2018 Silverstone MotoGP Preview

Five different winners have won the British Grand Prix over the past five MotoGPs held at Silverstone:

  • 2013, Jorge Lorenzo
  • 2014, Marc Marquez
  • 2015, Valentino Rossi
  • 2016, Maverick Vinales
  • 2017, Andrea Dovizioso

All five of these riders have battled intensely throughout the first half of 2018 MotoGP, but Marquez and Lorenzo are in the spotlight ahead of this weekend’s round 12 at Silverstone, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

2018 Silverstone MotoGP Preview Honda Marc Marquez vs Ducati Jorge Lorenzo
Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo and Honda’s Marc Marquez

These two riders had an epic dual during the 2013 British GP, and Lorenzo was able to trump the then-MotoGP rookie Marquez.

That was six years ago, though, and Marquez is on a complete tear in 2018. The 25-year-old Spaniard has finished on the podium at nine races, which includes five wins.

He currently has 210 points – 59 ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi. Last year he crashed out at Silverstone. Besides his 2014 win, he has two other podiums there, and six pole positions across all classes.

“Silverstone is a fast, technical track but our bike has very strong points, and we’ll try our best there, as usual,” Marc Marquez says. “The track has been resurfaced, and that should be a good help in general for the performances; we’ll see if that’s the case.

“After quite a long time without the chance to ride in the rain, Austria confirmed that we can be fast in wet conditions, and that’s very good in view of a race in the UK! At Silverstone, the weather is another opponent to take into account, but whatever the conditions, we look forward to fighting for the podium again.”

Expect a fight from Lorenzo. The Ducati Team GP18 pilot, who won in Austria two weeks ago, has three wins at Silverstone (2010, 2012, 2013). Last year he struggled, finishing fifth, but is ready to take on the longest circuit on the 2018 MotoGP calendar at 3.67 miles.

2018 Silverstone MotoGP Preview Honda Marc Marquez
Honda’s Marc Marquez

“The third GP in August comes after my win in Austria, which was surely the most difficult race of the season, especially because we continued to make some important improvements throughout the weekend,” Jorge Lorenzo says.

“I believe we are working well and that we can be competitive at every circuit. Silverstone is a track that I like a lot and I have some great memories there, but there’s always the unknown factor of the weather conditions we will encounter during the weekend. For sure it will be an important element, and obviously I prefer it to be a dry race, but in any case it’s always great to race here in England, a country with a great motorsport tradition and many fans.”

If it rains, Rossi will certainly be the favorite. A master in the rain, Rossi claimed the 2015 victory under wet conditions. He also claimed podiums there in 2014, 2016 and last season.

“August is a really busy month. After the last two races in Brno and Spielberg we had work to do,” Valentino Rossi says.

“On Sunday at the Misano test we tried different set-ups and electronic solutions, and it was important to prepare better for the San Marino Grand Prix, that‘s coming up fast. But first we focus on this weekend. We now go to Silverstone, a track that I really like. As usual, with my team we will work strongly to achieve the best results. I hope that at Silverstone we can be fast, so I can have a good race.”

2018 Silverstone MotoGP Preview Yamaha Valentino Rossi
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

Last year’s winner was Dovizioso, who claimed the victory at the season opener in Qatar and two rounds ago at Brno. Last season Dovi and his team ran an excellent strategy to take the win, and they hope to do the same this season.

“I believe we will also be very competitive at Silverstone,” Andrea Dovizioso says. “Last year we won because I was able to race with an excellent strategy, always being in the right position to try and win, even though probably we weren’t the fastest on the track.

“The British circuit is challenging for lots of reasons: tire wear, energy required, especially in your forearms, the always changeable weather conditions and so it’s impossible to predict the outcome.

“In addition, you have to take account of the track conditions and I hope that with the new surface they have been able to eliminate the bumps from last year.”

The other rider to watch is LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow, who will be racing on home soil. Crutchlow, who extended his contract with LCR Honda, had claimed the pole and podium there in 2016, and fourth last year, but has yet to win there.

Practice begins Friday, and continues Saturday ahead of qualifying for Sunday’s 20-lap MotoGP, which gets underway at 8 a.m. ET.

For local TV times, visit 2018 MotoGP US TV Schedule.

2018 MotoGP Point Standings (after 11 of 19 rounds):

Pos. Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 201
2 Valentino Rossi 142
3 Jorge Lorenzo 130
4 Andrea Dovizioso 129
5 Maverick Viñales 113
6 Danilo Petrucci 105
7 Johann Zarco 104
8 Cal Crutchlow 103
9 Andrea Iannone 84
10 Alex Rins 66
11 Daniel Pedrosa 66
12 Jack Miller 61
13 Alvaro Bautista 58
14 Tito Rabat 35
15 Pol Espargaro 29
16 Hafizh Syahrin 25
17 Franco Morbidelli 22
18 Aleix Espargaro 17
19 Bradley Smith 16
20 Scott Redding 12
21 Takaaki Nakagami 12
22 Mika Kallio 6
23 Karel Abraham 4
24 Stefan Bradl 0
25 Sylvain Guintoli 0
26 Thomas Luthi 0
27 Xavier Simeon 0