Press release previews of this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone from the MotoGP teams:
MotoGP Heads to Silverstone for the Grand Prix of Great Britain
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies head to Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom this week for the Grand Prix of Great Britain at the Silverstone circuit on the 17th June. The 2011 Silverstone Grand Prix proved to be a difficult one for the team as both riders crashed out of the race in treacherous wet conditions. Lorenzo’s record at the modified Silverstone circuit is otherwise strong, taking victory from pole in 2010, MotoGP’s first visit to the track since 1986. The Championship leader arrives in the UK 20 points clear of closest rival Casey Stoner at the top of the standings and looking to again increase the gap.
The first visit to Silverstone by Ben Spies in 2010 also proved to be a successful one. The MotoGP rookie delivered an impressive performance to claim his maiden Grand Prix podium in front of the British crowd with third place. Despite a rocky start to this season the Texan showed strong promise in Catalunya two weeks ago and will be looking to build on that this weekend.
The 5.9km Silverstone circuit straddles the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire borders and was first used for impromptu car racing in 1947. It is most famous as the home of the British Formula One Grand Prix, which was first held there in 1948 and has been contested at the track every year since 1987. Silverstone is no stranger to bike racing, with the 500cc machines having raced there from 1977 to 1986. MotoGP returned in 2010 after extensive alterations to the track including remodelled sections and faster, sweeping corners to tailor it to the current MotoGP machines. With plenty of overtaking opportunities it is sure to provide an exciting spectacle come race day.
“Silverstone is a track I like very much. In 2010 I think I did the best riding of the season, we won with a big advantage. Unfortunately last year it rained and I crashed trying to catch Casey. Let’s see if this year we can repeat the 2010 race. It’s a track which is very positive for Yamaha so I am confident we can achieve a good result.”
“I’m really looking forward to getting back on the bike as soon as possible. We had a good test in Spain and apart from the crash in Barcelona we were really competitive with a great bike. I think Silverstone will be really good for the Yamaha so I’m hoping to get the set up right as quickly as possible with the guys and focus on delivering a good result on Sunday. I really like the track and it’s obviously special for me as it’s where I got my first MotoGP podium.”
“It looks like it might be a dreadful weekend weather-wise again! Last year we arrived at Silverstone struggling a bit. This year we arrive leading the Championship in good form. We are in a good position to enjoy the riding and be competitive. As always we will aim for the best possible result. The crew are working well, we have an excellent base set up for the bike for every race so far and I think Silverstone will be the same story.”
“I’m pretty optimistic for this weekend, after the last test Ben has really got back his confidence with his bike. Now we’re going to a place where he had his first podium in MotoGP, I really believe that if everything goes smoothly he can be on the podium again. Jorge has an incredible rhythm so far this season and I think he can continue this performance at Silverstone.”
Repsol Honda Team face the Silverstone challenge
This weekend, the 2012 MotoGP World Championship is back in action in Great Britain, where the Silverstone circuit will open its doors for the third successive year to host the British Grand Prix, the sixth round of the season.
Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa arrive at one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, looking to make the most of each practice session to work on their RC213V machine and set up the new Bridgestone front tyre that will be the standard issue in MotoGP for the remainder of the season.
The Repsol Honda riders began working with the new tyre on the Monday test day after the Catalunya race and both will be hoping for dry conditions in all the sessions so they have maximum time to work on set up.
Last year, Casey won at Silverstone - one of the most difficult races of the year in wet conditions which Dani missed due to his collarbone injury. Casey's pole position in 2011 remains as the fastest lap in this track (2'02.020) and Dani has the top speed record (323,9 kms/h) from 2010, when Silverstone circuit first replaced Donnington Park as the venue of the British GP.
CASEY STONER World Championship Position: 2nd with 95 points
"I'm definitely looking forward to going to Silverstone, it's a track that I really do enjoy. I wish that we still went through the old part of the track, unfortunately we don't go through there now and the new section is very, very tight. The rest of the track is fantastic though, it's fast and makes the heart beat very quick! The Monday test in Catalunya was a positive step for us, but we're still far from perfect. We definitely made some progress with reducing the chatter but we will have to wait until we get on track on Friday to see if what we found also works at Silverstone. Again, we'll be hoping for dry weather so we can maximise every minute of track time to prepare for Sunday's race".
DANI PEDROSA World Championship Position: 3rd with 85 points
"I missed the Silverstone race last year due to my injury, so I'm especially excited to go back racing at this track. As I said after the test we did in Catalunya, we were working a lot on different settings on the bike, we had some improvements and I hope we can make another step forward in Silverstone. It's a fast track, with many changes of direction and we need an agile bike and a good set up for both the fast and slow corners. In Britain, the weather is always very unstable, but let's see if we are lucky this time and we can enjoy dry conditions".
Ducati Team travels to Silverstone
Following a week that included two days of hard work during the tests at Barcelona and Aragon, the Ducati Team is ready to return to action for the sixth stop of the MotoGP series.
Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone is one of the most interesting and challenging on the calendar. Last year was Valentino Rossi’s first time competing at the circuit, and despite not having found the ideal setup, he managed a sixth-place finish. As he approaches the tricky British track, the Italian hopes to start off with the good feeling he found in Spain.
Nicky Hayden, who notched solid fourth-place finishes in each of his previous two visits to the venue, and who last year set the fastest lap of the race, hopes to make up for the misfortune he recently experienced at the last two rounds.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team
“I have a one-season ‘disadvantage’ at Silverstone compared to the other riders, who started a year ahead of me, so I’ll have to ride as much as possible during the practice sessions in order to understand the track well, as last year was quite difficult. During the Aragon test last week, we found some small things with the electronics and worked a bit on the settings. Now we’ll see how it works in England. We hope I’ll be able to ride well, that we’ll find a good setup and that we can stay at the same level in the dry as we were at the Barcelona GP, although our chances will be better if it rains.”
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
“It’s exciting to go to Silverstone. We’ve been there two years now, but each time it’s been a little different, with changes to the pavement or the pit complex, so it’s a little like going to a new track. With the lap being so long, you’ve really got to take advantage of any dry time you get to find a good setup, as the sessions go by really quickly. There are so many different corners, and it’s really important to dial in the electronics for all the sections. I’d say we lean on the electronics more there than at some other tracks. It’s fast and open, with high-speed corners, and I really like it. The last couple of races haven’t been great, but we just have to hang in there and try to take a step. It won’t be easy, but I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“Last year the Silverstone weekend was very challenging, even if we had a decent team result in the end, with Nicky fourth and Vale sixth. We’re coming off a Grand Prix that was followed by two days of testing, during which we made a little progress. Our goal is to continue to improve, trying to adapt the settings that we found for the GP12 to this fast, difficult track.”
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Race Preview - Round 6: Silverstone, Great Britain
12 June 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium-Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Silverstone is fast and susceptible to cold weather making it one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar in terms of tyre development. The high-speed sections of the circuit require good tyre stability for cornering and braking, while the generally chilly conditions make excellent warm-up performance a necessity.
Having analysed tyre data from the last two races at Silverstone, Bridgestone has revised the compounds in its asymmetric rear tyres for this weekend. The two slick rear tyres offered will be the medium-soft and medium options, with both tyres featuring the same medium rubber compound on the right shoulder combined with a choice of either the extra-soft or soft rubber on the left shoulder of the tyre. This change has been made to enhance rider safety by ensuring the rear tyre stays in its ideal temperature range over the course of a lap.
Bridgestone’s new specification front slick tyre, which was first introduced at Jerez, becomes the standard front offering from Silverstone onwards and will now comprise each rider’s full allocation of nine front slick tyres for a race weekend. For this race, the front slicks will be available in the soft and medium compounds to ensure the best initial grip and feel in the expected cool conditions.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“I am happy to be visiting Silverstone once again as the circuit is fast and technical, the facilities are excellent and the British fans are always very passionate. With Cal Crutchlow doing so well this season I expect even greater home support and as we had very wet conditions at Silverstone last year, I hope we get fine weather this weekend and get to enjoy yet another exciting race!
“This race is always a challenge for tyres with its high speeds and cold conditions and so we have undertaken considerable tyre development leading up to this year’s British Grand Prix. The new specification front slick tyre becomes the standard front offering from this round onwards and at Silverstone will be available in the soft and medium compounds, while we have also revised the composition of our asymmetric rear slick tyres for this race compared to previous years. Both these developments are prime examples of Bridgestone’s commitment to constantly exploring ways to improve rider safety.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Silverstone presents a balancing act when it comes to tyre development. On the one hand the fast sections like Maggotts and Becketts place high lateral loads on tyres and the heavy braking at the end of the Hangar Straight generates considerable stress on the centre section of the front tyre requiring good tyre stability, while the low average track temperature at Silverstone means superior warm-up performance is also important.
“Our data analysis shows that our soft and medium rubber compounds provide the necessary braking stability and warm-up characteristics needed at Silverstone and so they form the basis of our tyre choices at this circuit. For this year we have revised the composition of our asymmetric rear slicks and will offer the medium-soft and medium options. Both these slicks feature the same medium rubber compound on the right side to provide the necessary durability for the numerous right-hand turns, combined with either the extra-soft or soft rubber on the left shoulder to ensure sufficient temperature retention throughout a whole lap.”
Turning point at Silverstone for Colin Edwards
This week’s Silverstone GP might just be the right place at which the season reaches a turning point for the American rider after having a spectacular beginning of the season with the CRT win at Losail and a following series of misfortunes with the unpredictable weather in Jerez and the crash at Estoril.
After an unfortunate comeback in Catalunya, Silverstone presents itself as the ideal scenario to get back to Speedy with his BMW – Suter bike. The weather forecast for the British GP predicts rain for the weekend and the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team will rely on the data acquired with Chris Vermeulen at the Le Mans GP.
In Moto2 Alex De Angelis and Yuki Takahashi are working on their next step forward with this bike. The rider from Sam Marino already has a good feeling on the setup of the bike and with a bit of luck he will surely have the chance to fight for the top positions.
For the Japanese rider, after solving the feeling problems with the rear, this weekend the focus will be on the front of the bike and scoring the first points of the Seaton and maybe even fighting for the top ten at this British Grand Prix.
The first free practice for MotoGP will start at 10:10 London time and right after the FP1 for moto2.
Abraham will participate at Silverstone despite the double fracture
Karel Abraham will participate on 6th MotoGP event of this season despite the double fracture of the left fingertip. The final decision to race on legendary Silverstone circuit will be done in Britain after consultation with doctors.
“I´m leaving to Silverstone on Wednesday after medical examination. We´ll try to put out the splint and we´ll see if the movements with the hand will be painful and if the cut fingers won´t bleed again. I really would like to race at Silverstone. We need to collect another points in championship and I´ll do everything to be at the track. On the other side it would be irresponsible to race at all costs, risking that the healing will take longer. There´s a series of four races starting by Assen and it would be really catastrophe to lose these races.”
ESPARGARÓ AND DE PUNIET TAKE CRT CHALLENGE TO SILVERSTONE
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar pair looking forward to riding new breed machines at iconic British track
The second of three circuits that the MotoGP calendar shares with Formula 1 comes back-to-back with the first this weekend as the world's premier bike racing series moves from Catalunya to Silverstone. This is the third season that the iconic British track will host Grand Prix motorcycle racing since its return from a lengthy spell at Donington Park and it is an event that the riders always look forward to. Almost six kilometres in length, its fast, flowing and wide layout is ideally suited to the 1000cc machines. At Montmeló the series leader Jorge Lorenzo extended his advantage at the top over Casey Stoner and the rest of the field need to break up their dominance of the championship quickly if they are to stop them from escaping out of sight at the top.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar team is looking forward eagerly to its next track appointment after a successful day of testing in Barcelona following the fifth race of the season. Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet remain the men to beat in the new CRT class, with the Spaniard having taken the flag as the first of the new breed machines in three of the five races so far and the Frenchman a consistent reference for the rest.
Aleix Espargaró: "I am really looking forward to the next race. I have never been involved in a dry race at Silverstone in MotoGP or Moto2 so hopefully the weather is good to us this weekend so that we can have fun on the bike. Silverstone is a very fast track and that should suit me. It is a bumpy track but once you work things out it is not too difficult to get on the pace. We tried a new swingarm in Barcelona that has improved rear traction, which was a major problem for us, and now that all the MotoGP riders are using the same front tyre I hope our situation improves still further. My objective for this weekend is to keep working in the same way that we have up to now and maintain our leadership of the CRT category."
Randy De Puniet: "Along with Catalunya Silverstone is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar and I always feel comfortable riding there. It is very fast with a lot of second and third gear corners that suit somebody with good corner speed and that suits me. With it being such a long track we might lose out a little bit compared to the factory MotoGP biles but I am very highly motivated, I'm looking forward to getting started and getting everything ready for the race. We have a lot of work to do but I think we can do really well on Sunday. We will have to keep an eye on the weather because it is always likely to rain in England but if that's the case we will do our best to adapt to the conditions."
BAUTISTA LOOKS TO BACK UP BARCELONA PROGRESS AT SILVERSTONE
After a positive weekend last time out in Barcelona Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Alvaro Bautista and Michele Pirro are looking forward to another successful outing at Silverstone this weekend. After an encouraging test at the Circuit de Catalunya on the day after the race the Spaniard is hoping to take another step closer to the podium positions, especially having found better front feel with his Honda RC213V – something he had been lacking in previous weeks. Having finished just seven tenths of a second behind the top CRT in Spain, meanwhile, Pirro also made good progress in the test and he is looking forward to another strong showing in Northamptonshire.
Alvaro Bautista "Catalunya was a good race for us but it was a difficult one because of where we started from on the grid. I managed to pass some of the guys in front of us and set the same pace as the podium finishers but we lost too much ground at the start and you can't afford to do that in this championship. It was a positive Grand Prix though because we proved that if we can qualify and start better then we have the pace to run at the front. Now we take that confidence to Silverstone, especially after such a good test. My feeling with the bike has improved a lot and I am able to tackle the corners with much more conviction. This is a nice, long, fast and wide track and I really like it. Obviously everything will depend on the weather, which tends to be cold and wet in England. Anyway, I'm hoping to have a good race on a very different bike to the one I rode here last year. I am sure I can have fun on the Honda RC213V here and enjoy another positive weekend."
Michele Pirro "We took a big step forward in the race in Catalunya and finished just behind the top CRT. We enjoyed a positive test after that and now we go to Silverstone feeling confident we can do well. I like the track and I hope the weather allows us to benefit from our hard work recently. We are working hard every available moment to make up ground and carry out the development we need. I scored my first podium in Moto2 at Silverstone last year and I hope that can be a good sign for us."
Fausto Gresini "The Grand Prix of Catalunya was a pleasing one for us, with Alvaro having without doubt his best race since joining the team and finishing close behind the guys at the front. We have had two important days of testing since then in Catalunya and Aragon which were particularly satisfactory. Now we go to Silverstone in good spirits and confident we can do well. We had a positive weekend in Barcelona with the CRT project and took another step forward during the two days testing. We are growing from race to race and with Michele having finished on the podium at Silverstone in the Moto2 race last year we are determined to be celebrating a good result again."
PBM UK Team Out In Force At Silverstone
The Paul Bird Motorsport squad will be out in force at this weekend's Hertz British Grand Prix where all three riders will be chasing success at Silverstone.
PBM UK MotoGP rider James Ellison goes into his home round full of confidence following a string of recent good performances aboard the Claiming Rules Team (CRT) specification Aprilia ART which included finishing in the points as top CRT bike at the French Grand Prix last month.
The 31 year old from Kendal will have plenty of support at Britain's only round of the MotoGP World Championship and with an unsettled weather forecast ahead, Ellison knows that any damp conditions may favour him, just as they did at Le Mans.
Following on from team owner Paul Bird's win at Rally Barbados last weekend, the Penrith-based team is also looking to add to that success in the two Silverstone 200 support races which will see regular MCE British Superbike riders Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton in action aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasakis.
James Ellison: "Going into my home round and I am proper excited. We are coming off the back of two really strong races and are improving each time we ride the Aprilia so my confidence is really high right now. We have had so much positive support from the fans worldwide and especially in the UK so I'm looking forward to meeting the home crowd at The Day of Champions on Thursday and having my friends and family cheering on the sidelines. I also have my new Ellison clothing range being released there at the Real Race Gear stall so hope to see a few people literally flying the flag. The weather looks like it could be a bit damp over the weekend but that should only make it more interesting but hopefully the fans will still come out in force and we really need their support."
Paul Bird, Team Owner: "I'm flying back from Barbados earlier than I would normally do straight to Silverstone as the British Grand Prix is very important to the team and we need to continue the recent good results which James has achieved. We have made a lot of progress over the past couple of rounds so we should be more competitive at Silverstone whether it's wet or dry. Because it's an historic first home GP for us, we wanted to make an impression so Shakey and Stuart will be out in action too and I'm expecting them to add to the silverware I'm bringing home with me!"
MotoGP qualifying takes place at 13.55 on Saturday with Sunday's 20 lap race scheduled for 13.00. Saturday's Silverstone 200 race takes place over 16 laps at 18.05 with Sunday's similar race starting at 17.00.