Impressive Marquez on top again at Silverstone MotoGP as main rivals struggle for pace on opening day
As the premier class riders enjoyed their second Friday practice session at the Hertz British Grand Prix, Marc Marquez was the top man, followed by Stefan Bradl and Andrea Dovizioso.
Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was fastest in the morning session too with a 2’03.208 to lead by 0.661s and he improved in the afternoon to 2’02.126, again leading the practice by more than half a second. The World Champion has a point to prove this weekend at Silverstone having not won at Brno, his first race of the year which has not resulted in victory.
Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) showed his FP2 pace with a 2’02.635, whilst Dovizioso (Ducati Team) put in a late best time for third – lapping 0.885s behind Marquez.
Local rider Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) looked good in fourth and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) impressed by making it into the top five. Likewise Scott Redding (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) was well up the timesheet in sixth place, striving to please the crowd at his home GP.
Italian Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Spanish trio Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) rounded out the top ten.
Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will aim to improve on Saturday after lapping 11th and 13th respectively, whilst Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) was down in 14th. Lorenzo (+1.374s) and Rossi (+1.826s) were well off the pace of Marquez.
Leon Camier (Drive M7 Aspar) had a crash with five minutes to go in FP2 and ended up 17th overall.
Moto2™: In form Rabat quickest in final day one run
The final practice of Friday at Silverstone saw the Moto2™ FP2 workout led by Tito Rabat at the Hertz British Grand Prix, with Simone Corsi and Jonas Folger also at the business end of the timesheet.
Standings leader Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) topped the afternoon practice with a 2’08.652, highlighting his determination to maintain his good form, following his win last time out in the Czech Republic.
Experienced Italian Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) and young German Folger (AGR Team) were the two riders to get closest to Rabat’s pace, respectively 0.087s and 0.174s behind the Spaniard in second and third.
Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) and Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) were fourth and fifth, whilst Viñales’ colleague Salom was down in 34th after a big highside in the session. The Spaniard walked away from the crash.
Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team), Sam Lowes (Speed Up), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) completed the top ten, with Pasini 0.7s down on Rabat’s best time.
At the foot of the timesheet 50 year-old veteran Jeremy McWilliams lapped just over eight seconds off the pace, debuting the Brough Superior Racing team’s Taylor Made machine. McWilliams took 3.4s off his best time from FP1 in the afternoon and will look to get closer to the rest of the field on Saturday.
Moto3™: Pace setting Briton Kent shows rivals the way
Danny Kent was the quickest rider on track in the Moto3™ FP2 outing at the Hertz British Grand Prix, with Niccolo Antonelli and Alex Rins also occupying top three spots.
Englishman Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) ended Friday as the fastest Moto3 rider at his home Grand Prix, registering a 2’15.572 lap at the end of the afternoon session to lead the way by 0.058s from Italian rider Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN).
Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was just 0.062s down on Kent in third, with Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) and Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) also in the top five.
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing), Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing), John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) completed the top ten.
The lap times between the riders were extremely tight, especially considering that at 5.9km Silverstone is the longest Grand Prix circuit on the calendar, with the top 20 split by just 1.012s.
Championship frontrunner Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) led FP1 in the morning with a 2’16.439 lap, but was down in 23rd place in FP2 as he experimented with a new setting.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on track in Great Britain today as the first free practice sessions got underway for this Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
The sessions proved to be challenging for both riders due to the tyres provided, with chatter preventing them from finding an optimum set up on the Silverstone circuit. Lorenzo ended the first session in 7th and the second in 11th to finish the day 11th overall in the combined times with a best lap of 2’03.500 seconds.
Teammate Rossi wrapped up the morning in 8th and the afternoon in 13th to take 13th in the combined times with a best lap of 2’03.952.
The team will continue to work through the evening to prepare solutions for the next practice session at 09.55hrs local time tomorrow.
Jorge Lorenzo – 11th / 2’03.500 / 14 laps – “We only have one problem, it seems Bridgestone has brought the same tyres that we had in the first races so we have the same problems as then. We have no grip to stop the bike, no grip in the middle of the corner and no traction so we have a lot of spinning and the negative point is it creates problem on the front. No grip on the rear doesn’t give us the balance in the middle of the corner which means we have to lean less and have lower speed. All the Yamaha riders are the same, we have similar problems. It seems that with this tyre we have now it’s very difficult for us. Of course we are going to try everything to solve this problem, we have to try to manage the situation, the tyres will be the same all weekend so we have to adapt to it. It seems it’s going to be a hard weekend for the Yamaha riders.”
Valentino Rossi – 13th / 2’03.952 / 15 laps – “We expected to be faster and more competitive but we are struggling a lot. This morning in first practice was not fantastic but also not so bad, I was not so far from the other guys but I didn’t like the feeling in the bike on the front. For the afternoon we worked a lot on the setting on the weight distribution to help on the corners but it looks like we took the wrong direction. I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, when we enter the corner I don’t have a feeling with the front and also I have a vibration and not enough grip. I lose a lot of corner speed on entry and I was quite slow. We will continue to modify the bike in another way and we will take some data for tomorrow to try something completely different to understand if we can go faster.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “Today wasn’t the start we expected to have. Both Jorge and Vale have similar issues with chattering and being able to hold the racing line so we have quite some work to do for tomorrow. We weren’t able to find solutions in time for the sessions but we will continue to work this evening. We will be ready to make a step forward in the next free practice and bring them closer to the front. We know we can perform well at this track so we’re confident we can improve. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
Smith powers to 4th on day one at windy Silverstone
Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith undertook a lightening start on home turf by storming to 4th position as the leading Yamaha in the combined standings on the opening day of action at Silverstone. The 23 year old rider completed the first session with a best time of 2’04.609, only four tenths of a second back from 5th despite the low track temperatures, strong wind and slight spots of rain. The weather remained unchanged in the afternoon at the 5900 meter Silverstone circuit where Smith braved the conditions with determination to forcibly post a best time of 2’03.070 aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. The British star improved his morning time by over one and a half seconds and was a blink of an eye behind 3rd position with a gap of only 0.059. His electric start to the 12th MotoGP event of the year, sees him prepared for the qualifying assault tomorrow where he will confidently intend to seize a place on the front two rows for the 20 lap dash on Sunday.
On the other side of the garage, Pol Espargaro rode to a hard fought 12th position finish in the afternoon practice session as he began the 2014 British Grand Prix. The reigning Moto2 World Champion kicked off his weekend with a best time of 2’04.628 as he worked with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 team to establish a formidable setup at Silverstone. As the afternoon session got underway, Espargaro upped the pace and completed the practice with a time of 2’03.542, only less than a second from 2nd place. The 23 year old rider also finished the afternoon practice with the fastest speed of the entire MotoGP grid reaching 321.5 km/h. Focusing instead on setting up the bike and working towards race day as opposed to posting a leading lap time today, the Spaniard remains confident in undertaking a strong qualifying performance tomorrow.
Bradley Smith – 4th / 2’03.542 / 33 Laps – “It was a positive first day and I’m very happy to kick off my home Grand Prix in this manner. I feel happier and more confident than I did twelve months ago and here the bike is working great and the grip is good with the tyres. We haven’t changed too many settings since Brno, just a few minor alterations to compensate for this track as well as the wind here which is particularly strong at the rear of the circuit. There is still a degree to improve, namely in the fast corners where there a few more bumps this year, so we will work on trying to find the setting to run smoothly over these. Of course, we need to carry on this forward momentum, therefore the next step is to get a good rhythm and then run 2’02 lap times. So all in all I am very happy, but I must say that it is fantastic to see so many fans here especially as it was a Friday so the support I received has been great and really helps me!”
Pol Espargaro – 12th / 2’04.628 / 36 Laps – “Even I if I find myself a little further down on the time sheets than I would like to be, I am satisfied with the work we have done today. Instead of putting on a new tyre to make a quick lap at the end of the session like some of the other riders, I decided to work on the bike instead. This might be a bit of a gamble due to the weather forecast for tomorrow, but I have learnt during the first part of the season how important the right setup for Sunday can be. Therefore, I keep my fingers crossed that the morning session will be a dry one as ending up in QP1 would be far from ideal. If this is the case, it will be trickier but I am always improving which is very positive. The bike is fun to ride at this circuit, especially in the first sector which is quite bumpy and where I am at my fastest. So, we need to improve in the other sections of the track but we know where we are heading and what needs to be altered, so I retain good expectations for tomorrow.”
Day of work for the NGM Forward Racing Team at Silverstone
The NGM Forward Racing Team was back on track for the first day of practices of this weekend’s British Grand Prix. Aleix Espargaro and Alex De Angelis focused on the bike set up on the technical and fast Silverstone racetrack.
Fifth this morning, Espargaro struggled in the afternoon to find the right feeling with his Forward Yamaha and finally closed the FP2 in 10th place with a lap time of 2’03.468.
It was a positive start for team mate Alex De Angelis, who made a good step forward over the course of today. 17th in the morning with a lap time of 2’06.333, Alex could improve his lap times and pace in the afternoon session of 2 seconds. With a lap time of 2’04.411, Alex finished in 15th position.
Aleix Espargaró – 10th / 2’03.468 / 27 Laps – “Silverstone is a technical and demanding track and we suffered more than what we expected. Due to the cold temperature, we used the soft tyre but I couldn’t find the right feeling. I struggled also with the front as I cannot enter fast in the corner as I want. Tomorrow we will continue to work to improve the set up of the bike in preparation of the race”.
Alex De Angelis – 15th / 2’04.411 / 27 Laps – “I’m happy of the work done today, especially of the FP2 as I could improve my lap times and my pace. Today we used the hard tyre and the feeling was positive from the beginning. Silverstone is a technical track, it has a bit of everything and it’s fun to ride here with a MotoGP machine. I’m confident to make another step forward tomorrow”.
Repsol HRC Report
On the first day of the British Grand Prix, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez topped the time sheets with his lap of 2’02.126 (lap 7 of 16), over half a second faster than second place Stefan Bradl, on the LCR Honda machine. Marc’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, struggling a little with the grip level, finished the day in ninth with a best time of 2’03.410 (lap 12 of 15).
The changeable and windy British weather is sure to play a part in tomorrow’s qualifying session and with just 0.215s separating 5th and 12th place, the riders will need to work hard in FP3 and FP4 to give themselves the best chance.
Marc Marquez – 1st – 2’02.126 – “Today I felt good from the beginning. Silverstone is bit of a special track; there are many bumps and the temperatures are low, but we found a good base from the start and this helped us for the entire day. It is only Friday, but it is always important to start the weekend like this. For tomorrow we will try above all to improve how the bike absorbs the bumps, to go faster and take a small step forward”
Dani Pedrosa – 9th – 2’03.410 – “Overall, today was a difficult day. We had grip problems with the track and I was unable to find a good feeling on the bike. I found it really hard to get the tyres working optimally, but we are now looking at new ideas for tomorrow. It would also help us if the temperatures were higher”
Good start for Dovizioso, third on first day of free practice for British GP at Silverstone. Crutchlow fourteenth
Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow finished the first day of free practice at Silverstone, where round 12 of the MotoGP World Championship is being held, in third and fourteenth place respectively.
Dovizioso made good progress throughout the day; the Italian rider was fast right from the start of this morning’s session, ending up with third quickest time, and then repeated the performance in the afternoon run. His team-mate Crutchlow instead had a tougher time today, and for the moment has been unable to establish a good feeling with his Desmosedici GP14 at his home track.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (2’03.011) - “I am pleased with the time that I set and also with my pace on the medium tyre. For sure we have to improve even more because it’s difficult to obtain a good set-up due to the the track surface, which is very bumpy. However we have been constantly quick since the start of the morning session and this means that we have started the weekend well. My third place is of course a good result, but I think I could have done even better with the soft tyre, which in my opinion is potentially better than the medium one I used to set my time.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 14th (2’04.057) - “It wasn’t a very good day for us, we tried a few settings with the bike but they were not all working for me. We tried something in the end that I believe can decide the direction to go in for tomorrow, but we need to improve a lot in the corners to be able to turn the bike and have more feeling with the tyres. I look forward to tomorrow and hopefully improving for the rest of the weekend.”
Scott Redding kicked off today in the best possible way the weekend of his home Grand Prix at Silverstone: the English rookie in fact set the sixth fastest time – 2’03”333 – at the end of the first two practice sessions aboard the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda RCV1000R.
After getting to know the track for the first time on a MotoGP bike in the morning session, this afternoon Redding managed to keep a really good pace, leaving behind him several bikes in Factory configuration. Tomorrow the target for Scott is to enter into the Qualifying 2 session, in order to fight for the top 12 positions on the grid.
His teammate, Alvaro Bautista, set a very similar time, 2’03”391, ending the day in eighth place: the Spaniard tired on his Honda Rc213V machine the suspension set-up he has used in the recent Brno post-race test, confirming the slight improvements seen in Czech Republic.
Alvaro Bautista – (8th – 2’03″391) – “During today’s free practice session I have found the same feeling with the bike that I have had in the recent post-race test at Brno: the situation is slightly better than the last couple of races, although we are still not one hundred per cent. Today we also encountered low temperatures and we still lack a lot of rear grip, both going in and out of the corners. We are a bit more competitive, but we must continue to work hard to be able to reach a better contact feeling with the rear tyre”.
Scott Redding (6th – 2’03″333) – “This morning I was struggling a little bit, but then this afternoon I felt really comfortable with the bike and with the circuit, I got a good rhythm and I started to enjoy riding. I didn’t expect to be so fast today, so I’m happy wth the job we made so far. I made a really good result today, so the target for tomorrow is to get into the Qualifying 2 session, but I’m not sure if we can make it, if the temperature is coming up. Anyway, I will keep pushing and pushing!”.
Fausto Gresini – “Today Scott was really superb in front of his home crowd: for us it’s very nice to see him at the front with the ‘Production Racer’ Honda, that is a good bike that but not at the same level of a Factory machine. His gap from the other riders in front of him is really limited and this further demonstrates how he went fast today! As for Bautista, we could see some slight improvements, although Alvaro is still unable to exploit the rear tyre potential. We are working very hard to fix this issue and we will keep working”.
Drive M7 Aspar Report
He may have missed out on an eleventh straight win at Brno last time out but Marc Márquez returned to dominant form at Silverstone today, where he controlled the MotoGP time sheets throughout free practice. Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl both took turns at the top in the early stages of this afternoon’s second session but the Spaniard unleashed the full speed of his Honda on his seventh lap and he was untouchable from then on, even though Bradl managed to chip back the gap from a full second to just a half. Meanwhile Márquez’s main championship rivals appear to be struggling, with Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Rossi ending the day in ninth, eleventh and thirteenth position respectively.
The day started in discreet fashion for the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team with both Hiroshi Aoyama and Leon Camier struggling for feel in this morning’s opening session. The Japanese also had a problem with his bike at the start of the second practice but still managed to improve his lap time by 1.5 seconds, gathering confidence on his way to sixteenth place. The British rider found three seconds this afternoon as he continues his adaptation to MotoGP although a crash on his final lap provided a disappointing finish to the day for him.
16th Hiroshi Aoyama 2.04.762 (23 laps): “This morning we started out with the set-up we found in the post race test at Brno. It worked well there but I didn’t feel comfortable here so we took a step backwards this afternoon and went back to the best set-up we had. Unfortunately the bike broke down at the start of the session and we had to stop, which cost us the time we needed to try everything we wanted to try. Even so my feeling with the bike was better this afternoon than it was this morning and there is clearly more to come, especially in corner exit. Scott has lapped very fast with the same bike today and he has shown what is possible so the job tomorrow is to try and match him.”
17th Leon Camier 2.04.928 (28 laps): “I struggled for feeling in the first session and I couldn’t get any heat in the tyres, so that made it difficult to ride. We made some changes this afternoon and gradually improved the pace and the feeling with the bike, although we still have more to find. Unfortunately I made a stupid mistake at the end of the session and came off at the end of the back straight. I just ran off line onto the grass slightly and lost the front. I want to apologise to the team and hopefully tomorrow we can continue to improve. I noticed a lot of little bumps on track today, which unsettled the bike and I had to be careful not to crash a few times. Apart from the crash I enjoyed myself this afternoon and it was a great feeling to ride in front of the British fans.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft, Soft & Medium; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 – Dry. Ambient 16-16°C; Track 21-21°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 – Dry. Ambient 19-19°C; Track 26-30°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez got up to speed quickly in challenging conditions at Silverstone, the reigning champion getting within a couple of tenths of the Circuit Record Lap to finish half a second quicker than his closest rival in Friday practice.
In cool and blustery conditions, Marquez set a time of 2’02.126 in the afternoon Free Practice 2 session to finish 0.509 seconds ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl who was second quickest today. Third quickest on the opening day of action for the British Grand Prix was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso with a personal best lap time of 2’03.635. Both Marquez and Bradl set their best times using the combination of the soft compound front and medium compound rear slicks, while Dovizioso was able to set his best time on the medium compound front paired with the soft compound rear.
Conditions at Silverstone on Friday were overcast and cool with periods of very light rain, with the track temperature reaching a high of 30°C at the start of FP2. The morning FP1 session was particularly cool with track temperatures hovering around 20°C, resulting in almost every rider starting the session on the extra-soft front slick and softer option rear slicks to ensure maximum warm-up performance and grip. As track conditions and temperatures improved in the afternoon, many riders took the opportunity to evaluate the medium compound front slick, as they searched for better front-end stability at a circuit which features a couple of hard braking zones. Some riders also used the afternoon session to assess the harder rear slick options; medium compound for Ducati and Open-class, and hard for Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, with further evaluation of all rear slick options to take place during race simulations tomorrow before race tyre choice is decided.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department - “As is often the case at Silverstone, the cool temperatures and wind created a challenging situation for the riders today, and the riders also commented that the circuit is quite bumpy. However it was a good start to the race weekend as the riders tried many tyre combinations and the pace in FP2 was quite quick. All of our slick tyre options were evaluated and at this point it seems the soft compound front slick offers the best balance of warm-up potential and overall performance, and while the softer option rears are the preferred option right now, the harder rears also offer good performance so race tyre choice is still open at this stage. Given the pace we’ve seen today, the chance of seeing a new Circuit Best Lap record being set in qualifying tomorrow is good.”