The Repsol riders’ first impressions of the new Silverstone circuit, the venue of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the fifth race on the 2010 MotoGP Grand Prix.
All three have done a few laps of the track on a scooter to analyse its characteristics turn-by-turn and can say that it is a fast and difficult track.
The three Repsol riders, all of them playing a leading role and winning in the Italian Grand Prix – victory for Pedrosa and third place for Dovizioso in MotoGP, and first World Championship victory for Marc Márquez in 125cc – have started to get to know what will be the venue of the British race this weekend.
Silverstone hosted its first Grand Prix in 1977, replacing the legendary but very dangerous Isle of Man track. At 5,902 metres long, with 8 left turns and 10 right, Dani, Andrea and Marc all agree that this track presents significant challenges to the riders, as it is a fast track, demanding and difficult to memorise.
Its layout is unlike any other circuit visited by the Motorcycling World Championship and combines some slow turns at the end of the track – where acceleration will be rewarded – with other very fast zones, especially at the beginning.
Dani PEDROSA says: “Whenever we go to a new circuit, we try to do a few laps on a scooter to see the track and conditions of the asphalt and little more, to be honest, because until you get on your bike and ride fast with so much power, you can’t get a real idea. But you can get an initial idea and for example, I’ve seen that it’s a very varied circuit, with all types of turns and straights.”
“There are fast turns, a lot of straights and other very slow points. Power is going to be important. The first thing you have to do is get the gear ratio right to then work on the suspension for the fast turns and chicanes. In order to somehow predict which gears could be best for each turn, we’ve tried to look for similarities with turns on other circuits”.
Andrea DOVIZIOSO says: “It’s a really nice track, but from experience I know that it’s not really possible to interpret it from a few laps on a scooter. It’s a circuit on which the average speed is going to be very fast because although it’s not a circuit where really fast speeds are going to be reached – there aren’t any really long straights to do this-, the radius of the turns is quite wide and therefore, the turns will be taken very quickly. There are some very slow turns, but it’s a really nice track.”
“The track is very wide, so it’s going to be interesting because it offers many different lines. We’ll see all of this tomorrow when we get on the bike because without having ridden there, it’s impossible to know exactly what we are going to find, but with such a fast average speed, it looks like we’ll be able to make the most of one of our strong points, which is the engine power”.
Marc MÁRQUEZ says: “It’s a circuit that isn’t like any other circuit in particular and it has various different zones, some very fast – with linked turns – and some very slow. We’ll have to work well from Friday because it’s always difficult to memorise a new circuit. The first thing we’ve done is thoroughly analyse the map of the track layout to try to learn all the turns although it’s very difficult to get a realistic idea.”
“You can get something more from the videogames and finally, from watching Formula 1 videos you get an idea of which turns could be faster. But in order to learn the track, we’ve done a few laps on a scooter, trying to get an initial idea of where each turn goes and where the next turn comes from. Then, once you’re on the bike, everything changes but it’s a way of starting to get to know the track and memorise some points”.