Press release previews of this weekend's MotoGP round at Silverstone from the Yamaha teams, Repsol Honda and San Carlo Gresini, as well as a list of activities happening alongside the racing:
MotoGP Gears Up for Silverstone
MotoGP returns to Silverstone this weekend for the second year in a row after an absence of 25 years. The paddock arrives in the UK for round six of the Championship preparing to enjoy the all new Silverstone facilities launched just two weeks ago. MotoGP Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo arrives fresh from his podium finish in front of his home crowd last weekend. The young Mallorcan rider is looking to replicate his stunning victory from pole position taken in his first outing at the modified Northamptonshire circuit in 2010.
Yamaha Factory Racing Team mate Ben Spies shares equally positive memories from last year's British GP, scoring his first ever MotoGP podium at Silverstone aboard the Tech3 Yamaha YZR-M1. Having shaken off a less than perfect start to this year, Spies delivered a textbook perfect ride to share the Catalunya podium with Lorenzo last week. The Texan is focused, motivated and looking to continue with his current form this weekend.
The 5.9km Silverstone circuit underwent major restructuring last year. The track has all kinds of character, a fast part and also a very tight infield. It looks a little bumpy in places, but with plenty of overtaking opportunities and remodelled sections including faster, sweeping corners to tailor it to the 800cc MotoGP machines.
"We managed to finish our home GP leading the Championship last weekend. I'm very happy because we are very consistent in the beginning of this season. Now we are going for our second visit to Silverstone, a track I like. Last year was the first year and I made one of my best races; it was almost perfect. I know this season will be tough, but Yamaha and I are working hard and are focused on each race results."
"I can't wait to get to Silverstone and get back on the bike again. It's a track I really enjoy riding and where I got my first ever MotoGP podium last year. Catalunya definitely felt like we were starting the season again, everything went smoothly and I felt really comfortable and able to challenge for the podium. We'll be looking to do at least the same in the UK so roll on Friday."
"Round six coming up, we're very happy to be going to Silverstone; we had a fantastic result there last year. I think it will be one of the tracks where will be more competitive than we have been. We are still leading the championship by seven points but we need to do something better to stay there at the front. Of course the podium is our first target but also a win is sometimes very important, for the riders especially, so let's see what happens this weekend."
"Silverstone seems to be a good circuit for Yamaha, we're going there with very high expectations and good morale after the double podium at Catalunya. We intend to start the right way on Friday and see what we can achieve. Both Jorge and Ben have a good history there so I think we will be very competitive."
Grand Prix Results: Silverstone 2010
1. J.Lorenzo Yamaha 41'34.083
2. A.Dovizioso Honda +6.743
3. B.Spies Yamaha +7.097
Silverstone Record Lap
J.Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2010, 2'03.526
Silverstone Best Lap
J.Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2010, 2'03.308
Crutchlow and Edwards confident for Silverstone showdown
After a weekend of contrasting fortunes in Catalunya recently, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards have quickly turned their attention to this weekend's British Grand Prix at the legendary Silverstone circuit.
The Silverstone race is the all-important home round for rookie Crutchlow, who is enjoying a fantastic debut season in the 2011 MotoGP World Championship. The 25-year-old is eagerly anticipating his first appearance in the British Grand Prix and he arrives on home shores full of confidence after an outstanding performance in last weekend's Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya.
He claimed a superb seventh place to score his best ever Mo toGP result, and he's now targeting a challenge for his first top six finish on Sunday. Crutchlow's all-action style is perfectly suited to the long and super-fast Silverstone track and he enjoyed one of the highlights of his career last season when he romped to a stunning double win in the World Superbike round.
Edwards will make a welcome return to action after a right collarbone injury forced the popular American to miss last Sunday's Catalunya race. His absence ended his proud record of competing in 141 successive races, but Edwards is determined to bounce back in style this weekend and fight for a points finish.
Edwards has completely rested during the last days to aid the recovery process and his shoulder is already quickly gaining strength following the three-hour operation to insert a titanium plate and 13 screws at the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus of Barcelona last Saturday morning.
Cal Crutchlow, 10th - 30 points:
"I can't wait for my home race in Silverstone. Ever since I knew I was joining the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, I have been thinking about the British Grand Prix. The race couldn't be coming at a better time after I scored the best result of my MotoGP career only a few days ago in Catalunya. That gave the whole Team a big lift and we can go into this weekend with a top six as a realistic goal. Although it is my home race, I actually don't have any extra experience of the track than the other guys. I've only raced at the current track once, just like the rest. Silverstone has always been a good track for me and obviously last year's double win in the World Superbike race was one of the highlights of my career. I know I can be fast on this track and we saw last year with Jorge Lorenzo's win that the Yamaha is a good package there. All I ca n do is assure the British fans that I will be giving it my absolute maximum to get the best result I can. The British fans have always been good to me and I know I can count on their support this weekend. I'm also glad Colin will be back this weekend. He's been an unbelievable help to me this year and racing without him just isn't the same."
Colin Edwards, 13th - 21 points:
"I'm already feeling much better after a couple of days rest and I'm now looking forward to being back on the bike and being with my guys in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Obviously I am not going to be 100 per cent fit but the shoulder felt really strong immediately after the operation in Barcelona, so with a bit more time to recover, it has improved even more. I want to thank Dr Xavier Mir again because he did a fantastic job repairing the collarbone and without him, I'd have probably not been riding in Silverstone. It is not going to be an easy weekend but I will go out there and try my best to do a good job. It would be brilliant to get some points but I just want to concentrate on having a trouble free weekend because then I have a couple of weeks to let the bone heal further and be back to full strength by Assen. Part of me is still a little bit disappointed that I didn't get to ride in Catalunya, but I guess I'll finally get to start my 142nd MotoGP race, even if it is going to be one week later than planned! I've had great support in Britain going back to my World Superbike days and it is almost like a second home for me. I'm going to try and keep the weekend as relaxed as possible and enjoy myself. I've got lots of friends in the UK too, so I'm looking forward to catching up with them."
With more t han 60 years of history Silverstone has become one of the most prestigious venues dedicated to motorsport. Completely revamped in recent years, a multimillion pound investment saw the completion in 2010 of a first phase of works to greatly improve the venue, making it one of the fastest tracks on the MotoGP calendar and earning high praise from the World Championship riders who enjoyed the new layout. The ‘Silverstone Wing', a state-of-the-art, multi-million pound new Pit and Paddock Complex, will welcome MotoGP in 2011, thus adding to already breathtaking facilities at Silverstone.
Length: 5.902 m. / 3,667 miles
Left corners: 8
Right corners: 10
Longest straight: 800 m. / 0,497 miles
Fastest Lap: 2010 Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) - Yamaha - 2'03.308
Circuit Record: 2010 Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) - Yamaha - 2'03.526
Best Pole: 2010 Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) - Yamaha - 2'03.308
Top Speed: 2010 Dani Pedrosa (SPA) - Honda - 323.9 km/h
Bridgestone MotoGP Preview - Round 6: Great Britain, Silverstone
Tuesday 7 June 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
On 12 June the Silverstone circuit plays host to the British Grand Prix for the second year after returning to the Northamptonshire venue in 2010 for the first time since 1986 following extensive development work. Last year the circuit was brand new for everybody, having changed in layout since 1986, and this year it is the turn of the pit and paddock complex which has been moved into the newly-opened and much acclaimed Silverstone Wing.
Moving the MotoGP paddock and team pit garages to the Wing also introduces one other important change for the riders: whilst the circuit layout remains unchanged the start/finish position has been moved from last year meaning a new turn one for the riders to negotiate come race-day.
Last year's inaugural race presented Bridgestone with the challenge of preparing for a brand new circuit and making the important choice of tyre compound options based only on samples of the track surface and circuit design data. Now, with the benefit of actual data, track-time and rider feedback on which to draw, Bridgestone have taken this opportunity to carefully revisit tyre compound choices for Silverstone, going one step softer with the front slicks.
Silverstone is quite an abrasive circuit and high-speed, both of which generate tyre temperature, and armed with theoretical data last year the medium and hard compounds were chosen as the most suitable. This year however the front slicks are available in soft and medium compounds as the soft front has proved it has sufficient durability and stability under the hard braking experienced, and it has the added benefit of improved warm-up performance.
The asymmetric rear slicks are still available in medium and hard compounds, but this year the left shoulder of the medium option incorporates the extra soft compound developed to provide improved warm-up performance.
Jorge Lorenzo won last year's British Grand Prix ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies. His average speed was 172.005kmh, making Silverstone as fast as Mugello and Assen and just 5kmh shy of Phillip Island which is the quickest on the calendar.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Last year Silverstone was totally new for most people in the paddock, and this year we have a new pit and paddock complex to look forward to so I am excited to be going to England again. I have seen photos of the Silverstone Wing and it looks very impressive indeed, and it is great to see circuits making such efforts, not just in development of their facilities but also in publicising their events and MotoGP, and I hope that we will see many fans over the race weekend as a result. We have changed our front tyre compound selection slightly this year and I think this shows our desire to constantly assess and analyse the situation we are in and where we can improve our tyre offering for the riders. Dani and Colin missed the Catalunya GP with broken collarbones and whilst Colin will be back at Silverstone which is a very impressive show of determination and strength, I wish Dani a speedy recovery and hope we can see him back on track soon."
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"Last year MotoGP visited Silverstone circuit for the first time since 1986 so it was a great challenge for Bridgestone to select tyre compounds based on theoretical data and some track surface samples alone. This year of course we have the benefit of a lot more actual data gained from last year's race and, after careful analysis, we believe there is more benefit to the riders of selecting our soft compound front tyre as we know it has sufficient braking stability and durability but it will also give the riders a little more grip in the cool conditions and offer better warm-up performance. The effect of tyre cooling along the long straight and the low temperature were also a little bigger than our estimation so this is another reason for revising our compound selection this year.
"Silverstone circuit is very fast and there are some high lateral loads generated through corners such as Maggotts and Backetts, but there are also some areas of heavy braking such as for Stowe so it is quite diverse and demanding for our tyres. Last year the track temperature was quite low so warm-up performance is important, especially on the left side of the tyres which is used less, so we have selected the same asymmetric rear slicks as were used to good effect last year but this time used the extra soft compound in the left shoulders of the medium compound slicks."
The Repsol Honda Team head to Silverstone with Stoner and Dovizioso but missing Pedrosa
The Repsol Honda Team will face the British Grand Prix this weekend with Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso, but Dani Pedrosa sadly confirmed yesterday that he will miss the race in order to fully recover from his right collar bone injury. The Spanish rider will not be replaced and the Repsol Honda Team will take part in this weekend's British Grand Prix only with Stoner and Dovizioso.
With no time to take a breath after the intense race in Catalunya, both Casey and Andrea arrive in Silverstone aiming for another good result. After an absence from the race calendar for 25 years, MotoGP returns to Silverstone for the second year in a row and the teams will be welcomed with newly refurbished facilities.
Stoner, the winner in Barcelona and currently second in the World Championship standings now only 7 points behind leader, Jorge Lorenzo, is looking to improve his fifth place performance in Silverstone from last year and will be fighting for another good race on Sunday.
Dovizioso took another step forward in Catalunya in terms of race pace and is hoping to score another podium at Silverstone, where last year he clinched second position.
Tomorrow, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will visit the Red Bull Racing F1 Headquarters in Milton Keynes and have a tour of the factory before arriving at the Silverstone circuit.
"After a great last few races we're looking forward to going to Silverstone, last year wasn't so good for us after being unlucky off the start which prevented us from having a stronger race. I think this year with the Honda and the way things are going we can hope for a good performance, so long as everything goes smoothly. We need to stay focused and watch those around us as we know our biggest Championship rival at the moment, Jorge, is extremely fast there. Silverstone is a circuit I really enjoy, so we'll see how the weekend pans out. It's very disappointing not to have Dani present again this weekend, but this is his decision and I just wish him all the best at this difficult time".
"I like Silverstone, it' s a good track for us and now that it has been resurfaced in the parts where there were more bumps it should be even better. The layout is beautiful and we go there to fight for the podium. In terms of race pace, in Catalunya we made a step forward compared to Le Mans, where we finished second. In Catalunya we were 4th as I couldn't make use of the bike's full potential due to tricky track conditions, but we were fast, finishing five seconds behind Casey. I'm very motivated to race in UK, in Donington I won my first MotoGP race and last year I took second position at Silverstone, where we raced for the first time. It will be important to work well from the first session and to be focused to get the best set up. I'm sorry to hear that Dani won't race in Silverstone. I wish him a good recovery and I hope he will return soon ".
Repsol riders will seek more success in Great Britain
Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso in MotoGP, and Marc Márquez in Moto2 will travel to Silverstone Circuit determined to keep the momentum of the last two races
With very little time to enjoy Casey Stoner's victory and Marc Márquez's second position achieved two days ago at the Catalunya Grand Prix, the Continental Circus is already moving to UK, where this weekend will take place another round of the Motorcycling World Championship. In the most intense period of the season, with another five races in the next seven weeks, the Repsol riders will try to keep the upward trend of the two last rounds, despite the confirmed absence of Dani Pedrosa, who will not be replaced by any other rider in the Repsol Honda Team's garage.
His team mates Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will try to take another step to the lead of the premiere category. After the last two wins, the Australian rider is now only seven behind Jorge Lorenzo, and in the second visit to Silverstone's track, he will try to keep reducing the distance in the overall standings. Andrea Dovizioso, who finished second last season in Silverstone, hopes to be able to gather some valuable points and reduce the difference with the overall leaders.
In the intermediate class, Marc Márquez will face again the challenge to rediscover with his Moto2 a track he already knows from his time in 125cc. The Repsol rider won last year and, after a victory and a second position in the last two races, he wants to leave behind once and for all his uneven start of the season and keep improving in the overall classification, where he is now only four points behind third position and fourteen behind the second place.
"I like Silverstone, it' s a good track for us and now that it has been resurfaced in the parts where there were more bumps it should be even better. The layout is beautiful and we go there to fight for the podium.
In terms of race pace, in Catalunya we made a step forward compared to Le Mans, where we finished second. In Catalunya we were 4th as I couldn't make use of the bike's full potential due to tricky track conditions, but we were fast, finishing five seconds behind Casey.
I'm very motivated to race in UK, in Donington I won my first MotoGP race and last year I took second position at Silverstone, where we raced for the first time. It will be important to work well from the first session and to be focused to get the best set up.
I'm sorry to hear that Dani won't race in Silverstone. I wish him a good recovery and I hope he will return soon".
"After a great last few races we're looking forward to going to Silverstone, last year wasn't so good for us after being unlucky off the start which prevented us from having a stronger race. I think this year with the Honda and the way things are going we can hope for a good performance, so long as everything goes smoothly.
We need to stay focused and watch those around us as we know our biggest Championship rival at the moment, Jorge, is extremely fast there. Silverstone is a circuit I really enjoy, so we'll see how the weekend pans out.
It's very disappointing not to have Dani present again this weekend, but this is his decision and I just wish him all the best at this difficult time".
"Now we face the period of the year with more back-to-back races and we have to be ready both physically and mentally. After the Catalan Grand Prix, the team and I are very optimistic for Silverstone.
It is a circuit that suit me perfectly with the 125cc bike; it is a lot of fun and I liked it very much.The first part of the layout I would say is the most difficult, with several chicanes, but also with a rather long straight, alternating fast corners with slower ones.
This variety makes it difficult to find a perfect set-up, so we will need to make the most of our time on track to get a good set-up and a fast race pace for Sunday".
SIMONCELLI CONTINUES PODIUM QUEST
With barely enough time to rest in between Marco Simoncelli heads directly from Barcelona to Silverstone this week in search of an elusive first MotoGP podium. The Grand Prix of Catalunya on Sunday saw the Italian youngster start from pole position for the first time in the premier class and he is now looking to consolidate his podium promise at a circuit where he first confirmed his place amongst the top riders in the class last year. After making a mistake in Barcelona that also ended the race for Randy De Puniet, Hiroshi Aoyama travels to Silverstone looking to put the Spanish race firmly behind him. He doesn't have good memories of the British circuit, having been the victim of a heavy crash there last year that kept him out of action for six races. However, that is simply another episode for Hiroshi to put right at Silverstone this weekend as he aims to get back on the points trail.
Marco Simoncelli "Obviously after starting from pole position I was a little disappointed to finish sixth in Barcelona but overall it was a good weekend for us because of the pace and character we showed. The race could have gone better but we have the chance to put that right this weekend at Silverstone. I really enjoyed the track last year, when I took my first big step forward in terms of being competitive in this class. Now we go there with a top result as the only goal. I am ready and I can't wait to step out onto a MotoGP podium for the first time. Hopefully it will be onto the top step."
Hiroshi Aoyama "After the crash in Barcelona, when I also took out Randy De Puniet through no fault of his own, I go to Silverstone determined to make up for it. Unfortunately I only have bad memories of the track because it was here last year that I had a crash that ruled me out for six races. That is another thing I want to put behind me and the way to do that is by having a good Grand Prix this weekend. We have the potential to do well so we will do our best to pick up as many points as possible and move up in the championship."
Fausto Gresini "Barcelona provided us with a mixture of emotions but the overriding one is pride that we have Marco with us because he is going through an extraordinary spell of form. After two difficult weeks Marco showed his true character in Spain and a podium would have been no less than he deserved, although it will surely come soon – maybe at Silverstone. The team is working hard to put him on the same terms as the best in the class and try to turn that potential into a result as soon as possible. We are satisfied with the fantastic support we are getting from Honda and we are sure that together with them and our other partners, who have all shown such belief in this project, we can reap great rewards. I was disappointed for Hiroshi Aoyama, whose crash interrupted a series of positive results, but I think he will have the chance at Silverstone to put that and the bad memories of last year behind him."
NEXT STOP SILVERSTONE FOR 'CONTINENTAL CIRCUS'
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá aims to improve showing from last year at updated British track
Within the space of just four days the MotoGP World Championship will have been packed up in Barcelona and rebuilt at Silverstone, the longest circuit on the calendar. One of just six to measure over five kilometres in length the British track presents a tough challenge for the MotoGP field, albeit depleted by the absence of Dani Pedrosa and possibly that of Colin Edwards, who are both recovering from collarbone injuries. Following Casey Stoner's victory at Montmeló the Australian now has a 60% win rate already this season and is fast becoming the man to beat.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá's goal for the weekend is to bounce back from a disastrous Grand Prix of Catalunya, where he struggled to find the right set-up for his Ducati during practice and suffered during the race as a result. Far from losing heart though the Spaniard is looking to Silverstone as the ideal circuit to turn his fortunes around with a good result. As well as rediscovering his feeling with the Desmosedici, Barberá's target is to improve on his result of eleventh from last year.
Héctor Barberá: "I am really looking forward to getting to England, mainly to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth from Sunday. With the way the weekend went we just had to regard the race as another test session but I know I have more to give. We have to work hard to get the bike set up better and if we can make it easier to handle we can have a good race at Silverstone. After the race at Montmeló we decided to make some big changes to the bike and we already know what we want to test on Friday. The Grand Prix of Catalunya is in the past, we're starting again from a clean slate and the only thing I am thinking about is a good result on Sunday. The energy from the team gives me a lot of motivation and I am determined to get that feeling back that we had with the bike at the start of the season. Silverstone is a fast circuit and I think it should suit our bike so we have the potential to do a good job."
Bennetts Backs the Best of British
Cal Crutchlow joins Bennetts
Bennetts, the UK's No.1 bike insurance specialist, today announced its sponsorship of MotoGP star Cal Crutchlow, his joins two-time World Superbike champion, James Toseland and current Moto2 star, Scott Redding, who are also backed by Bennetts.
Cal is the sole British rider competing in MotoGP, the World's premier motorcycling championship, riding for Monster Yamaha Tech3 and is enjoying a successful start to life in MotoGP, currently lying 10th in the standings after three top eight finishes in the first five races of this his rookie season.
By proudly wearing the Bennetts logo on his race leathers, Cal will join James and Scott by acting as ambassadors by making personal appearances alongside Bennetts at a number of events throughout the year. Bennetts are also be launching a campaign later in the year to help those at the beginning of their racing careers to get a foot on the ladder.
Hannah Squirrell, Director of Marketing at Bennetts commented, "We've followed Cal's career closely since we were both involved with BSB and were delighted when the opportunity arose to support him, especially now as he's proving himself at the very highest level. With Cal joining James and Scott, we've now got our Dream Team in place for this season but will be looking for up and coming talent to get in touch in time for the 2012 season as we continue to support, and give our customers access to, the best British riders in the sport".
Cal underlined his delight by saying, "I'm thrilled to finally have Bennetts support having admired their knowledge, understanding and commitment to motorcycle racing for many years. I'll be proudly wearing the Bennetts logo from Silverstone onwards and look forward to working with the UK's No.1."
Make sure to follow Cal and Scott at Silverstone in the British round of the MotoGP and Moto2 on 12th June where Bennetts will be backing their boys!
Silverstone announces ‘Grand Prix Party' rider appearances for the Saturday of MotoGP
- MotoGP rider appearances in the ‘Arena Entertainment Zone'
As Silverstone gears up to host Britain's round of the 2011 FIM MotoGP World Championship next weekend (10 – 12 June), the Northamptonshire circuit has announced that all of the MotoGP riders will be taking time-out to make appearances at a Grand Prix Party on the Saturday of the AirAsia British Grand Prix (Saturday 11 June).
All of the riders will be interviewed at various intervals between approximately 17:00 and 19:00hrs on the Saturday, on a purpose-built stage in the ‘Arena Entertainment Zone'. And the entertainment doesn't stop there! The appearances will be topped and tailed with live music from rock bands Marner Brown and Republica.
Additional entertainment planned for the Saturday of MotoGP includes:
stunt and freestyle displays from Dougie Lampkin and Craig Jones
Flat Track racing on a purpose built flat track
Saturday evening Flat Track Party, with music from the Red Bull DJ truck and rider appearances that include Gratziano Rossi demonstrating his Zaeta Flat Track bike
a Big Air Jam Freestyle competition
Supermoto racing on Silverstone's 1.088 mile Stowe Circuit
Superbike school pillion rides
Red Bull Matadors Air Display
Meanwhile, the highlights of Saturday's on-track action include Qualifying for Sunday's MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc races, as well as the first of the weekend's two Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and Triumph Triple Challenge races.
Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, said: "Working with Dorna and the MotoGP teams, we are delighted to confirm that all of the MotoGP riders will be making scheduled appearances in the Arena Entertainment Zone on the Saturday evening of the AirAsia British Grand Prix. We've got a world class line-up of on and off-track entertainment for this year's event and it's all free to MotoGP ticket holders."
Tickets for the 2011 AirAsia British Grand Prix are available at advance prices until midday (12:00hrs) on Thursday 09 June. After this time, tickets will be available on the gate at ‘Event' prices, starting at £20 for Friday (£10 for children*), £40 for Saturday (£15 for children) and £75 for Sunday (£20 for children). Visit www.silverstone.co.uk or call 0844 3750 740 for further information, or to purchase tickets.
* Child tickets are for children aged 15 years and under at the time of the Event. Children must be accompanied by a full paying adult.