2012 Great Britain MotoGP
The British Grand Prix gets underway Friday with the first free practice sessions at Silverstone.
The two riders expected to began an immediate battle at the 3.666-mile circuit are the current points leader, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, and the reigning MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner.
Both riders are the only to win in the first five rounds of 18 so far this season, and both riders share a win at Silverstone since the track returned to the MotoGP schedule in 2010. During the return year, Lorenzo took the win; last year, it was Stoner.
And like last year, conditions look as if they’ll be wet once again in Great Britain. Until the practice results are in, here are some numbers from Silverstone courtesy of MotoGP (for a preview, click here):
Silverstone MotoGP: By the Numbers
115 – Jorge Lorenzo has taken 115 points from the first five races of the year, which is the same number of points he had from the first five races of his championship winning season in 2010.
63 years – Race day at Silverstone marks exactly 63 years since the very first 500cc world championship race took place, at the Isle of Man TT circuit in 1949. The race was won by British rider Harold Daniell riding a single cylinder Norton. All 35 riders who finished the 264-mile race (425 km), which lasted over 3 hours, were riding machines made in Britain by one of the following manufacturers: Norton, Velocette, Triumph, AJS.
45 years ago – On the day of qualifying at Silverstone it will be 45 years ago to the day that Stuart Graham, riding a Suzuki, won the 50cc world championship race at the Isle of Man TT in 1967. Stuart’s father Les Graham was the first 500cc world champion and this was the first time that a son of a GP winner also won a Grand Prix.
36 years ago – The last British rider to win in the premier-class at his home Grand Prix was Tom Herron at the Isle of Man TT in 1976.
21 – Pol Espargaro celebrated his 21st birthday on the Sunday between the Catalan and British Grand Prix.
20 – The win in Catalunya was Lorenzo’s 20th victory in the MotoGP class, which is the same number of premier-class career wins as double 500cc world-champion Freddie Spencer.
17 – Arthur Sissis will have his 17th birthday on the first day of practice at the British Grand Prix.
16 years 7 days – Eric Granado is scheduled to make his Grand Prix debut just seven days after celebrating his 16th birthday, which would make him the youngest ever rider to start an intermediate-class Grand Prix race, taking the record from Chaz Davies who was 16 years 55 days old when he made his debut in the 250cc class in Japan at the opening race of 2003.
3rd – Andrea Dovizioso’s third place finish at the Catalunya Grand Prix was the first MotoGP podium by a rider on a non-factory bike since Colin Edwards finished third at the British Grand Prix last year.
2 – After just five Moto3 races of the season there are only two riders who have scored points at all five races; Sandro Cortese and Alberto Moncayo.
1st – Miguel Oliveira’s third place at the Catalan Grand Prix is the first ever podium in Grand Prix racing for a Portuguese rider.