Following a two-week break since the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the 2015 MotoGP Championship heads to the UK for round 12 of 18.The focus at 2015 Silverstone MotoGP is the battle between Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. With his dominate win at Brno MotoGP, Lorenzo was able to garner enough points to create a tie at the top of the standings with nine-time World Champion Rossi. Though tied, Lorenzo has the number-one position due to winning five races to Rossi’s three.
The Spaniard and the Italian YZR-M1 pilots each have 211 points as MotoGP heads to Silverstone, a circuit that has hosted the British Grand Prix since 2010. The British GP has been on the World Championship schedule since the series inception in 1949 – first at the Isle of man TT, at Silverstone from 1977 through 1987, then at Donington from 1987 through 2009.Rossi has seven British Grand Prix victories across all classes, but the wins all arrived at Donington; the 36-year old has never won at Silverstone. The story is much different for Lorenzo, who won at Silverstone three times.“I‘m quite happy after winning again in Brno. The last time I won there was in 2010, so I think it was also important for Yamaha to be back on the podium after five years. Now it‘s time to go to England and I love that place. Especially the track is a great opportunity for us; it has a nice layout where our Yamaha YZR-M1 always behaves in a perfect way,” Lorenzo says.“It‘s a very enjoyable track but also very demanding because it‘s long and has plenty of high speed corners and change of directions, so you need to be in a perfect shape to be able to fight for the podium. I won several races at Silverstone in the past and I feel good there so hopefully this season we can achieve another great result on British soil.”Rossi says he’ll chase consistency at 2015 Silverstone MotoGP: “I’m always very happy to go to England for the British Grand Prix in Silverstone. It is a race with so much history and the atmosphere is always very nice during this weekend. There are many racing fans and you can feel the passion of the crowd each time you move in the paddock.“I really like this circuit, it’s very fast and technical. I have done good races at this track and I am happy that the next race will be at Silverstone. We are at a very important point of the season and I hope I can have a good race! We have to improve the set-up of the bike and get ready for the race on Sunday. Now that Jorge and I are level on points it will be very important to consistently be fast.”The Yamaha duo has a major threat as the series heads to round 11 – two-time reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez. The 22-year-old Repsol Honda RC213V pilot has fought his way to third in the points, and now trails Lorenzo and Rossi by 52 points. En route to his second MotoGP title last season, Marquez earned his 11th victory of the season at Silverstone, beating Lorenzo to the line by a mere 0.7 of a second.The Spaniard has won twice at Silverstone, last year’s victory in the MotoGP race and also back in 2010 in the 125cc class. His worst MotoGP result was second in 2013 when he crossed the line just 0.081 of a second behind Lorenzo.Speaking ahead of 2015 Silverstone MotoGP, Marquez says “Brno was a difficult weekend but we took important points in the Championship and keep fighting! Silverstone isn’t one of my favourite tracks but I enjoy going there as you can feel the excitement and the history that surrounds the circuit and the area as a whole. I’ve been on the podium there the past three years including a win last year, so let’s hope the weather is good to us and we can fight for a similar result this year.”Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa will hope to have recovered fully from the injury to his left foot he sustained in FP2 at Brno. The Spaniard finished fourth in last year’s race after an excellent scrap with Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso. Pedrosa has won twice at the British Grand Prix before (250cc – 2004, MotoGP – 2006) but both were at Donington Park and his best results at Silverstone are two third places in 2012 and 2013.Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone currently lies fourth in the championship standings after his fourth placed finish in Brno, and has not finished outside of the top six all season. Last year the Italian scored his best MotoGP result at Silverstone as he finished eighth on the Pramac Ducati. His teammate Andrea Dovizioso won the British Grand Prix in 2009 on the Factory Honda at the last race to be held at Donington Park. He followed that up with two second places in 2010 and 2011 at Silverstone, and finished last year’s race in fifth.Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro qualified in fourth for last year’s race on the Forward Yamaha before eventually crossing the line in 9th. His rookie teammate Maverick Viñales took the 2012 Moto3 victory at Silverstone, and finished on the podium last year in the Moto2 race. Viñales (62 points) currently leads his more experienced teammate Espargaro (53 points) by 9 points in the standings.Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith (106 points) heads to his home Grand Prix as the leading Satellite rider, fifth in the championship standings. Smith currently enjoys a 25-point lead over his teammate Pol Espargaro (81 points), with CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (74 points) a further 7 points back. Smith suffered from technical issues in last year’s race, eventually crossing the line in 22nd, but has finished on the podium at Silverstone twice before (125cc – 2010, Moto2 – 2011).Espargaro finished as the leading Satellite rider in last year’s race in sixth, while Crutchlow had to settle for 12th on the Ducati. Both Espargaro and Crutchlow have experienced victory at Silverstone before though, the Spaniard in the Moto2 race in 2012 while the British rider did the double in WorldSBK’s at the circuit in 2010.In the Open class standings it is Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera (20 points) who holds the advantage over Forward Racing’s Loris Baz (15 points), with Jack Miller (12 points) the leading Open Honda rider.It is also the home Grand Prix of EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding. The British rider won the Moto2 race at Silverstone in 2013 on his way to finishing second in the championship. He also won at Donington in 2008 in the 125cc race, becoming the youngest ever GP winner (15 years and 170 days) in the process. Last year Redding finished tenth on the Gresini Open Honda.
2015 Silverstone MotoGP TV Schedule:
Fox Sports 1 will provide live coverage of 2015 Silverstone MotoGP from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Sunday, August 30.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.