2014 Silverstone MotoGP Preview

Two weeks ago at the Czech Republic Grand Prix, something unusual happened in the 2014 MotoGP Championship – Marc Marquez lost.

The Repsol Honda RC213V pilot not only suffered defeat, he also finished off the podium; this was the third time Marquez finished off the podium since joining the premier-class last season.

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Regardless of his fourth-place finish, the reigning champ Marquez continues to dominate 2014 MotoGP, winning 10 of 11 rounds. And he may actually be more comfortable following the Brno loss – he know doesn’t have to live up to setting any more records.

The 21-year-old Spaniard will have two main focuses this weekend at the Hertz British Grand Prix – revenge, and beat his fellow countryman Jorge Lorenzo. Last year at Silverstone, Lorenzo – a two-time MotoGP Champion – beat Marquez to the line by less than a tenth of a second.

Lorenzo’s threat is strengthened, considering he put in quite a performance at Brno, finishing second behind race-winner Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda). Taking the final Brno podium was Lorenzo’s Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate, nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi.

Plus, Lorenzo will seek not only his first win of 2014, but his 80th podium in the premier class. If the YZR-M1 pilot completes the feat, he will join the ranks of Rossi, Pedrosa, Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan.

With his win Brno win, Marquez’s teammate also provides a huge threat, but not as big as Rossi. The 34-year-old Italian will start his 246th Grand Prix this weekend – making him the most experienced GP racer of all time. Rossi equaled 245 GP starts at Brno, tying the record with Alex Barros.

Plus, Rossi clinched his first-ever GP title 17 years ago to the date at Brno (former 125cc class, 1997). In the premier class, he has earned 80 Grand Prix victories, 154 podium placings, 49 pole positions, 68 fastest race laps and seven world titles.

Rossi never won at Silverstone, though he did dominate at Donington Park in the UK, winning seven races between 1997 and 2005. This also included his first win in the former 500cc class (2000).

As the series heads to Silverstone for round 12 of 18, the above four riders are on top in points. Marquez has 263 points, 77 ahead of Pedrosa. Rossi is in third, 90 points back, and Lorenzo in fourth, 126 behind.

The top Ducati rider so far this season – Andrea Dovizioso – follows in fifth with 118 points. In sixth is the top Open-Class pilot, NGM Forward Racing Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro, ho has 85 points.

As for Brits, five riders will be competing on home soil – Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow, who joins LCR Honda next year, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Scott Redding, PBM’s Michael Laverty, and Leon Camier.

The latter is substituting for the recovering Nicky Hayden aboard the Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R. Hayden missed the last two rounds at Brno and Indianapolis Motor Speedway due to recovering from wrist surgery. The American plans to return at San Marino.

MotoGP reports that the last time this many British riders contested on home soil was in 1996 with James Haydon, Chris Walker, Eugene McManus, Jeremy McWilliams and Terry Rymer. And as for a British rider earning a pole at a British Grand Prix, only one has completed the feat – Barry Sheene (1977 500cc GP).

Practice begins at 9:55 local time Friday, Aug. 29, with Sunday’s race set for 1 p.m. local time.

2014 British Grand Prix at Silverstone TV Schedule:

Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the British GP live Sunday, Aug. 31, with coverage beginning at 8 a.m. ET. The broadcast also includes a reply of Brno MotoGP, so expect the coverage of Silverstone to begin around 9 a.m. ET.

2014 MotoGP Point Standings (after 11 of 18 rounds):

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 263
2 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 186
3 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 173
4 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 137
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 118
6 Aleix ESPARGARO Forward Yamaha SPA 85
7 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha SPA 78
8 Andrea IANNONE Ducati ITA 73
9 Stefan BRADL Honda GER 65
10 Bradley SMITH Yamaha GBR 65
11 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda SPA 56
12 Scott REDDING Honda GBR 45
13 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 37
14 Cal CRUTCHLOW Ducati GBR 36
15 Nicky HAYDEN Honda USA 29
16 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati COL 27
17 Karel ABRAHAM Honda CZE 25
18 Colin EDWARDS Forward Yamaha USA 11
19 Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 11
20 Broc PARKES PBM AUS 7
21 Mike DI MEGLIO Avintia FRA 4
22 Danilo PETRUCCI ART ITA 4
23 Michael LAVERTY PBM GBR 2
24 Hector BARBERA Avintia SPA 2
25 Leon CAMIER Honda GBR 1