Rain is nothing unusual during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, but it held out Friday for the opening MotoGP practice sessions. Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone claimed the top time Friday, followed by Suzuki Team Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, respectively.But all eyes were on Crutchlow for two main reasons – this was his home race, and he had just earned his first-ever MotoGP win at Brno two weeks ago. The victory also was the first in MotoGP for a Brit since Barry Sheene won 35 years ago.
Brno was held under wet conditions, and the 30-year-old Crutchlow, who had just celebrated the birth of his daughter days before his record win, rode with precision. He did the same on Saturday during a wet qualifying for the British Grand Prix, round 12 of 18, earning the pole for Sunday’s 20-lap race at the 3.73-mile Silverstone Circuit.Visit the Ultimate MotorCycling MotoGP PageCrutchlow claimed the pole – his second in the MotoGP class – with a 2:19.265 aboard the Honda RC213V. Joining him on the front row were last year’s winner, nine time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Vinales. Rossi finished 0.998 of a second behind, and Vinales 1.249 seconds back.Heading up row two is Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedorsa, who has earned only two podiums so far this season. He was able to earn fourth by a mere 0.037 of a second ahead of his teammate Marc Marquez, who suffered a crash during qualifying; the two-time MotoGP champion also crashed during Friday’s practice. Future Aprilia World Superbike pilot Eugene Laverty qualified sixth after suffering a late-session crash.Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati’s Scott Redding, who has two premier-class podiums before his home crowd at Silverstone, qualified on top of the third row in seventh. Redding finished 0.372 of a second ahead of Iannone and 0.613 ahead of the reigning MotoGP Champion and current points leader, Jorge Lorenzo.Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso also crashed, but starts from 10th. Vinales teammate Aleix Espargaro qualified 11th, ahead of Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller, the Dutch TT pilot who suffered a crash at the beginning of qualifying. The Australian continues to recover from a crash in Austria that resulted in two hairline fractures in his T6 Vertebra and right wrist.Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone will begin at 3:30 p.m. local time – and forecasts say weather conditions should improve overnight.Photo by Luciano Bianchetto
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.