For the third time of the 2010 MotoGP season, Jorge Lorenzo tasted victory, winning Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone by 6.743 seconds. Joining the Spaniard on the podium at Round 5 of 18 races were Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies, respectively.
Things were flowing in a positive direction for the Fiat Yamaha rider since the action started at Silverstone – Lorenzo was quickest in Free Practice 1, then took his first pole of the season. During his victory race, Lorenzo set the new circuit record lap of 2:03.526 on lap 4; this blistering fast lap will now be the standard on the 3.66-mile Silverstone circuit, a track that didn’t see any MotoGP action since 1986.
Lorenzo has now further extended his championship lead to 115 points out of a perfect 125, giving him additional headway en route to a possible first MotoGP title. Adding to this headway is the absence of his teammate Valentino Rossi. The nine-time champion will be sidelined for the next four to five months after breaking his leg during practice for his hometown race at Mugello 14 days ago.
Arriving in second after the 20-lap race was the Italian Dovizioso, the Repsol Honda rider’s highest finish so far this season. His strong performance at Silverstone, combined with his third-place finishes at Qatar, Le Mans and Mugello, place him in second-place in the championship, 37 points behind Lorenzo.
For the first time this season, the rookie Ben Spies grabbed the last podium spot. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider finished only 0.217 of a second behind Dovizioso. Considering the British track was relatively unknown to all MotoGP riders and not just Spies, the Texan’s best finish of the year came when the lack of experience was equal.
From the start, it was a battle of the Spaniards as Lorenzo grabbed the holeshot, getting out front of Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. The two battled for the lead a few times, swapping it before the 23-year-old Lorenzo was the only one out front. During this lap, San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Melandri crashed out.
Following Lorenzo and Pedrosa were LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet, Dovizioso and Ducati rider Nicky Hayden. Hayden’s teammate Stoner, who started from sixth on the grid, had a bad start and fell to the back quickly.
By lap seven, Lorenzo already had a five-second lead as Pedrosa began losing positions. He would continually fall back, finishing eight at the end. Pedrosa suffered a crash during qualifying on Saturday that bruised both of his knees.
On lap 13, Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi went down at Copse while attempting to overtake Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati rider Hector Barbera. Meanwhile Lorenzo was alone out front, and Dovizioso, De Puniet and Hayden were only separated by less than a half of second, with Spies lurking in fifth.
The Australian Casey Stoner, who was the only other rider besides Lorenzo to break the 2:04 barrier, moved from eight to sixth by the 17th lap. During this lap, Hayden and Spies passed De Puniet, putting the Frenchman in fifth. But he wouldn’t be in fifth long – Stoner would also pass De Puniet on this lap, ultimately finishing in fifth.
On the final lap, Lorenzo was clearly the winner, and Dovizioso was far enough out front to not be challenged for second. It looked as if Hayden would finally make it onto the podium, but at Farm Curve Spies passed his fellow American, and held on for third.
Hayden would finish fourth, a very consistent finish for the Kentucky Kid this year. Out of the last five races, Hayden has finished in the same position four times, giving him fifth in the championship. Following him to the line 0.180 of a second later was Stoner. De Puniet finished sixth, with the more fortunate San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Marco Simoncelli in seventh, the rookie’s best finish this year. Rounding out the top ten were Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards in ninth, and Pramac Racing Ducati rider Aleix Espargaró.
In typical Lorenzo style, he celebrated victory with theatrics, this time dressing in a jacket similar to what the Beatles wore on their Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album, joining three other men adorning similar garb.
Besides the absence of Rossi, the only other rider to not start was Interwetten Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama, who was getting examined following a crash during Sunday’s warm-up session.
2010 MotoGP Silverstone Results:
1 (99) Jorge LORENZO, SPA, Fiat Yamaha Team, 41’34.083
2 (4) Andrea DOVIZIOSO, ITA, Repsol Honda, +6.743
3 (11) Ben SPIES, USA, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, +7.097
4 (69) Nicky HAYDEN, USA, Ducati Team, +7.314
5 (27) Casey STONER, AUS, Ducati Team, +7.494
6 (14) Randy DE PUNIET, FRA, LCR Honda, +9.055
7 (58) Marco SIMONCELLI, ITA, San Carlo Honda, +14.425
8 (26) Dani Pedrosa, SPA, Repsol Honda, +15.313
9 (5) Colin EDWARDS, USA, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, +27.954
10 (41) Aleix ESPARGARO, SPA, Pramac Racing Team Ducati, +42.394
11 (40) Hector BARBERA, SPA, Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati, +43.365
12 (19) Alvaro BAUTISTA, SPA, Rizla Suzuki, +43.408
13 (36) Mika KALLIO, FIN, Pramac Racing Team Ducati, +43.580
DNF: (65) Loris CAPIROSSI, ITA, Rizla Suzuki, crashed Lap 13
DNF: (33) Marco MELANDRI, ITA, San Carlo Honda, crashed Lap 1
DNS: (7) Hiroshi AOYAMA, JPN, Interwetten Honda