These just in:
Superb Start for Lorenzo at Silverstone
Silverstone (Great Britain), 30th August 2013
Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo made a strong start to this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone in today's two free practice sessions. The Mallorcan wrapped up day one as the fastest rider overall, 0.224 seconds clear of closest rival Marc Marquez. His fastest time of 2'02.734 seconds takes him underneath the fastest race lap of last year's Grand Prix, set by himself. Lorenzo led the entire second session and completed the morning practice in second, 0.219 seconds behind Marquez.
Valentino Rossi made big steps forward over the course of today. The Italian nine-time world champion was 0.866 seconds off the fastest lap in the morning session in sixth place with a 2'04.682 lap. Some hard work over the day saw him improve by over a second to complete the afternoon practice in fifth with a 2'03.480 second lap.
1st / 2'02.734 / 18 laps
"I started very fast because I improved almost one second and a half in the beginning; I was surprised with the improvement. At this track, when the rear tyre starts to drop it's very difficult to keep the same pace so we have to work hard to make a constant bike that works over long distance. I'm satisfied because I think we have the possibility to fight for the victory this time."
5th / 2'03.480 / 18 laps
"I enjoyed today a lot, this track is great. If you are able to ride at the limit and have a good feeling with the bike, it's very funny because it's very fast, the track is so wide you go a lot of time at full throttle. I'm quite happy with the first day, especially because in the last two years I suffered a lot here in Silverstone. We made a good step, but we still have to work to find the right setting to have a good balance form the beginning to the end of the race. I'm not so bad in braking and entry but I have some problems in other areas so we have to work. We modified the setting from Brno because in the last two races I wasn't strong enough."
"A very good first day. First of all because the weather is very stable and it's a nice temperature compared with last year which helps the lap times. The pace is already there so it looks like we have to make some small adjustments but the bike feels good and we are looking forward to qualifying tomorrow."
"After a few Grand Prix we start this weekend in a really different way. We have been really fast since the beginning and the most important thing is the pace is really good. Both riders are quite satisfied with their set up, we know that we have to improve and we know which area to do it in. We also tested both tyre choices so we have completed a lot of work. We are pretty focused and we are very optimistic about the race."
Solid start for Repsol Honda team at sunny Silverstone
After a slightly cloudy start to the British GP, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez found himself at the top of the time sheets in FP1 with a time of 2'03.816 with teammate Dani Pedrosa in 4th on 2'04.431.
In the afternoon's FP2 session, the weather slowly improved and the times dropped by over a second as the air temperature rose from 17ºC to 21ºC and the track temperature from 23ºC to 34ºC. Marc recorded a fastest lap of 2'02.958 on lap 13 of 17, placing him 2nd fastest for the day and Dani, who made use of the variable conditions to test both the hard and rear Bridgestone tyre, was just behind him in 3rd with a time of 2'03.192 taken on lap 9 of 16.
Marc Marquez 2nd 2'02.958
"I'm happy, because right from the start I felt pretty good. I was feeling a little uneasy about this circuit when I arrived, because last year I struggled a bit here and didn't know what was in store for me on the MotoGP bike. I tried to stay calm and take it slowly and, in the end, I felt very comfortable on the bike. Jorge might be a little stronger than us so far, but we are closer to his times than we had expected. Tomorrow we will continue working in the same way to further improve the setup"
Dani Pedrosa 3rd 2'03.192
"Today the weather was good and we were able to test the tyre range out in the early laps. Normally here at Silverstone it's quite cold and we don't get a chance to try the hard compound, but today we were able to do that. There wasn't much in the way of a positive feel with that compound, because we lacked rear grip, but nevertheless we got some fairly good times with it. The goal for tomorrow is to improve grip and clock some faster laps"
Dovizioso, Hayden seventh and tenth in Silverstone free practice
Day one of the British Grand Prix took place in warm temperatures and under sunny skies at the Silverstone Circuit, and the MotoGP riders enjoyed the ideal conditions as they tackled the long, fast circuit during today's two free-practice sessions.
It was Andrea Dovizioso's first time on the track aboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP13, and the Italian was relatively pleased to post the seventh-best time of the day. His Ducati Team companion Nicky Hayden was tenth best, but the American feels that his potential may be better than the lap time indicates.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th (2:03.658)
"Riding this track is really nice?very difficult to find the right rhythm, but quite thrilling nonetheless. Doing good times is a challenge for us, as we have to be quite physical, which really isn't the best way to ride in the race. Still, we were able to improve since this morning and I'm happy with the time we did. I managed to find a decent feeling during the session and to do a good time at the end. It's certainly not fast enough for the race but we started well today."
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (2:04.089)
"The conditions are very different from what we've had here in the past, and the track seems a lot faster. Silverstone is a really good track and I enjoyed it today. I also think we might be better off than we have been at the last few races, as the bike is working pretty well in some spots, even if the lap time doesn't necessarily show that completely. The biggest thing holding me back at the moment is that it's very harsh over the bumps, so we've still got to sort some stuff out."
Silverstone, 30 August: the premier class runners enjoyed blue skies and completely dry track in today's first outing at Silverstone circuit which hosts the twelfth round of the calendar. Despite the good weather, LCR racer Stefan Bradl's performance on the British soil was not brilliant with the 23-year-old occupying the 9th position (2'03.784).
Stefan: "Actually our performance does not look so good on the paper but it's not that bad. Today we worked a lot on the bike to find some more rear grip and we found a small improvement in the afternoon session gaining some more traction control out of the corners. But, on the other side, we lose a bit in the entry of the curves because I struggle to get the bikes stopped in the right place. It's not the best way to start the weekend but we are working hard with the data and we will try to be faster tomorrow".
Crutchlow and Smith satisfied with encouraging start on home soil
The biggest race of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith got off to an encouraging start at the historic Silverstone track this afternoon.
Crutchlow demonstrated his determination to be the first British rider since 2000 to finish on the podium in the British Grand Prix when he made a flying start this morning to end FP1 in third position behind current series leader Marc Marquez and reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Lap times tumbled in hotter conditions this afternoon and while home crowd hero Crutchlow was able to knock over 1.5s off his best pace, he slipped down the leaderboard into sixth, though he was less than 0.1s behind Alvaro Bautista in fourth.
Roared on by a large home crowd soaking up glorious late summer sunshine, Crutchlow was hoping to be higher up the rankings and closer to the fastest pace but he is optimistic that he is yet to unleash the full potential of his YZR-M1 machine having experimented with a range of settings in both 45-minute sessions.
Smith's first experience of the long and technical Silverstone layout on a MotoGP machine saw him focus on the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine to cope with super fast sections and rapid changes of direction that make the British venue one of the toughest but most spectacular challenges on the schedule.
The 22-year-old was ninth fastest this morning and less than 0.3s outside of the top six and like Crutchlow he was able to make big progress in FP2.
He improved from a 2.05.108 to a 2.03.750 and that major improvement promoted him into eighth on combined times and reduced the gap to the best pace to just over one second after he was able to successfully evaluate soft and hard tyre options for both the front and rear today.
In both sessions Smith set his best lap on his last lap, the rookie impressively building up his speed throughout to boost his confidence that he can battle for a top six in Sunday's 20-lap race.
Cal Crutchlow 6th 2.03.505 - 33 laps :
"Firstly it was fantastic to see such a big crowd here at Silverstone today. The support from the British fans always gives you a boost and it was a special feeling to see so many here on the first day. It hasn't been an easy start to my home race but I am sure we can make some big improvements. This morning wasn't too bad and I was satisfied to be in the top three but it was a bit more a struggle in FP2. We were trying the bike with different settings and at the moment I've not made a decision on which is the direction to go. I need to improve in two sectors to be faster and more competitive and one area we need to work on is front-end grip because I had too much wheelie. We will have a good look at the data tonight to make sure I'm stronger tomorrow."
Bradley Smith 8th 2.03.750 - 34 laps :
"It was great to ride in front of my home crowd today and the amount of people here was amazing. The British fans have always given me great support and today was no exception. It was a positive day because I found a good setting this morning and then it was a case of tweaking it to suit this track. For the first time all season I have tried all the tyre options for the front and rear in one day, so we have evaluated a lot and got a clear way to follow for the rest of the weekend. This track is certainly designed for MotoGP. It is so fast and open that you really get to explore the bike's full potential. I will enjoy riding the YZR-M1 this weekend and as I get faster I am sure it will be even more fun."
Lorenzo shines in Friday practice at Silverstone
Round 12: British MotoGP? - Free Practice One & Two
Silverstone, Friday 30 August 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 25-28°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 22-23°C; Track 35-36°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo was the quickest rider in today's practice sessions at Silverstone as the reigning MotoGP? champion sets out to score a second consecutive victory at the British Grand Prix.
Lorenzo's set his benchmark lap time of 2'02.734 on this third lap in Free Practice 2 to head the Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa who were second and third quickest today, setting times of 2'02.958 and 2'03.192 respectively. Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro was the quickest CRT rider on the first day of action at Silverstone, his best lap time of 2'04.145 placing him in eleventh place on the timesheets.
Conditions this morning for FP1 were changeable, with alternating sunny and cloudy conditions resulting in the riders mainly using the softer slick options while getting to terms with the grip level of the circuit. The sunshine in the afternoon was more persistent, resulting in warmer track temperatures up to a top of 36°C in FP2. The warmer afternoon temperatures brought with it greater variation in tyre choice with all specification of slick tyre being used in FP2. Most riders were able to set their personal best lap times using the softer rear slick in conjunction with the harder front slick, though the more consistent performance and durability of the harder rear slick resulted in approximately half the riders evaluating this option in FP2.
Weather conditions for tomorrow are predicted to be dry, yet slightly cooler than today with the next MotoGP? session being FP3 at 955 local time (GMT +1).
Masao Azuma - Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Today was a positive day with dry weather in all the sessions, although the presence of cloud in the morning meant that riders preferred the softer slicks in FP1 in order to evaluate the grip level of the circuit. With the race being held later in the year, we decided for this year at Silverstone that we would change our front tyre allocation, offering front slick options one step harder than last year, changing to the soft and medium compounds. This change has worked very well as the harder front slick was a good option when track temperatures were warmer, while the softer option gave good warm-up performance in the morning. All rear slick options were tested today and we got positive feedback on them all and if we have dry weather tomorrow and for the race. It is possible that we will see a real mix of tyre combinations being used. Lap times for this stage of the weekend are quite quick and I anticipate that the existing pole position record could be broken if we have fine weather tomorrow."