Rossi Secures Superb Victory At Soaking Silverstone
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi gave a stunning performance at the British Grand Prix, taking a brilliant victory in challenging conditions. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also rode a brave race and secured fourth place.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi mastered the MotoGP field under difficult conditions, taking his first victory at Silverstone to continue his streak of consecutive podiums finishes this season, making it twelve. Jorge Lorenzo encountered some difficulties but fought bravely at the British Grand Prix to claim a solid fourth place.
Tension built as rain picked up just as the race was about to start. The race was declared dry, so all riders had to make the agonising choice whether they would start from pit lane on a wet setting or on slicks from the grid. However, after the warm up lap all riders decided to come into pit lane to swop bikes, making race direction decide to delay the start and reduce the race to 20 laps.
Twenty-five minutes later the MotoGP field lined up on the grid for a second attempt, this time prepared for a wet race. Rossi was the fastest man in similar conditions in the morning warm up and quickly fought his way up the order from his fourth place grid position. The Doctor moved into third position to hunt down Marc Marquez, passing him with a brilliant move at the start of the second lap.
The nine-time World Champion then set his sights on his teammate and increased his pace. He made the audience cheer when he took over the lead, posting a 2'21.807, the fastest lap of the race thus far. Under pressure from Marquez, he continued to pick up the pace and used his experience to keep his rival at bay until the Spaniard crashed out with eight laps to go, but the race wasn't won yet.
Rossi kept pushing on as Danilo Petrucci started closing in, towing Andrea Dovizioso. Aware of the threat the Doctor managed a gap of more than 1.5s perfectly. With two laps remaining Rossi raised the bar and expanded his margin by nearly one and a half second to take a faultless victory by 3.010s.
Teammate Lorenzo also had a strong start from second on the grid. He shot off the line to take the holeshot into first turn and kept the lead when he crossed the line for the first time. He was passed by Rossi and Marquez on the second lap, moving him down to third. Lorenzo did well to remain seated on his bike when he bashed fairings with Pol Espagrarò two laps later, but lost valuable time and was unable to make up the gap that was created between him and the top two.
The Majorcan continued to have a challenging outing as his visor fogged up. Continuing the race with impaired vision, he got involved in a scrap with Petrucci, Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa for third place. Lorenzo fell back to sixth, but kept his fighting spirit and with seven laps left he got a second wind. With Marquez crashed out he found himself back in fifth place and fought his way back to fourth position, which he held over the line, 5.726 s off his teammate.
Rossi's first place earns him 25 points, while Lorenzo's fourth fourth place of the year adds 13 points to his score. These results put the Doctor back in the lead of the championship with 236 points, 12 points ahead of Lorenzo in second place with a 224 points total.
1st / 46'15.617 / 20 laps
"I'm very happy and proud of this victory, it's a great feeling! I think that the last race on the wet that I won was ten years ago. This morning I woke up feeling good, but my team also did a great job and my bike was fantastic already from the first lap of the warm up. I felt great and got more feeling and positive things from the bike, so I knew I could be competitive in the race. I fought a lot with Marc, which was very difficult. I kept trying to break away but he stayed with me. I saw that Marc crashed on the mega screen and I didn't hear noise of his bike, so I already thought that maybe something had happened. After he crashed I slowed down, because I thought I had enough of an advantage but in reality Danilo wasn't so far, so I had to recover my concentration and start to push, because if I didn't he would catch me. This is my fourth victory of the season, so I'm very happy and it's important for the championship. Today I was very fast, I had great confidence with the bike and it's a fantastic victory at Silverstone, where I never won before, this is the first time!"
4th / +5.726 / 20 laps
"At the first start with the slicks the situation was very dangerous, so I was happy when it started raining more so we could start with the rain tyre. The feeling in the first three or four laps was good and I was riding well, but the other riders started going faster than me. Valentino and Marquez passed me and I was in third position losing time every lap. They had a better pace than me early on in the race and I couldn't do anything to follow them. Suddenly, when entering the chicane, I almost had a big crash with Espargarò who made a incomprehensible move and it was a miracle I stayed on the bike. I was upset, but luckily I remained on the track and I tried to stay in third position, but Petrucci, Dovizioso and Pedrosa passed me. I was able to move faster and was getting better and passed Dani. In the last laps I arrived at Dovizioso, who made some mistakes, but it started to get colder and raining more. I completely lost my vision, because the visor was foggy and had to slow down and lost a chance at the third place, which was a pity. In the rain I didn't have the same pace as Valentino and Marquez."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We couldn't be happier for Valentino after this amazing result. He rode a perfect race in very difficult conditions, keeping cool under pressure from his rivals to take a well-deserved victory. Despite having issues that compromised his race, Jorge really showed his class to keep focus and bring it home in fourth. We have to thank the whole team who also showed their professionalism under pressure, working hard to make the last minute changes required to prepare the bikes for the changing weather conditions. We add another great Grand Prix victory to our tally for the year and head to Misano in two weeks time confident that we can fight for more."
Smith powers through the rain to finish 7th at Silverstone
Bradley Smith undertook a solid effort as he battled the wet conditions at the Silverstone track to finish his home Grand Prix in 7th position. The 20 lap race began in chaotic conditions, as after the race was declared dry, rain started to fall on the warm up lap which caused the start to be stopped due to a red flag being shown. All riders switched to their wet bikes and when the GP began, Smith jumped forward as the lights went out and pushed to remain with the factory MotoGP riders. At the close of the first lap, the 24 year old was running in 6th position however, one lap later he was shuffled back to 9th. Nevertheless, the young Briton remained focused and moved up two places at the close of the third lap. He was firmly in his race rhythm as he aimed to continue his climb, but he was overtaken by his teammate at the midpoint of the race and bumped back to 8th. Yet, Smith carried on fighting and with the five laps remaining, he was running in 7th position. He continued his work and after guiding his Yamaha YZR-M1 around the slippery 5.9 kilometre Silverstone circuit, he sped across the finish line in the same position.
Meanwhile on the opposite side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Pol Espargaro suffered bad luck despite a fearless effort as he fell on the 15th lap at the British Grand Prix. The young Spaniard undertook a rocket start and muscled his way up one place to finish the first lap in 4th and running right with the factory MotoGP bikes. However, he then unfortunately slipped back to 10th on the 4th lap after making contact with another rider which caused him to run off the track. Yet, he remained focused and brilliantly powered onwards as he climbed back through the field after riding at a notable pace. He jumped past his teammate to clinch 7th on lap 10, yet his luck ran out and he fell at the third corner with less than a quarter of the race distance left to run. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion will now seek to bounce back with a strong finish at Misano in a fortnight's time.
7th / +26.717 / 20 laps
"I have to be quite pleased with the end result as the conditions were far from ideal out there today but I did my best. I was a bit nervous on the grid about riding in the damp conditions as last year we struggled when it was wet, but we've improved the bike by more than 100% in terms of performance. Here, I was on average about 1.2 seconds a lap slower than the fastest guy, whereas in Aragon last year we were further behind in terms of times, so the team have done a fantastic job in giving me a bike that I can ride more confidently in the wet. I gave my absolute all to stay with the second group in order to try to fight for a podium, but at the end of the day they just had a bit more speed than me. So, I aimed to not make any mistakes and be as consistent as possible. I tried to hold off Redding in the final laps, as I really wanted to get the top six, but unfortunately he was too strong for me today. So overall, it's a damage limitation in a way as we did the best that we could, yet I am now behind Dovizioso by 5 points in the championship standings. Therefore, it was not an ideal day, but not terrible at all either. I want to say thanks to all my fans who came out to cheer for me today and next up for us is Misano in two week's time."
DNF / -6 laps
"It was a game of two halves as on one hand I am pleased with my performance yet at the same time I am disappointed because of the crash but we still need to look at the positives. I started the race well and I was running near the front as my rhythm was good and I was able to follow Jorge quite easily. I felt I was faster than him and I tried to overtake, but as this happened, I thought there was a chance that he could cut back across, as he ran wide. Therefore, I didn't want to cause a collision as he is a factory Yamaha rider fighting for the championship, so I took evasive action to avoid touching him. As a result, I lost several positions and a lot of time. After that, I was behind my brother and I had to refocus plus concentrate again. I made up the time to Aleix and passed him as well as my teammate but as soon as I had opened up quite a significant gap to them, I made a mistake. I unfortunately lost the rear in the entry to the third corner which prevented me from finishing the race. Despite this, we have to take the positives of the weekend because we've made some really good progress, besides the crash, and we will take this momentum with us to the next race."
Difficult race for Forward Racing at Silverstone
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone ended in the pouring rain for the riders of the Forward Racing team. Loris Baz and Claudio Corti in fact, after a race with difficult weather conditions, crossed the line in 16th and 18th place respectively.
After an excellent pole position yesterday, Baz struggled to find the right feeling with the wet setting and was forced to give up some positions just after the start. The Frenchman, who started in 15th position, passed under the checkered flag in 16th place after 20 laps, less than two seconds from the points-zone.
Little feeling with the wet set-up also for Claudio Corti, 18th on the finish line and on his maiden race in these conditions with Yamaha Forward. The Italian, 23rd on the grid, after a good start began to lose rear grip and was forced to lower his pace.
16th / +1'19.310 / 20 laps
"After the great pole yesterday, it was not the race that I imagined. For the first time since the Qatar test I found myself lapping in wet conditions with a setting that I knew little and I have not had a chance get used to. At the beginning the feeling was good so I was able to stay in the group of the other Open but when the tires started to wear I had to slow down my pace and give way to my opponents."
18th / +1'58.086 / 20 laps
"It was a difficult race, affected by the weather. I never had the opportunity to ride the Yamaha Forward on a wet track and it was not easy to race with a completely new setup. I was missing rear grip and this prevented me to push as much as I wanted. We will have to exploit the data gathered today and continue to work in this direction for the next races."