Silverstone shootout sees Marquez and Rossi split by less than a tenth
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
MotoGP 2017 – Round 12 – Silverstone

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took a record-breaking pole and got down into the 1:59s for the first ever lap of Silverstone under the two minute marker in qualifying for the British GP, but it was far from easy as the reigning Champion just beat Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) to the top by less than a tenth.

Marc Marquez – P1

“I’m very happy with this pole. Honestly, before qualifying I didn’t expect to be able to get below two minutes, but when I put on the soft rear I felt extra grip and was already able to do 2’00.1” on the first run. At that point I understood that I could do better and maybe arrive at 1’59”. I didn’t do a perfect lap—here that’s very difficult as it’s a very long track—but it was a good one and we were able to achieve our target to be on the front row. Anyway, what’s more important for tomorrow is our rhythm, which isn’t bad. Our pace was also good yesterday, but the feeling I had with the bike was a bit worse compared to today. Tomorrow we’ll try to refine a few more details in the warm-up and choose the correct rear tyre for the race. It will be a long, tough one, as several other top guys have a good pace as well, but if everything is fine and we feel good, we’ll go and fight for the podium and, why not, for the victory as well.”

Valentino Rossi – P2

“I always lose a bit in the final section, I have a bit too much spin. I think I had a big advantage up until that point. Marc was barely inside the 1’59.9s, so I lost a bit, but not a lot. I’m close to the pole position, unfortunately it was not enough, but I’m so happy to start from the front row, that’s very important for the race. With the pace we are not fantastic, we’re a bit in trouble. I hope we have the time to try to fix all of the last details and I hope to be competitive tomorrow and fight for the podium.”

For incredibly close company in third there’s home hero Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) – fastest on Friday and on pole last year – with the whole front row covered by a tenth and a half.

Cal Crutchlow – P3

  “The expectation is that we can be on the podium tomorrow, we have to think like that because last year we were and I don’t think there’s any reason why we can’t do it this year. Marc, Valentino (Rossi) and Maverick (Viñales) are all very fast too so I will have to play a good game and hopefully we can have a good battle in front of the home crowd.  The expectation is that we can be on the podium tomorrow, we have to think like that because last year we were and I don’t think there’s any reason why we can’t do it this year. Marc, Valentino (Rossi) and Maverick (Viñales) are all very fast too so I will have to play a good game and hopefully we can have a good battle in front of the home crowd.The key today was to make no mistakes, and I didn’t make any big ones although I did run a bit wider in turn 13 which was my own fault, and Marc made a clean lap. I’m slightly disappointed not to go under the two-minute barrier because this was my aim today as I knew it would mean pole position, but I am pleased nonetheless. Last year I had pole here in the rain, then a dry ride to the podium, and I honestly don’t see any reason why we can’t do that again tomorrow. I feel like we have risen to the occasion this weekend. The bike is working well, the team are working great as always, so I’m looking forward to the race.”

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) heads up the second row a further two tenths back on Crutchlow, just ahead of the fastest man in FP4, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).

Maverick Viñales – P4

“I feel OK. I think we did a good job, especially in FP4, I’m quite happy about that. For qualifying we modified the bike a little bit and I didn’t feel that great, but anyway we know that we are quite strong here and tomorrow we are going to try to do our best. We didn’t make one big improvement today, we made small ones. Tomorrow we have one more chance to work and try to improve.”

As on Friday, the number 99 was top Ducati at Silverstone in qualifying – just ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso in P6; the Italian 0.173 back.

Jorge Lorenzo – P5

“Today I did a good qualifying session. I wasn’t satisfied with my first lap time but on my second run I set a time that I thought would be good enough for the front row. However some other riders improved their times and the track record was also lowered, which shows how much the bikes and the tyres are evolving. I’m happy with fifth however as well as being able to start from the front row, especially because this is not one of the most suitable circuits for our bike. My team has been working well and we managed to resolve the problem we had yesterday with the vibrations caused by bumps on the track. Now we have to improve our pace and I think that with a smoother riding style we can improve our race performance.”

Andrea Dovizioso – P6

“Today was rather complicated because unfortunately this morning it rained, and we lost almost all the FP3 session, without getting through the scheduled workload. At the end of FP4 we were able to improve enough, but I’m still not entirely happy and I hope that tomorrow in the warm-up we can make another step forward. We have a good pace but there are a lot of very fast riders out there, so we’ll see what it’s like in the race. However I’m satisfied with the time I set in qualifying, because starting from the first two rows was our aim and we achieved that.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) made the biggest leap forward on Saturday afternoon after a tough Friday and FP3, coming through Q1 to move up into seventh – and by only 0.006.

Dani Pedrosa – P7

“We did our best to recover from some very difficult practice sessions, and in the end we were able to improve our situation a bit. We gave 100% in QP1 and managed to move on to Q2 and do another decent lap time, as I was feeling a bit better with the soft tyre. That was the positive part of the day. On the other hand, we weren’t able to work as we wished during the practices, also considering that track conditions were not ideal in FP3, so we haven’t gathered too much data and didn’t do many good lap times. We still have work to do to try and improve the bike’s stability a bit more, and we have to decide which tyre to use for the race. We’ll see where we are tomorrow in the warm-up, but in any case, I’ll have to push hard from the start of the race.”

Just behind Pedrosa in the middle of the third row is Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completing Row 3 as he rides through the pain barrier.

Johann Zarco – P8

“Overall I am pleased with my starting position for the British Grand Prix. In FP3 we made a good step with the bike and compared to yesterday, I felt much better. To be honest, this morning I didn’t expect to improve on my lap but I managed to do this which was very positive. Then in Free Practice 4, I ran a solid rhythm and the times were more than satisfying, but it is difficult to keep the pace for the entire race distance at this circuit. Therefore, I think that this will be the biggest challenge, but I will fight. Anyway, because FP3 went well, I felt confident to push in qualifying and I rode some good times. It’s a shame that on the last lap I just missed out on the second row, which I think was certainly achievable. However to start from 8th is not a drama and it’s actually positive, as I feel comfortable on the bike and I will push. Tomorrow, I aim to wake up well and then stay relaxed because this will be key for the afternoon.”

Aleix Espargaro – P9

“Today was very difficult. I have had other injuries in my career, but none that have limited me this much. I have a lot of pain in my side, especially in the direction changes after a couple of laps. We are doing as much as possible with the Clinic, but since it is an internal problem, we cannot use infiltrations. By rationing my strength today I was able in any case to lap well, earning a good spot on the starting grid, and in general I am satisfied with the speed we have shown here at Silverstone. All I can do now is rest and tomorrow morning we will assess the situation.”

Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), the second graduate from Q1, also managed to make some progress on Saturday afternoon and will start from tenth – just ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaro.

Jonas Folger – P10

“I am really happy because we made a big improvement on the bike and I made a good step forward with myself. Yesterday was tough, but I felt much better today and we had a positive time in qualifying. We were able to try a different setting which made the Yamaha more stable on the exit and calmer overall. In addition, I was able to get out of Q1 which was very positive because it is never easy to do this. The team and I can be pleased as we did a great job but I think that we still have some room to improve, especially with regards to the front of the bike. We will analyse everything now, but for today, we went about things in the right way. Thanks to the team who worked really well and I’m sure that we can make another solid step tomorrow.”

Through directly to Q2 after a stunning Friday, Espargaro suffered a crash in qualifying but nevertheless took eleventh for the British GP as KTM continue to impress.

Pol Espargaro – P11

“We’ve had a good run here at Silverstone considering this KTM has never even been here before, but me and the bike still have scope to improve and we’ve worked hard on that happening, particularly for the race tomorrow. This may mean we’ve had to go close to the limit than the rest but you have to put everything on the table for qualifying. I didn’t have a bad first run but then on the second I was maybe over-pushing on the out lap to get a good wheel to do a good lap. I know 100% I could have improved my time but unluckily I crashed…but that’s the risk of racing on the edge and that’s what we need to do to push this project forward by finding the limits of the bike to improve it to make it better for next year. Overall we are very happy with the pace of the KTM this weekend to go through to Q2 directly in dry conditions – that’s another step we’ve made.”

Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) took P12 at a venue that has been a happy hunting ground for the Brit in the past.

Thirteenth on the grid belongs to Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) as the rookie shows some good pace at Silverstone, just ahead of Pull&Bear Aspar Team’s Alvaro Bautista, who begins his 250th race from P14. Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) locked out the fastest fifteen.

Alex Rins  – P13

“It’s been a positive day but the weather this morning did affect our plans. I felt confident to be able to improve in FP3, but the track conditions didn’t allow for much work. We recovered in FP4. The pace and also the overall feeling with the GSX-RR were very good. We were missing a little something that we needed to get into the Q2, which is a shame, but the positive thing is that I’m really enjoying my Suzuki in this circuit and I feel good about tomorrow’s race.”

Jack Miller admits that a couple of small but costly errors cost him crucial time in qualifying after making positive set-up changes that point to a strong race performance.

Jack Miller – P17

“I just didn’t put it all together when it counted in qualifying. I felt like I had good speed and my second run had the potential to have me further up the grid but I messed up the first sector and then ran a little wide in the final part of that lap. On my second run I had a bit of shake coming off turn two and ran off the track. My lap times are consistent but 17th on the grid is not ideal, I needed to do this time on Friday to get straight into Q2 but I’m feeling comfortable for the race.”

MotoGP 2017 – Round 12 – Silverstone – Qualifying Times
  1. MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’59.941
  2. ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2’00.025
  3. CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 2’00.106
  4. VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2’00.341
  5. LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 2’00.399
  6. DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 2’00.572
  7. PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 2’00.578
  8. ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2’00.622
  9. ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2’00.764
  10. FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 2’00.829
  11. ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2’01.378
  12. REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 2’01.994
  13. RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 2’01.285 Q1
  14. BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 2’01.340 Q1
  15. IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 2’01.567 Q1
  16. BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 2’01.669 Q1
  17. MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2’01.672 Q1
  18. PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 2’01.770 Q1
  19. SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 2’02.017 Q1
  20. ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 2’02.037 Q1
  21. BAZ Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 2’02.185 Q1
  22. RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2’02.211 Q1
  23. LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2’02.787 Q1

MotoGP 2017 – Round 12 – Silverstone - Qualifying Times
MotoGP 2017 – Round 12 – Silverstone – Qualifying Times

Mattia Pasini makes it a hat-trick for pole at Silverstone

Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) made it an impressive three pole positions in a row in qualifying for the British GP, heading the grid and with EG 0,0 Marc VDS for company once again: a close-fought fight that saw Alex Marquez emerge on top in second and Franco Morbidelli in third.

Takaaki Nakagami’s (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) good weekend continued in fourth, heading the second row for a solid springboard on race day. Just behind him was a late-charging Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) in fifth, with FP1’s fastest Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) completing the second row on the Suter.

Lorenzo Baldassari (Forward Racing) sported a new front fairing as he took seventh, with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in P8 and wanting to move forward in the race – but that’s something the Portuguese rider has made an impressive habit of.

Title challenger Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) had a more difficult session in P9, but did take victory last season and has recently announced his move to the premier class. Veteran Italian Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) completes the top ten.

Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) was top rookie once again in P11 but will be looking for more after a podium finish in the lightweight class last year, with fellow rookie Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto3) in twelfth despite a crash earlier in the day. Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing), Stefano Manzi (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) round out the fastest fifteen.

Remy Gardner aims to finish in the points for the fourth consecutive time tomorrow and will start the battle from the head of the seventh row. The Australian rookie began the day by notably powering to 6th in the morning practice. In the afternoon, he began the qualifying in a confident manner and pushed non-stop before finishing just under a second back from the top six. Tomorrow, Gardner intends to power through the pack in the race, which begins at 14:00 local time.

Remy Gardner – P19

“In the end, it was not a very good qualifying after the promise that we showed in FP3. I did my best but I couldn’t quite make the lap even though I gave it my all. We need to make a few adjustments for tomorrow, but I know that we can achieve this by having a positive warm up and so I’m confident that I can have a solid pace throughout the entire race. I will fight all the way until the end and I fully aim to close the weekend in the points.”

Moto2 Qualifying Results
  1. Mattia Pasini (ITA – Kalex) 2’06.572
  2. Alex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) +0.222
  3. Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) +0.245

MotoGP 2017 – Round 12 – Silverstone - Qualifying Times - Moto2
MotoGP 2017 – Round 12 – Silverstone – Qualifying Times – Moto2

Romano Fenati headed title rival Mir after a flurry of fast laps at the end

Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) left it late to take pole position for the Octo British Grand Prix, as a last lap dash for many of the lightweight class frontrunners hit boiling point in the final few seconds – and the Italian came out on top. The man he beat to the top spot, Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) was only a tenth off – making for an exciting prospect on race day as the two key title rivals head the front row. Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) completes that front row, continuing his run of form after taking pole in the last two races.

John McPhee (British Talent Team) heads the second row after a stunning qualifying session at home – with pole looking like a possibility until the final few seconds saw him just bumped off the first row. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took fifth in a promising qualifying for the Italian, with the second row completed by compatriot Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46). Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who took his first podium as a rookie at the track in 2016, was seventh fastest.

Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) were two to lose out in the mad rush at the end of the session, having sat first and second for some time. Bulega finished the session in eighth, with Martin taking ninth and completing the third row. Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing) was P10.

Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) put in a stunner in eleventh, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), Livio Loi (Leopard Racing), Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing). Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) rounded out the fastest fifteen on the grid.

Moto3 Qualifying Results
  1. Romano Fenati (ITA – Honda) 2’12.846
  2. Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) +0.116
  3. Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG – KTM) +0.203

MotoGP 2017 – Round 12 – Silverstone - Qualifying Times - Moto3
MotoGP 2017 – Round 12 – Silverstone – Qualifying Times – Moto3