The 2013 MotoGP Championship wraps up three back-to-back rounds this weekend at the Silverstone circuit in the UK.
The round official began Thursday with the traditional pre-race conference. In attendance was the current MotoGP leader, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the rookie’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, the Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, home favorite, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, and future Honda Gresini pilot Scott Redding (currently a Marc VDS Racing rider in Moto2).
Marquez, who has won the past four consecutive rounds, was still cautious about this weekend’s Silverstone MotoGP, round 12 of 18.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “We will see how this weekend goes. Normally here I struggle a little bit in Moto2. 125 was good but I struggled a bit in Moto2. We will see over the weekend. We will try like always to do our best, but I think Cal will be fast here – he even was last year with a foot injury. Anyway, I’m happy and I feel good. It looks fun with MotoGP. I look forward to trying it. It will be heavier, but nice on the long straights. I think we can do a good weekend.”
Pedrosa, who finished second at last weekend’s round in Brno, is almost back to fitness and ready to challenge Marquez for the title.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Yes, fitness-wise I’m much better every week which is a big relief. Last race I had a big push and tried to fight for the win, so that is important for the mind-set – for me and for the team. Every few days I feel better and am able to train a little harder, so that is positive. It was always super cold or even raining here, so it was always really hard for the tires. Maybe this time in August it will be easier for the tires and we will be able to enjoy the track more.”
Yamaha still hasn’t introduced the new seamless gearbox on the YZR-M1s, so Lorenzo and Rossi will have to push harder than usual at Silverstone.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I am trying to win races because we have to recover points after Assen and the Sachsenring and everything that has happened, but at the moment it’s not possible. We’ll have to see what happens here with a different track, but at the moment we have to wait for Saturday.
“For this moment we must focus on trying to win races and forget about the championship. We are still not on the level I expect to win the race, but things can change suddenly…and maybe this weekend…so we don’t need to change the motivation.”
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I think Silverstone is a super track. Very good, very fast, and so big for MotoGP. Unfortunately the first time, in 2010, I had to see the race on television – and the last two years I liked the track a lot, but I was never strong enough – so I don’t have many good memories. But it’s now the first time with the Yamaha and I hope to be faster.”
Though grabbing the second pole of his MotoGP career at Brno, Crutchlow crashed out. The Brit – and future Ducati Team rider – will be looking to redeem himself this weekend at his home round.
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Monster Tech 3 YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Yeah it’s great to come back home to the British Grand Prix, and Silverstone is the perfect place to have it. I’m looking forward to it, all of the riders love the circuit and a lot of fans come out to it. No reason we can’t refine things this weekend, looking to try a few things and find something for Silverstone. It’s technical and physical, but has a lot of grip.
“It’s not easy because there’s only one British Grand Prix and, being the guy fighting near the front in MotoGP, expectation is always high, but I like a bit of pressure and no reason we can’t do well. I hope not to make a Saturday trip to the hospital, they’ve been very good to me, but I don’t want to go back and see them again! If I can make Saturday I think we can have a good Sunday.”
Also at the conference was Moto2′s Scott Redding. The Marc VDS Racing rider has signed with Honda to compete aboard production racer in 2014 MotoGP.
Scott Redding says: “I’m leading but I’d like to be back winning and would like to start at Silverstone, home track with home support. You never know how the weekend is going to go, but you obviously need to think about the championship depending on the situation in the race. It’s [my future] going to be with Gresini on the Honda ‘production bike’. Hopefully my size could work to my advantage, but obviously my first focus is to wrap up the championship.”