The weather has been a cruel mistress at Silverstone this weekend, much as it has been every year MotoGP has paid a visit. The track is built around an airfield, and consequently sits on a plateau just enough above the surrounding area to catch any wind which may be about. On Saturday, that was a lot, the wind blowing hard and gusting harder all day, catching many a rider out, especially on the way into Brooklands. The wind also blew in occasional showers, though it blew them back out again just as fast, a small blessing on an incredibly difficult day.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying on Saturday at Silverstone:
Rain ends Dovizioso's front row challenge
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Andrea Dovizioso's bid to secure a second front row start in 2012 was ended by a late rain shower in the final stages of qualifying for the Hertz British Grand Prix today.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying on Saturday at Silverstone:
CARETTA TECHNOLOGY - Silverstone GP - Qualifying Practice
Despite a technical problem that stopped at 10 minutes from the end of the practice, Alexis gets the third time on the grid and will start from the front row. Miller delayed by setting problems gets the 24th time.
Cal Crutchlow is to attempt to race at Silverstone on Sunday. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider injured his ankle in a big crash during free practice on Saturday morning at Silverstone, but checks at the medical center and then in hospital in Oxford showed Crutchlow had not broken any bones in his ankle. After having the swelling reduced, Crutchlow was able to put weight on his ankle, getting the all clear from the hospital doctors to attempt to race.
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Silverstone:
Alvaro Bautista has secured his first ever pole position in MotoGP, timing his fast run perfectly before a light shower put an end to proceedings in the last few minutes of qualifying. Bautista sits ahead of Ben Spies and Casey Stoner on the front row of the grid for Sunday's MotoGP race.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class at Silverstone:
Maverick Vinales has bagged his third pole in a row at Silverstone, easily holding off Efren Vazquez to set the fastest time. Vazquez was the only rider to get anywhere near Vinales, however, the Basque rider just under two tenths off the time of the Avintia BQR rider. Alexis Masbou rounds out the front row, though the Frenchman was over eight tenths slower than Vinales. Championship leader Sandro Cortese heads up a KTM-filled second row, with teammate Danny Kent beside him, and RW Racing's Luis Salom in 6th.
Pol Espargaro has dominated the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Silverstone, setting a time nearly a second faster than 2nd-place man Scott Redding. Johann Zarco took 3rd, ahead of Bradley Smith and Andrea Iannone, while championship leader Thomas Luthi ended with the 6th fastest time. The session was affected by the weather, which continues to be unstable at Silverstone, rain falling halfway through sending everyone scurrying back into the pits.
Casey Stoner topped the final session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Silverstone, in a session that was marked by tricky conditions and some big crashes. Stoner took over top spot from Jorge Lorenzo towards the end of FP3, going on to put more time into the Spaniard on his last lap of the session. Lorenzo took 2nd, just ahead of factory Yamaha teammate Ben Spies, the Texan continuing to have a strong weekend at Silverstone.
Sandro Cortese topped the final session of free practice for the Moto3 class at a blowy and blustery Silverstone on Saturday morning. The German ended the session nearly two tenths ahead of Maverick Vinales, with Miguel Oliveira another two tenths behind in 3rd. The Frenchman Alexis Masbou set the 4th fastest time, ahead of British rider Danny Kent, who ended the session in 5th.
"It was an up-and-down day," Ben Spies said after practice on Friday, and truly, he spoke for a large part of the paddock. It started with the weather: the overnight rain continued for the better part of the morning, leaving the track soaking during FP1. The sun came out at lunchtime, quickly drying out the track, helped by the strong winds buffeting the circuit. The dry track helped, the wind certainly didn't. "That's what happens when you build a circuit on an airfield," Cal Crutchlow commented curtly, after complaining about being blown around by the gusting wind in the afternoon.
Ducati is to test the latest version of their Desmosedici GP12 engine next week at Mugello. Speaking to MotoMatters.com, Ducati team manager Vitto Guareschi said that Franco Battaini is to start testing the bike, complete with the new engine, next week, in preparation for handing the machine over to Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi for a final test on the Monday after the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. If that test is successful, then both factory Ducati riders will have the new engine available as part of their allocation from Laguna Seca, the race directly after Mugello.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Silverstone:
Karel Abraham won´t race at Silverstone because of injuries
Injuries suffered at Aragon MotoGP test last Thursday are so serious that Karel Abraham will miss British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Karel Abraham passed two examinations and doctors recommended him to withdraw the race. Karel should be ready for Dutch Grand Prix held at Assen circuit on June 30th.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Silverstone:
Opening practice sessions at Silverstone
Rins shines in first appearance in Great Britain, using dry asphalt to clock fourth best time of the day. Viñales and Oliveira fifth and fourteenth after rainfall at Silverstone.
Repsol Media Service - Great Britain, Silverstone Circuit - Friday 15/06/2012