Round 12 – Silverstone
Qualifying Results & Report
Jorge Lorenzo scored a sensational pole position in a delayed Q2 session at Silverstone overnight.
Teammate Andrea Dovizioso earned his third consecutive front row start after clocking the second best time on a track split between wet patches and a dry line.
Jorge Lorenzo – P1
“I’m very happy with my second pole position of the season. The track conditions were really difficult and it was easy to make mistakes, but there was still enough water on the track to make us use rain tyres and my strategy worked well. I pushed hard right from the start to see where the limit was and then I warmed up the tyres bit by bit before attacking on the final lap. Despite making a couple of errors under braking, I did a very good final split and it was enough for the best time. In addition to the pole, Andrea is also in second place and I’m very pleased for the team because this is a fantastic result. As for the race itself, if it’s really wet tomorrow, I believe we will be competitive. I’m feeling pretty good on my bike, even though I’m worried about the track conditions at Turn 7 should it rain a lot. In any case we have to wait and prepare for a race that will surely be very tough.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P2
“All things considered, today went very well because in these conditions it was easy to make errors: three-quarters of the track was completely dry and managing to do a good time with the rain tyres was really difficult, but we succeeded. It was vital to start from the front row because tomorrow it’ll probably rain; as we haven’t really lapped in the wet we don’t know what to expect and so starting from the front is for sure an advantage. We’ve been competitive and fast this weekend, and in the dry we are in good shape, then tomorrow if it rains we’ll find new conditions, but it’s the same for everyone and we’ll try and adapt to the situation in the best way.”
That makes it a first Ducati 1-2 since 2006, with the two Bologna bullets joined on the front row by Johann Zarco as the Frenchman returned to his early season qualifying form to impress.
Johann Zarco – P3
“It was not easy because of the conditions. We had a rain tyre with almost dry conditions, but that’s what I love on the bike. I could really make a difference. The others started the session quite fast, so I had to push a lot to gain a good lap time. Then I cooled down the tyre, did a good lap time again and I was first. For the second last lap I slowed down again and Marc (Marquez) was there waiting with some others. I knew I had the advantage, so I didn’t want to help them to go faster. I waited and pushed on the last lap, which was really at the limit with the chequered flag. Finally, it was a good lap, I could improve and make it to the front row. But I was fighting with Marc and I think we lost a little bit of time there. I enjoy this first row. We don’t know the conditions tomorrow yet, but I want to use this opportunity to stay with the front until the end.”
The start of the second qualifying session was delayed following an incident involving several riders in FP4, including Tito Rabat, who was taken to hospital nearby and will take no further part in the weekend. Heavy rain had started to fall and since the new tarmac didn’t drain the water away, large puddles formed at different points of the track. In turn 7, better known as Stowe, the accumulation of water was enormous and several riders, Tito Rabat being one of them, crashed. When Tito got up to reach the safety of the trackside barriers, he was hit by Franco Morbidelli’s bike with full force. The first medical assessment revealed that Rabat broke femur, tibia and fibula of his right leg. The Spanish rider was airlifted to the University Hospital of Coventry by helicopter for emergency surgery.
Once the green flags flew once again, the stage was set for a very close showdown for pole.
After graduating from Q1, Bradley Smith was the early pace-setter, before Jack Miller led Dovizioso and Pramac teammate Danilo Petrucci over the line to give the Desmosedicis a provisional front row lock out.
But that was just the start of the constant chopping and changing for pole, with home hero Cal Crutchlow, Zarco and Dovizioso then setting the fastest times of the session in tandem.
Not long after it was a case of deja vu for Miller as the Australian took the gamble to head out on slicks, just like he did in Argentina when it paid off for pole.
This time, however, the cards – or the clock – didn’t deal him the same hand and at the front it remained a wet tyre dominated game as Lorenzo made his move to go provisional pole by 0.159, just pipping teammate Dovizioso.
Ultimately that was all she wrote, and the two Ducatis stayed P1 and P2 as the chequered flag came out. There was a late change to who would join them on the front row though, with Zarco knocking Crutchlow out of third on his final lap – meaning the Brit starts P4 at his home GP.
Cal Crutchlow – P4
“I’m obviously disappointed, I wanted the front row or pole position. But I did the best I could with the package that we have and the bike we have. We need to concentrate on the race tomorrow and see what will happen but unfortunately it doesn’t look great with regards to the weather, that’s not great for us because I don’t think we can ride with the amount of rain that they say is going to come tomorrow. They decided to anticipate the race trying to avoid risks for the riders and I think this is the best decision. I hope it’s going to be a nice race most of all for my British fans”.
For Championship leader Marc Marquez, meanwhile, it was a tricky session. Managing to salvage P5 on his final lap – 0.928 behind the Ducati duo – the reigning Champion and former winner at the venue will be gunning for a good start from Row 2.
Marc Marquez – P5
“I’m satisfied with the result because the conditions were very special today, in that it wasn’t as a ‘flag-to-flag’ situation, with the track passing from dry to wet or vice-versa. Here, we had one part of the track completely wet and the other part completely dry. I struggled a bit, maybe because my riding style is somewhat aggressive, or maybe I wasn’t able to find the right balance. Anyway, we saved the day and we’re on the second row, just a few metres from the front, which is positive. It looks like tomorrow could be another tricky day, possibly with heavy rain, so it will be important to analyse the track conditions and try to stay up there. We also must consider that if the conditions are like what we had at the end of FP4, we cannot race. The aquaplaning was very dangerous; I nearly crashed, and many other riders fell almost one after the other. Depending on the situation, Race Direction needs to evaluate what to do, but they have a lot of experience and I’m sure they’ll make the best decision.”
Danilo Petrucci eventually claimed sixth to join the Hondas of Crutchlow and Marquez on the second row.
Danilo Petrucci – P6
“It was a very difficult day. In the FP4 we were very frightened with the track too wet at the end of the second straight. A thought to Tito: I saw his accident and it was really shocking. We start from the second row and to be honest it is a good result”.
Andrea Iannone spearheads the third row for Sunday’s showdown, ahead of a stunning showing from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Q1 graduate Smith. The Brit took the Austrian factory’s best qualifying of the season in P8, just ahead of the gambling Miller. Smith’s fellow Q1 graduate Alex Rins rounds out the top ten.
Andrea Iannone – P7
“The conditions were really difficult today during the last part of FP4 and throughout qualifying. I think tomorrow if it rains like that, it might not be possible to race. I hope that if it does rain tomorrow it will be more ‘standard’ conditions, but it seems that it doesn’t drain very quickly. It was difficult to control the situation because we all have aqua-planing on the braking points, and in QP almost 80% of the track was dry but some parts were very wet. But let’s see what happens tomorrow, we hope it will not be so bad.”
Bradley Smith – P8
“No messing around today. In qualifying I just had a feeling. I was out on the mediums, I knew most of the track was dry and just had to check out the three corners at the back of the circuit, once I realised they had pretty good grip I decided to get on with it. I went to take the best out of the tyre but we got a second lap out of it, which was positive. The issue then was that I had to go into Q2 with no tyres left, just used ones, and had to let it cool down as much as I could. To only be 1.3 away then we’ll take that and it’s been a good day and certainly makes tomorrow a lot easier. The guys are looking at the data today to work out where we can make it work a little better if there is rain.”
Jack Miller – P9
“I tried to get out with slicks. In the first two laps, I pushed hard taking many risks. Then I figured out what trajectory to take. I’m sure that with another lap I could have done the pole position as in Argentina. However, there is a lot of confidence for tomorrow’s race.”
Alex Rins – P10
“When I left the box, on the first out lap, I saw that the straight was covered in water but I thought it must be OK because Race Direction would have put the red flag out if it was very dangerous. But when I arrived at full gas the bike was aqua-planing and I saw the wall coming so I decided to jump off the bike, and then many other riders crashed there. We made some changes on the bike today, and we improved in some of the areas where we were losing out, so that was positive. Tomorrow we’ll start in the Top 10 so we hope to make a good race from there and stay with the front group.”
After such a strong start to the weekend, Q2 didn’t go the way Maverick Viñales and teammate Valentino Rossi would have envisioned. The Spaniard will start P11, with Rossi just behind after missing out on a final flying lap by a fraction of a second.
Maverick Viñales – P11
“I focused a lot in FP4 and my point of reference was improving my feeling on the bike. We improved it quite a lot compared to yesterday, and I think we made a step forward in terms of rhythm. I’m actually happy, but it’s true that on wet we still have to work a lot. The weather is the same for everyone, so we need to try to find a way to go fast. Luckily, we have some data and some things to work on.”
It’s 12th for the ‘Doctor’, but he’ll have memories of his Austrian ride through the field fresh in his mind as he aims to continue racking up good points scores to cement his second place in the championship points standings.
Valentino Rossi – P12
“It’s a great shame and I’m very upset because we had a good strategy with the right tyres, but unfortunately we were a little bit tight with the time. We made a mistake in the box and lost too much time changing the tyre and I took the flag by two seconds, so I was also a little bit unlucky. It’s a pity because I did a 2’10.7s on the last lap, so that would’ve been P5. It would have been good to start from the second row, that was my target, but unfortunately I took the flag and the lap was cancelled. I have to start from 12th and it will be more difficult. For me, the grip on the asphalt in the wet is not so bad, the problem is that the track doesn’t drain enough, because it’s very new. If there is a lot of water, it stays on the top and causes aquaplaning. When it’s like that, it’s very dangerous.”
The shake-up on the grid sets us up for a classic on Sunday, with former winners at the venue scattered over the first few rows and everything to play for. What will the weather bring? Find out when the lights go out at 2030 AEST this evening.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 2’10.155
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 2’10.314 / 0.159
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’10.439 / 0.284
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 2’10.615 / 0.460
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 2’11.083 / 0.928
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Alma Pramac Racing 2’11.317 / 1.162
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 2’11.495 / 1.340
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’11.514 / 1.359
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing 2’12.173 / 2.018
- RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar 2’12.504 / 2.349
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2’12.514 / 2.359
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2’13.504 / 3.349
- MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’13.945 Q1
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’14.171 / 0.831
- LUTHI Tom 12 SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’14.198 / 0.858
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 2’14.866 / 1.526
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’15.141 / 1.801
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’15.299 / 1.959
- NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda 2’15.377 / 2.037
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Angel Nieto Team 2’15.721 / 2.381
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Angel Nieto Team 2’16.106 / 2.766
- SIMEON Xavier 10 BEL Reale Avintia Racing 2’16.451 / 3.111
- SYAHRIN Hafizh 55 MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’16.483 / 3.143
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing 2’02.640 FP3
MotoGP Championship Standings
- MARQUEZ Marc SPA 201 Repsol Honda Team
- ROSSI Valentino ITA 142 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- LORENZO Jorge SPA 130 Ducati Team
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 129 Ducati Team
- VINALES Maverick SPA 113 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- PETRUCCI Danilo ITA 105 Alma Pramac Racing
- ZARCO Johann FRA 104 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- CRUTCHLOW Cal GBR 103 LCR Honda
- IANNONE Andrea ITA 84 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- RINS Alex SPA 66 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- PEDROSA Dani SPA 66 Repsol Honda Team
- MILLER Jack AUS 61 Alma Pramac Racing
- BAUTISTA Alvaro SPA 57 Angel Nieto Team
- RABAT Tito SPA 35 Reale Avintia Racing
- ESPARGARO Pol SPA 32 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- SYAHRIN Hafizh MAL 24 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- MORBIDELLI Franco ITA 22 EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- ESPARGARO Aleix SPA 17 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- SMITH Bradley GBR 15 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- REDDING Scott GBR 12 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- NAKAGAMI Takaaki JPN 11 LCR Honda
- KALLIO Mika FIN 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- ABRAHAM Karel CZE 4 Angel Nieto Team
Championship leader leaves it late to snatch pole in drying conditions, with Marquez P3
On a drying Silverstone circuit, Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) grabbed pole position on his final lap at the GoPro British Grand Prix to deny a maiden Moto2™ pole for Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing). Nevertheless, the Australian took his first career front row start in P2, with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the front row in third.
Sunny skies welcomed the Moto2 grid for qualifying after rain had disrupted much of the day and as expected, the quickest lap times came at the end of the session as track conditions continued to improve.
Bagnaia sat on provisional pole with less than three minutes remaining, before Free Practice’s fastest rider Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) jumped to the top, closely followed by Marquez at the checkered flag before Gardner lit up the timing screens – going provisional pole by 0.064. However, despite making a mistake on his penultimate run, the Championship leader was able to get a final flying lap in – making it count to snatch pole by nearly two-tenths.
“It’s just incredible! I didn’t even know I was in the front row until half the lap was done, I looked at a screen and saw second. It’s a fantastic feeling, I definitely didn’t expect to be here some months ago with two broken legs. I made a great comeback and honestly, I’m pretty lost for words at the moment.”
Schrötter slipped down to fourth, with Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) ending qualifying in fifth after jumping from 18th with only seconds remaining. Fabio Quartararo (+ Ego Speed Up Racing) lines up at the rear of the second row, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) just 0.016 behind the Frenchman, in seventh.
Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors) secured eighth place on the grid, just ahead of teammate and home favourite Sam Lowes in ninth, despite the British rider battling for pole throughout as he aims to earn a first podium of the season in front of his home crowd.
Rookie Romano Fenati (Marinelli Snipers Team) rounds out the top ten in qualifying, with Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) producing a heroic ride in P11 despite fracturing his wrist at the Austrian GP. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) completes the top 12.
Championship challenger Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has some serious work to do on Sunday if he’s to challenge title rival Bagnaia at Silverstone, as the Portuguese rider could only manage P23 on Saturday afternoon after a difficult weekend so far.
Moto2 Qualifying Results
- Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) KALEX 2’08.153
- Remy Gardner (AUS) TECH 3 +0.194
- Alex Marquez (SPA) KALEX +0.258
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) continues to defy the odds after taking pole position at the GoPro British Grand Prix despite still recovering from a broken wrist – coming back out after the rain with three minutes on the clock and winning the mad three-minute dash to pole. But by the end of the flurry it was incredibly close, with Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) just 0.001 behind in second and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) only a further 0.020 in arrears to complete a tightly-contested front row.
It was Martin’s teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio who sat on provisional pole as a shower hit Silverstone with 20 minutes of the session to go. However, the sun soon re-appeared, giving the lightweight class just enough time to get two more flying laps in. Fourth place Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) joined Martin, Masia and Dalla Porta in leapfrogging ‘Diggia’ at the end, and the Italian was eventually forced to settle for fifth.
Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) will line up sixth on the grid, with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) slipping to seventh after sitting P2 before the riders came back out and left to rue his late crash at Turn 11 while on a personal best lap.
Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) will launch from P8 on the grid as the Italian threatened the front row on his final run, with Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) grabbing ninth and Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) rounding out the top ten.
Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) was tucked in behind Martin on the final flying lap before suddenly sliding out at Turn 9 to end his hopes of a British GP pole – P11 for the Italian.
Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) will start 12th despite an incident with Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing), just ahead of Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), who missed the opportunity to improve his time by heading out on wets and then sitting it out. Friday’s fastest man Philipp Öttl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) P14. Norrodin rounds out the fastest fifteen.
Moto3 Qualifying Results
- Jorge Martin (SPA) HONDA 2’13.292
- Jaume Masia (SPA) KTM +0.001
- Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) HONDA +0.021