2015 Silverstone MotoGP Race Report: Rain Produces Plenty Of Surprises

Results and summary of a fascinating MotoGP race at Silverstone:

Valentino Rossi has wrenched control of the MotoGP championship by taking a studied win in wet conditions. Rossi made a break early in the race with Marc Márquez, then managed the gap all the way home after Márquez crashed.

The race was always going to be an unsettled affair, after the first attempt to start it had to be aborted. With the track just about dry after the Moto2 race, the race was declared dry, but rain started to fall quite heavily on the grid, and by the time the riders were halfway through the warm up lap, it was clear they would have to swap to their wet bikes. The entire field piled into the pits, and to avoid a repeat of the chaos at the Sachsenring in 2014, Race Director Mike Webb red-flagged the race and ordered a restart.

The second attempt to start the race on a fully wet track was more successful. Jorge Lorenzo got a lightning start, as did Pol Espargaro, the Tech 3 rider coming through to take second. But Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi were quickly through on Espargaro, and chasing down Lorenzo.

Rossi was quickly past, Márquez taking advantage and following through to demote Lorenzo to third. The two leaders quickly gapped the chasing group, Rossi pushing hard to try to shake Márquez, but the reigning champion would not be dropped. After the halfway mark, Márquez tried to press Rossi, but he could not get past him. Márquez tried, pushed too hard, and crashed out, the rear locking under engine braking flicking Marquez off when it briefly gripped again.

From that moment on, Rossi looked safe, though behind him, the battle for second started getting closer. Danilo Petrucci had fought his way forward in the wet, passing Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, and Andrea Dovizioso. After a long battle with the factory Ducati man, Petrucci finally shook him off, and though he closed the gap to Rossi down to a second and a half, Rossi soon had the gap under control again, going on to take the win.

A delirious Petrucci held on for second, while Andrea Dovizioso made a welcome return to the podium in third. Jorge Lorenzo limited the championship damage to hold on to fourth, while Dani Pedrosa crossed the line a lonely fifth. Two British riders came home in sixth and seventh, Scott Redding getting an excellent result finishing ahead of Bradley Smith.

The result means Valentino Rossi has once again taken the lead in the championship, now ahead of Jorge Lorenzo by 12 points. Marc Márquez' crash rules him completely out of contention, now trailing by 77 points.

Pos No Rider Bike Pos/diff
1 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 46'15.617
2 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 3.01
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 4.117
4 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 5.726
5 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 11.132
6 45 Scott REDDING Honda 25.467
7 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 26.717
8 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 29.393
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 38.815
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 41.712
11 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 44.776
12 69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda 52.489
13 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati +1'11.211
14 63 Mike DI MEGLIO Ducati +1'15.292
15 15 Alex DE ANGELIS ART +1'17.863
16 76 Loris BAZ Yamaha Forward +1'19.310
17 50 Eugene LAVERTY Honda +1'19.735
18 71 Claudio CORTI Yamaha Forward +1'58.086
19 17 Karel ABRAHAM Honda 1 Lap
Not Classified
  44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 6 Laps
  93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 8 Laps
  6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia 8 Laps
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 16 Laps
  43 Jack MILLER Honda 18 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
  68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 0 Lap

 

Round Number: 
12
2015
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Comments

I am exhausted! A great performance by the podium three!

I still predict the championship will be decided by a DNF, but if that does not occur, Jorge's job just got quite a bit more difficult. A 12-point cushion (with six to go) is very valuable.

I think Lorenzo was lucky that Marquez crashed, and Miller collected Crutchlow from third, that could have been a lot worse. Lorenzo it's still the strongest dry weather rider but days like this can change the whole game around.

for this race bad result as was for the bad result in Qatar. He should terminate the 2 year deal at once. The visor was just all foggy and hindering his sight this time. A real shame as I know that we would have 3 dog(as Dovi said about Danilo :) race at the front. However Rossi and Marquez were fantastic at the top. Congrats to the man who is 2 years younger than me. Going back to doing pushups because of motivation that this guy gives to me :). Bravo Vale!

...mention a reason like this. What if Lorenzo did crash in another driver because of this melfunction safety gear and hurt him or worse? You would say that he is a dangerous rider in that case? That gear doesn't belong in top class sport and they prove it twice already. Corporations like those think that with lot of money thru marketing they can compensate for bad product. That is all I'm saying here mate. And Lorenzo is a tough guy no question about it as are all the riders out there.

Lorenzo chose not to use the helmet breath deflector right from the outset. There are photos of several other riders on the grid (with HJC helmets as well as other brands) clearly showing the breath deflectors in place. Lorenzo is shown prior to the start of the race and immediately after without a deflector installed. Why Lorenzo chose not to use one of these when conditions warrant is not clear but to blame the helmet manufacturer for a choice that he made is not right and not the fault of the helmet manufacturer.

Jorge says "In the rain, I didn't have the same pace as Valentino and Marquez".

:/

According to Dylan Gray on the world feed, the crucial difference today versus the Sachsenring 2014 start was that today, *every* rider returned to the pits after the warm-up lap, which gave Mike Webb the option to red flag the start. Gray said that if just one rider had taken up his place on the grid, the other 24 would have started from pit lane. If that is correct, it would have been massively dangerous IMO. Might want to rethink that procedure.

Good point. It seems that everybody coming in made it easier for RD to red-flag the start. But if 1 or a few riders lined up and everybody else pitted, then the start procedure would still be dangerous and the unfair play against a few doesn't weigh much against the safety of 20. I guess it's better left on RD to decide, based on number of riders in pit lane, whether a red flag is the best approach. I'd like to believe they think the same and didn't actually check if *every* rider came into the pits before taking today's decision.

There are specific, defined start procedures. Mike Webb can't just change these procedures on the spur of the moment. For example, how would you feel if you were the one rider who had the foresight to fit wet tires, and took your proper place on the grid, only to have Mike Webb decide to red flag the start? You'd be pretty angry, I'm sure, because the rules are on your side (according to Dylan Gray's commentary).

So maybe the rules need a rethink, but I don't support Webb just making it up as he goes along.

The problem is that if you make rules that enable single, or multiple, riders to effectively decide the start procedure then it can become a strategical tool for factories. The procedure now is simple. If somebody changes their mind during the warm-up lap they are free to pit in and change. The problems begin when they are too many. How many is too many? It obviously depends on track and pit-lane layout so that's why I'm saying let RD handle it.

So if I were that one rider I would feel gutted and maybe angry in the heat of the moment but, you know, that's not very important. Again, there's ethically no basis in endangering many riders to honour the wit of a couple crew chiefs/mechanics/riders.

As for Dylan's commentary I heard it as well, that's why I said you make a good point. However, I'd like to think it was slightly inaccurate and there are no rules prohibiting RD from making a safety call just because a rider went for a setting gamble that looks like paying off.

He made the right call. And yes. I think he should have some discretion. You can't have a rule for everything because each situation will be different.

Bottom line, he did the right thing in name of rider safety. And that's his job.

Well Rossi was a master, Lorenzo lucky for the crashes (others), Dovi finally back on the podium ... all true. But let's talk for a second about Petrucci (and Redding too....)!

He ran an astonishing race, rode like crazy and got a super-deserved podium, almost peekng at his first victory. This is the beauty of wet races, the rider can compensate for the bike and great performances are rewarded. Hats off, my man of the day is him.

I loved the post-race interview, Dovizioso said he was afraid Danilo could crash at every turn by his riding. Rossi later added when he saw Petrucci on the pit-board he was afraid he could put himself in danger! And Petrucci said he did the last lap laughing in his helmet, unbelievable.

It's a shame Miller took out Crutchlow beacuse it could have been a tenser battle for the podium.

If this is what we get on wet ...... let's rain more, so that chances are not limited to the four factory bikes!

Always shines in the wet. The sign of a great rider. The GP14 has always been good in the wet.
Not entirely surprised to see him get to the podium. Well done.

Seeing Lorenzo pointing to his steamed up visor as he stomped back into his garage, obviously a very unhappy bunny, it was interesting to hear the commentary team remark that not only is this the second time this has happened, but inferring he uses "less than top of the line" equipment, presumably due to a sponsorship deal.

There was further comment that Lin Jarvis was furious about it the first time, so unless there is a good explanation, no doubt he is apoplectic this time.

I'm disappointed, if this is the case, that Lorenzo would compromise his speed and safety and the safety of other riders in this way.

I would also have thought that since the first time, he would have ensured his helmet supplier sorted out the problem. Not good sales publicity.

Perhaps we shall see a new helmet sponsor for Jorge now?

if it was me Id buy my own Arai/AGV/Shoei if HJC wouldnt release me from the contract :P

And he is not the only one to have had that problem with HJC.

If memory serves me well, Ben Spies had the same issue with the same line of HJC helmets. I think it was at Le Mans, but I am not sure.

It was still in his factory Yamaha days, most likely the second season, you know that one, when he had such good luck that no one would have been surprised if a lorry ran him over during a race.

Is there a reason they don't use the Pinlock anti-fogging inner screen? I can't believe how well those things work! It seems like it would be a good solution. On the other hand, maybe they all suffer a little fogging and we don't hear about it.

Rossi and Dani IIRC had the pinlock visor, as well as breath deflectors. Rest of the riders that I could see all had breath deflectors. No idea what Lorenzo was thinking, to be honest, opting to use neither in the rain when HJC is known to have fogging issues.

or maybe just seething hot air all the way on the in lap would make it steam up. I've been watching the replay specifically to check that, 2/3 of the way through it was still OK but hard to see after that. He was 4th and I think realistically he couldn't hope for better on the day, lucky some of the others crashed out or it could have been worse for JL.
He should not be blaming the equipment for a malfunction, it is as much a part of the package as the throttle, the tyres or the brakes. Better stay calm and keep the comments for the debrief not the camera.

Lorenzo stated in his interview that it fogged up in the last 4-5 laps and that he believes it cost him 3rd place. I assume this means he felt he could have gotten past Dovizioso. I think that was wishful thinking on his part.

Maybe its just Lorenzo getting slightly stressed with the race not going his way and then forgetting to breath properly or breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. Did he have a problem in this mornings sessions?

Ever race in the rain? You mouth breathe and blow down to avoid fogging. You also crack visor and remove chin air dam. Doubt fog was JL's prob

He talks of Espagaro almost taking him out in the chicane, talks about getting over taken by a few, fighting back, then in the last laps having issues with the fogging when it got colder/raining harder.

Fog wasn't the issue, being slower was. Fog just complicated the last few laps.

Revelations 1-1: "When the rain falleth and the flood cometh, the multitudes perceive there are more aliens than the Four Horsemen of Yamonda".
Rain is the great equalizer - or perhaps more accurately, it reveals hidden talent. One can't help wondering what kind of spectacle MotoGP would provide if the riders' machinery were more equal

Of course, being an old guy myself, I personally would like to see Rossi kick their asses, but that's just me. I felt Rossi did a masterful job of controlling the race from the front, even when Marc was right on his rear wheel---Marc DID look a little more frantic back there, but that's just his riding style anyway---the announcers seemed to think he was gonna pass Rossi almost any time, but maybe he was truly at his limit already? I think Rossi had the situation in hand and could have gone even faster---but only Rossi knows for sure!
The Jack Miller crash was totally a bonehead move---the video from above showed how far back he was---wasn't going to happen---then to ram your own teammate---couldn't have gone more wrong! I'll bet the scene back in their pits could melt iron…
Six races left---a classic season for sure...

he was handed out a slap on the wrist punishment. He needs to spend substantial more time learning how to ride the bigger bikes. They are not just large Moto3s.

The great leveler-Rain as they say. At least we had a few passes for the lead this time-and whether by chance or deliberate Rossi seems to always have the crowd on the edge of their seats when he's up for the win.....

So I guess these Wets didn't have the heat resistant treatment...:)

Its hard to like Jorge, I mean helmet problems again-really? It was wet in the morning-he wasn't fast enough then. He spent the entire time on the grid pacing in and out of the pits and with all of that walking they couldn't find a nose guard? And most of the riders on the cool down lap opened their visors but not Jorge-not even when cruising into the pits-he wanted it nice and fogged up for the cameras and then gives a good point to the visor as he stomps into the pits. Great rider, not a great loser. This will be a race we will look back on as crucial to the 2015 title.

Interestingly enough the fuel computers also get rather nullified in the rain and we had two large riders on the podium. Excellent to see a sat bike up there, and three Italians on the podium again this season-time for an inquisition!

Marc yet again a self imposed DNF-more understandable this time but definitely thrown away the title defense now. What was a little funny was three or four of the marshal's helping Marc after he crashed had big Yellow 46 hats on. Just what he wanted to see after crashing out trying to stay with the man who owns those merchandising rights!

It's probable that the helmet is 1 thing on a list for JL this weekend. He's only human. I am sure when he cools down he analyses everything calmly rather than simply 'blaming' the equipment. How does a rider seriously expect to improve otherwise? We don't know what discussions have occurred between him and HJC since the last issue, but it's hard to think any company would let quality control issues occur at this level (guess what premium brand I do not buy, both for this and after having owned one?). The only battle JL is consistently losing is the charisma battle. And if he were only waging that war with MM, I reckon he'd have a chance.

But he isn't. Rossi does 'blame' the bike where he feels the need, he is just a bit more circumspect and does so in a disarming fashion. He also pays a LOT of respect to the interviewer when he talks and tends to answer the question posed to him, and doesn't rant. That is to me, the main difference.

Umm... doesnt he just have one point this year?

But yes he needs to settle down. A stupid crash had everyone talking about his recklessness rather than how quick he was
edit : talking about #43 miller. Meant to reply to avalons post above but hit the wrong button

He's been involved in numerous collisions and crashes throughout the year, but 'Quick' is only 'Good' if it's 'Safe and Miller isn't.

Whatever measures Race Direction have taken to curb his obvious excesses have failed. He remains a danger to others - read the comments from other riders on the link previously posted.

Hayden, Barbera, Laverty and others - they all say the same.

This time, in treacherous conditions, he took his team-mate out. Crutchlow thought that, after a strong wet warm-up, he was 'untouchable'. He didn't reckon on the recklessness of Miller.

Crutchlow's home race and LCR's high hopes of a much-needed good result were destroyed by Miller's moment of utter madness, but Crutchlow has tried to remain up-beat about the whole debacle. He says he doesn't blame Miller.

Would Crutchlow be so understanding if Miller wasn't his young, HRC team-mate in a squad that depends upon vital HRC support?

Would Crutchlow be so understanding if his collar-bone had cracked in the crash?

Like Race Direction, Cecchinello gave Miller yet another 'dressing-down', but what difference will it make? None, probably.

'Go back Jack, and do it again' remains the message. Perhaps they should make him start from the pit-lane until he learns to ride safely with other riders?

Miller is a fast, ex-Moto3 rookie - but then, so is Vinales. The difference is that Vinales served his time on heavier bikes in Moto2.

P.S. Didn't Miller get his first penalty point at Round One when he took Abraham out?

Just when Jack Miller appears to be figuring it out, he releases his brake from 5 lengths back and T bones his team mate. Inexplicable!

1) Weather. Humidity, barometric pressure, grip/spin sensors, engine braking, abs and all the other nannys get slapped really hard. Was there anything special that the teams did for the faster riders that other teams didn't do? Really curious.
2) Petrucci = my Cinderella cop. That cat might be too big for motoGP but his podium really made my month and will be a story to tell friends.
3) MM's DNF. If you DNF, you don't get points. If you don't get points, you lose the championship. Only members of the alien squad know what their limits are, but the rain was too much for MM. If he let Rossi pull away, he might have finished 2nd or 3rd depending on Petrucci, but he was lucky enough to walk away from a high-side crash at high-speed w/o injury.
4) I believe JL in that he had fogging. Going forward, hopefully he'll learn his lesson, but I'm not going to even look at an HJC helmet going forward. JL showed a lot of maturity by not crashing out with a DNF result. He did his best, got his points, and is still in the championship chase. He _is_ lucky that MM self-destructed, so IMHO, it just goes to show you why he is still in clear title contention while MM pushed too hard and is almost out of picture for 2015.
5) VR creates his own luck. While JL and MM might be Q tire lap queens, Rossi has hit podium (15?) times in a row even while starting from row 3? JL and MM are scary good when they are in rhythm but in a race situation, Rossi does seem to have a (hard to say in english), "skill" at forcing the rider in front to a bad apex point thus allowing him to pass.