High-speed chess in Q2 sees the reigning Champion emerge ahead in the final dash for the line
Saturday, 24 August 2019
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez took pole number 60 of his career to steal P1 in a Q2 Silverstone stunner, with everything going down to the wire and a three-man freight train of Marquez, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) fighting it out in the final seconds of the session. Over the line it was Marquez who took the upper hand, with Rossi set to start P2 after taking his first front row since Austin and Miller alongside the two men on the front row in third. Turn 1 is going to be a stunner.
It was Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) who made it through from Q1 after finding themselves outside the top ten on Saturday morning, with the number 04 ultimately topping the session by 0.246 to set himself up for an assault on Q2. That Q2 didn’t disappoint, with the grid in the air until the final few seconds.
After the first run it was Free Practice pacesetter Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who was on provisional pole, but the Frenchman came under threat once the final assault began. Rossi needed a lap time after having his maiden lap cancelled for track limits and ‘The Doctor’, Marquez and Miller came out of pitlane at the same time as a cat and mouse game proceeded on the out-lap, with no one wanting to lead.
After they’d almost ground to a halt on the Wellington Straight, it had to be go-time and needing a lap time the most, Rossi had to bolt. Marquez and Miller slotted into the tow, and all three were up in the first sector. And the second…and then the third – but Marquez was the man with the biggest margin, the reigning Champion a few tenths under Quartararo’s time by the final sector.
As the three barrelled round the final corner, Rossi was first over the line to take over at the top, before being deposed by Marquez just behind him. A split second later Miller stole third, leaving Quartararo relegated to fourth and a Marquez-Rossi-Miller front row.
As it transpired, an alarm on the dash had caused the Frenchman to switch to his number two bike and there wasn’t time to change the front tyre. So Q2 may have been out of reach, but El Diablo’s FP4 pace says he’ll be guns blazing on Sunday afternoon…
Alongside Quartararo on the second row is Rins after a solid session despite the Suzuki rider’s journey through Q1, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) slotting into sixth after he’s shown good speed all weekend at the track that saw him take his first premier class win. Dovizioso, who topped Q1, will line up seventh and will be gunning for another characteristic stunner of a start, although the Italian’s fastest laptime was identical to that of Viñales.
Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was eighth fastest and starts just ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) after the home hero suffered a crash in Q2, with his teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) completing the top ten.
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) had a tough day at the track where he took his first podium and was P11, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and the Red Bull KTM Factory racing duo of Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco. Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira was only just off the factory duo in P15.
A Q2 treat sees Marquez vs Rossi take centre stage, but there’s plenty of challengers waiting in the wings. The man who set the pace all weekend is certainly one of them, but a good eight riders will fancy their chances of a win or assault on the podium, so it looks like we’re set up for another Silverstone stunner. Tune in for the race LIVE at 13:00 local time (GMT+1) on Sunday afternoon.
Fabio Quartararo’s (Petronas Yamaha SRT) savage 1:59.225 was allowed to stand to give the rookie phenomenon the advantage on Friday at the GoPro British Grand Prix with a brilliant new lap record, after the lap was initially disallowed before a photo review. The Frenchman was also fastest in FP1 to make it a full house on Friday, with a significant advantage in both sessions. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) sits as Quartararo’s closest challenger, 0.251 back, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completing the top three as Yamaha stormed the timesheets.
FP1 started under cloudy Silverstone skies as the MotoGP™ riders got their first taste of the new asphalt, and it was Quartararo who came into FP2 with a half-second advantage over the rest. Marquez was again his nearest rival in the opening session and it was the number 93 who instantly led FP2, cutting Quartararo’s advantage to two-tenths on the overall timesheets. Other early improvers were home hero Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), the British rider dipping into the 2:00s, while Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) climbed into the top 10 as well.
Temperatures in England – believe it or not – were soaring and it seemed the riders were struggling to improve their times from FP1 at first, with Marquez’ benchmark putting him over seven tenths clear of the field for the first half of FP2. However, it wasn’t plain sailing for the seven-time Champion as at the Vale complex, Marquez crashed for the first time since Le Mans Q2 – but rider instantly up and ok. FP1 P4 finisher Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) then moved into second in the session, but then came Quartararo to cut the gap.
With eight minutes left, the timesheets lit up as fresh Michelin rubber was slotted in for a thrilling time attack. Riders like Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) – 10th in FP1 – had slipped down to the lower ends of the timing screens, but the Australian soon jumped up to fourth overall and the two Yamahas were on barnstormers. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) looked set to go top overall and he did so with a new lap record, but ‘The Doctor’ didn’t stay there long as rookie Quartararo then hammered in his stunning 1:59.225: the quickest ever lap we’ve seen around Silverstone.
Viñales then got overhauled by Marquez as he beat his compatriot with a 1:59.476, with Rossi’s time putting him in fourth. Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) moved up into fifth and sixth respectively, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) strong on fresh tyres to end the day seventh on the combined times.
Oliveira once again impressed to lead the KTM charge in P8, the Portuguese rider improving from P16 in the opening 45 minutes, with Miller’s aforementioned time enough to give him ninth overall. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) took tenth.
Takaaki Nakagami, another who had their laptime reinstated, ended the day in P11, just ahead of Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro just missed out after the laptime reinstatements despite managing to get back out on his Aprilia Racing Team Gresini machine after first one completely cut out heading into Brooklands corner, and he ends the day in P12. Pol Espargaro, teammate Johann Zarco and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completed the fastest fifteen.
A fast and furious couple of sessions on Friday now sets us up nicely for Saturday. FP3 should be dry, so there’s still time for the top 10 to change ahead of qualifying. Tune in for a crucial session at 09:55 local time (GMT+1).
Bradl, Pirro, Folger, Guintoli, Smith and local hero Mika Kallio to inaugurate the stunning new track
Sunday, 18 August 2019
full gas back-to-back, MotoGP™ has headed north for a two-day test to
inaugurate the new KymiRing in Finland on the 19th and 20th of August.
All six manufacturers’ Test Teams have now arrived at the northernmost
track on this year’s itinerary to get acquainted with the new venue
ahead of its planned inclusion on the MotoGP™ calendar.
During the test, the track will be open from 10:00 to 17:00 local time
(GMT +3), with a final slot from 17:00 to 18:00 for local heroes to
take to the track for some laps of their new World Championship venue.
2011 Moto2™ World Champion Stefan Bradl is on test duty for Honda, with
test rider and ever-impressive wildcard performer Michele Pirro on track
for Ducati. Former WorldSBK Champion Sylvain Guintoli represents
Suzuki, with premier class podium finisher and recent Moto2™ runner
Jonas Folger putting the laps in for Yamaha.
Local hero Mika Kallio will be on track for KTM as he gets a first taste
of his new home track, with the high calibre line-up completed by
Bradley Smith testing for Aprilia, fresh from making a little history as
a podium finisher in the opening two races for the FIM Enel MotoE™
World Cup – and ahead of his Moto2™ appearance at Silverstone.
On Sunday the six riders walked and studied the track with their teams
ahead of getting on the asphalt on two wheels on Monday, before later
lining up for the first photo opportunity at the brand new track. With
the kerbs flying the colors of the Finnish flag and the background a
stunning slew of giant conifer trees and clear northern summer skies, it
was a moment to remember for the track.
The test will also include two press conferences. On Monday at 13:00
representatives from the FIM, Dorna and local authorities will talk to
the media, with FIM President Jorge Viegas, Timo Pohjola, KymiRing
Circuit Director, Tapio Nevala, President of the Finnish Motorcycle
Federation, Aki Ajo from Ajo Motorsport, and Carlos Ezpeleta, Sporting
Director from Dorna Sports all present.
On Monday evening at 18:00, the six riders will then take part in a
second press conference to give their first impressions of the track.