When Silverstone returned to the MotoGP schedule in 2010—for the first time since 1986—Ducati riders just missed the podium.The late Nicky Hayden claimed fourth aboard the Ducati Team GP10, followed by now-retired rider Casey Stoner.
Ducati would have to wait until the 2015 British Grand Prix for any podium finishes. That year Danilo Petrucci claimed second aboard the Pramac Racing Ducati, the Italian finishing behind winner and fellow compatriot Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1). Claiming third was factory Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso.Ducati wanted a win on Silverstone soil, and it finally arrived Sunday during the 2017 British Grand Prix, round 12 of 18. Following 20 laps on the 3.6-mile circuit in the UK’s North Hampshire, Ducati Team’s Dovizioso was able to earn a fourth victory so far this season – the most of any other rider.Dovizioso would take the lead with three laps remaining, and beat Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales and Rossi, respectively. Dovi fought hard for the win, finishing 0.114 of a second ahead of Vinales and 0.749 of a second ahead of Rossi.With his win, the 31-year-old Italian took over the lead in 2017 MotoGP; Dovi has 183 points, nine ahead of three-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez, who suffered his third DNF of the season. Marquez, who claimed the pole at Silverstone, didn’t finish due to an engine issue while battling for the lead.Following 2017 Silverstone MotoGP, Dovizioso said:“I’m a bit surprised because for the race I had a good feeling, but not to be able to win. I expected Honda to be very competitive but it didn’t happen. During the race we have to ride in a different way to practice and that changed it,” Andrea Dovizioso says.“I was able to save the tire, with Maverick and Marc, and that helped me arrive at the end with better grip. I was also able to improve my speed in some corners because I was able to see how they did those corners. I wasn’t faster, but I was in the right position at the right moment and that was the key. What happened today is something special for us.“We’re leading, but we’ve showed to everyone we have a chance to fight for the Championship. It’s long and the competitors are very strong – riders and bikes – so it’s open, but we’ve won four races in a different way and we work very well during the weekend. When we’re not fastest we’ve kept working, we go to a race and try to do the maximum. I was able to fight for a victory I didn’t expect. The bike has positives and negatives but I was able to play with it and make the most of the positives.“Every race can change everything – look at Marc. Six races is a lot of points and we have to think race by race. I wasn’t thinking about the Championship, I was comfortable in the race and when you’re comfortable you can play. When I saw Marquez on the pitboard it didn’t change my strategy, because I was comfortable. It was a fun race. For me it was difficult to understand what was happening through the race with the others, I saw Marc out on one lap but I didn’t know there were four riders. I saw Valentino drop a bit and thought I had to take the opportunity, and then pushed to the maximum on the last lap.”Following is the official 2017 Silverstone MotoGP Results recap:It was Rossi who bolted off the line; the nine-time World Champion getting a lightning start from the middle of the front row and disappearing into the distance in the initial stages. Behind the ‘Doctor’, Marquez led a close five rider train with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Viñales, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) and Dovizioso on the chase. Marquez suffered a huge moment early on, but the rider from Cervera remained in charge of the chasing pack.Soon, the Dovizioso struck against Lorenzo and the group began to pull away from the ‘Spartan’, just as Rossi pulled away on his own at the front. The game of high-octane chess continued with the four in line and staying within touching distance of Rossi, until a sudden puff of smoke gave the Championship a serious shake up and Marquez was out of it.That left four, with Rossi then reeled in and everything looking like it would go down to the wire. And that it did, with Dovizioso able to pounce with three to go and get past his compatriot, swiftly followed by Viñales. The ‘Doctor’ tried to fight back but found the duo able to just stay clear – and the final lap was approaching.With the concertina effect seeing the Ducati able to pull a gap and then the Yamaha able to close, it was incredibly tight as the two headed around the final 5.9km lap of Silverstone. Having played his hand to perfection, Dovizioso was able to keep the advantage to the line – taking his fourth win of the year. Viñales took second, with Rossi completing the podium. Crutchlow, not quite able to get close enough to make his move, took fourth.Lorenzo had a great race to cross the line in fifth – and only 3.5 seconds off the race winning time of his teammate. The ‘Spartan’ overcame Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in the latter stages to pull a sizeable gap on the Frenchman over the line as he continues to move forward. Zarco took P6, comfortably ahead of a more difficult day at the office for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team).Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) showed his home race pace once again to take eighth, with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) equaling his best rookie result in ninth just behind the Brit. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), after a more difficult qualifying day, completed the top ten.Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was hugely impressive once again for KTM, taking P11 after also getting straight through to Q2. Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) followed him home, with Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and Reale Avintia Racing pairing Hector Barbera and Loris Baz locking out the fastest 15.The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of round 13 at Misano—a home race for Rossi and the new Championship leader Dovizioso.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.