the deal. Having a rider of Lüthi's experience alongside Franco Morbidelli also helps lessen the risk of running two rookies in MotoGP.

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2017 Lausitzring World Superbike Round Up: Soft Tires For Kawasaki, MV's Momentum, Bradl's Motivation

The first round after the summer break is always one that fans and paddock personnel get excited about. But the German round of the WorldSBK calendar hasn't captured the imagination, because of its remote setting and, for the riders, the bumpy track surface.

With Jonathan Rea easing his way towards the history books as the first rider to win the championship three years in a row, there was a feeling from some quarters that it was merely a matter of marking time rather than making a mark. That being so, once the weekend got underway it did throw up plenty of excitement in what appears to the final race at the Lausitzring.

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