After the two races in the Czech Republic and Austria, MotoGP moves across the Channel for the third event in August, this time on the fast and challenging Silverstone circuit. Following a splendid win for Andrea Dovizioso and a positive fourth place for Jorge Lorenzo at Spielberg, the Ducati Team now finds itself in the UK for the twelfth round of the 2017 championship.
Dovizioso has been on the podium three times at Silverstone, thanks to two second places in 2010 and 2011 and a third place in 2015, but last year the Italian rider had to settle for sixth overall due to increasing stiffness in his right forearm, which prevented him from pushing hard. Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo has a truly impressive record at the British circuit, winning three times – in 2010, 2012 and 2013 – while last year the Spanish rider finished in eighth place.
Both Ducati Team riders completed a day’s testing at Misano Adriatico on Tuesday in preparation for the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP, scheduled for mid-September at the Riviera circuit. They notched up a lot of laps (102 for Dovizioso and 92 for Lorenzo) on a hot sunny day, and set some positive times on their Desmosedici GP machines. They were also joined on track by Michele Pirro, who will have a wild-card entry in the race on September 10th.
The Silverstone weekend gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am (UK time, 10.55 CET), while the 20-lap race is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 3.30 pm (16.30 CET).
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (158 points)
“After the win in Austria I’m really happy to get back on track at Silverstone. The British circuit is beautiful, but for sure the weekend will be very challenging due to the always changeable weather conditions, and also because the track is full of bumps that make everything more difficult. The test at Misano was very important because we were able to do some work that will be useful both for Silverstone and for the San Marino GP in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 7th (79 points)
“The last two races at Brno and in Austria have boosted my confidence because we improved in many areas and so the aim for Silverstone is to continue this positive trend and get amongst the front-runners right from first practice on Friday. I really like this track, despite the bumps in the surface we have found in the last few years. One of the key factors for the race will be the weather, which is always pretty unstable in England, but our bike has proved to be competitive both in the wet and the dry. Tuesday’s test at Misano was positive and confirmed that we are working in the right direction: I did almost 100 laps and I am now riding my Desmosedici more naturally.”
The Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone, situated half-way between Oxford and Northampton and a couple of hours drive from London, started life as an RAF military airport, and is the longest – as well as one of the fastest – circuits on the entire calendar. With more than sixty years of history behind it, it is one of the world’s most prestigious motorsport venues, with races held for all categories, both four wheels and two. Massive investments saw the completion of a first phase of improvement work to greatly improve the venue in 2010, when the track once again became the venue for the British Grand Prix.
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 2’00.234 (176.6 km/h) – 2015
Circuit record: Pedrosa (Honda), 2’01.941 (174.1 km/h) – 2013
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 2’00.234 (176.6 km/h) – 2015
Top Speed: Iannone (Ducati), 332.4 km/h – 2015
Track Length: 5.9 km
Race Distance: 20 laps (118.0 km)
Corners: 18 (8 left, 10 right)
Race Start: 16.30 CET
Podium: 1st Viñales (Suzuki), 2nd Crutchlow (Honda), 3rd Rossi (Yamaha)
Pole Position: Crutchlow (Honda), 2’19.265 (152.514 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Viñales (Suzuki), 2’02.339 (173.615 km/h)