2012 British Grand Prix
Following a 23-year hiatus, the Silverstone circuit returned to the MotoGP Championship in 2010.
That year’s British Grand Prix, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo took the win en route to his first title in the premier class. But last year, the Spaniard crashed out of a wet GP at Silverstone while Reposl Honda’s Casey Stoner took a dominate win en route to his second title in the premier class.
The current Silverstone record is one for Lorenzo, one for Stoner. And as the riders head into the UK for round six of the 2012 MotoGP Championship this weekend, it’s these two riders that are at top, battling for points.
After taking three wins (Qatar, Le Mans, Catalunya), Lorenzo has a 20-point lead over Stoner, who took the other two wins this season (Jerez, Estoril).
But Lorenzo has extra incentive for some great results this year at Silverstone, not only to compensate for his crash last season, but also to make it into the history books; if Lorenzo wins this weekend, he’ll equal Stoner’s 42 wins. And if he podiums, he’ll take his 50th premier-class podium.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: “Silverstone is a track I like very much. In 2010 I think I did the best riding of the season, we won with a big advantage. Unfortunately last year it rained and I crashed trying to catch Casey. Let’s see if this year we can repeat the 2010 race. It’s a track which is very positive for Yamaha so I am confident we can achieve a good result.”
But Stoner will not let down his guard for one bit, and is hoping for dry weather to put in another great performance.
Casey Stoner (Respol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “I’m definitely looking forward to going to Silverstone, it’s a track that I really do enjoy. I wish that we still went through the old part of the track, unfortunately we don’t go through there now and the new section is very, very tight. The rest of the track is fantastic though, it’s fast and makes the heart beat very quick!
“The Monday test in Catalunya was a positive step for us, but we’re still far from perfect. We definitely made some progress with reducing the chatter but we will have to wait until we get on track on Friday to see if what we found also works at Silverstone. Again, we’ll be hoping for dry weather so we can maximize every minute of track time to prepare for Sunday’s race.”
In third in the championship is Stoner’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, who missed last season due to injury. He finished second at Catalunya two weeks ago, but does not like the new front Bridgestone tires that will be used this weekend at the British Grand Prix.
In fourth and fifth is the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha Duo, lead by Andrea Dovizioso in fourth and Cal Crutchlow, a Brit, in fifth. Dovi gave the satellite Yamaha team its first pole at Catalunya since former Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards took one at Silverstone last season.
And last year while competing on the Repsol Honda, Dovi finished second behind his then teammate. As for Crutchlow, though, he crashed during qualifying, breaking his shoulder.
Ducati’s Valentino Rossi maintains that the Desmosedici is improving in the dry, yet would no doubt welcome some wet English weather to help his charge up to the front. He will once again be hotly pursued by San Carlo Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who looks to be getting ever more comfortable on his satellite Honda. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl will no doubt prove a tough challenger however, as the rookie is also showing continual improvement in his maiden premier-class season, MotoGP says.
Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who struggled with a numb hand in Catalunya, will be hoping for a strong finish at the British track, and will look to fend off any challenges from Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, who was quick in last week’s official tests, MotoGP says.
Currently sitting in 11th in the championship, Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies is once again hoping to get his season on-track, after a costly mistake in Catalunya ended his podium challenge. He was very fast during testing on board his Yamaha, and will no doubt look to put this into practice in the UK. Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, who is also in need of some solid results, sustained a hand injury during testing, and may be a doubt for the race, MotoGP says.
Heading the CRT pack is the Power Electronics Aspar pair of Aleix Espargaró and Randy de Puniet, while behind them Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro will be looking to break their dominance. Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison will aim to put in a good showing in front of his home crowd, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards will undoubtedly be looking to rekindle some of his spirit from last year, where he achieved a podium just one week after breaking his collarbone. The CRT field is rounded out by Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Avintia Blusens duo Yonny Hernández and Iván Silva, MotoGP says.
2012 Silverstone MotoGP on TV
Speed TV will broadcast the British Grand Prix at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, June 17.
2012 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after five of 18 rounds):
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