Marquez smashes record to take fifth pole of the season with Pedrosa in 5th
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has shattered Casey Stoner's pole position record in Silverstone by 1.329 seconds with a stunning lap time of 2'00.691 (Stoner, 2'02.020 in 2011). It was a breath-taking qualifying session which saw Marc and title rival Lorenzo swapping fastest laps from the beginning, but it was the young rookie who emerged on top securing his ninth front row start of the season.
Teammate Dani Pedrosa, who struggled in this morning's FP3 session, improved in FP4 where he was second fastest and found a very good race pace. However, a small mistake on his final flying lap in Q2 relegated him from a provisional front row start to 5th with a time of 2'01.624, placing him on the second row for tomorrow's twenty lap race.
Marc Marquez 1st 2'00.691
"I am very happy with pole position and this one carries even more value as we set a new record! The lap times were very fast, we managed an incredible lap and Jorge set the bar very high for us. We put in a better hot lap than I had expected; I hadn't anticipated riding so fast! The race will be tough tomorrow and we will have to remain very focused, because I think that Jorge is the strongest rival that we have here. We will need to get a good start and see if we can stick with him"
Dani Pedrosa 5th 2'01.624
"We improved our pace today and drew some positive conclusions from practice. However, in qualifying things didn't go that well for us. I made a couple of mistakes and was unable to get a better starting position. We will start from fifth, so the important thing for us will be to focus on getting the setup right, putting in the maximum effort to get a good start and have a strong race"
Lorenzo Duels in Dramatic Silverstone Qualifying
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo took second place on the grid this afternoon in a dramatic duel for pole position ahead of tomorrow's British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit. As usual Lorenzo was first out of the pit lane and onto the track as the 15-minute qualifying heat began. His first lap was a scorching 2'01.497 lap, smashing the lap record of the circuit. Rival Marc Marquez immediately responded, snatching the top spot back from Lorenzo. The reigning world champion kept the pressure on and delivered a second stunning lap, moving 0.070 seconds ahead of Marquez with a 2'01.217 to retake provisional pole.
With half the session now gone Lorenzo returned to the pits for a quick change of rubber and was back out on the track with just under six minutes of track time remaining. He kept the pace up, dipping even further under the old lap record with a 2'00.819 second lap. Unfortunately it was not quite enough to secure pole, as his rival Marquez responded again, just beating him to the top spot by 0.128 seconds.
After making a strong start on Friday in free practice and confident of making another step today, Valentino Rossi took sixth place on the second row of the grid for tomorrow's race. Rossi was the second rider out as the session started, tailing teammate Lorenzo onto the circuit. His first set of rubber delivered a best time of 2'02.763 before returning to the pits for a new rear. Back out again just behind Lorenzo, the nine-time world champion was able to make a big step in time, getting down to a 2'02.109 lap to secure sixth on the second row of the grid for tomorrow's race.
Position: 2nd - Time: 2.00.819 - Laps: 7
"It's not fantastic because we didn't make pole position. I was surprised about the improvement from the pace lap to the qualifying lap, it was a big jump, almost one second and a half. When I saw my lap time on my bike I thought I made pole position but when I saw the classification I saw P2 and was disappointed as I put all my effort into the lap, but it wasn't enough. Race pace is good but we have to see where the others are tomorrow."
Position: 6th - Time: 2.02.109 - Laps: 7
"I'm not so happy with the distance from Lorenzo and Marquez, they did a fantastic job but I'm happy about the second row. It's very important and better than the third row. My lap time is quite fast but especially I'm quite satisfied with today because we improved the setting of the bike this afternoon and I'm a lot more constant with pace. I can stay with a good pace which is important for tomorrow. Now we have to try to make another step, I have two or three corners where I'm not so strong and I'm suffering on some bumps. Tomorrow we will try to improve."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
"A very exciting qualifying. P2 is fantastic, the lap times were unbelievably fast and I think the race will be very tight between Jorge and Marc. Our pace is good and the bike is good so we are ready for the race."
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
"The second day is very positive. We are starting the race from the first and second row which is a really good starting point. We have the speed and also the pace. For sure tomorrow is going to be a hard race but we will be protagonists. We will try to improve the settings during the warm up, we are satisfied so far and looking forward to the race."
Crutchlow bounces back to claim heroic home front row
British hero Cal Crutchlow showed amazing speed and resilience in front of his home crowd at Silverstone today to claim a stunning sixth front row start of 2013 after bouncing back from two heavy crashes in practice.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider put a huge home crowd through some nail-biting moments once again ahead of the British Grand Prix after he escaped injury in two high-speed falls in cool conditions during this morning's FP3.
Nursing nasty abrasions to his right arm, Crutchlow had British fans on the edge of their seats again this afternoon when the 27-year-old demonstrated incredible bravery and skill to power his YZR-M1 machine to third position on the grid in a tense 15-minute QP2.
In gloriously sunny but cool conditions, Crutchlow's best lap of 2.01.425 put him behind dominant Spanish duo Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo for the start of tomorrow's 20-lap race.
Despite feeling below his peak physical best after the big crashes this morning, Crutchlow remains full of confidence that he can become the first British rider since 2000 to claim a premier class podium on home soil.
Rookie Bradley Smith will also start his first home MotoGP race from inside the top 10 after he was able to set encouraging lap times throughout the weekend that bodes well for a strong challenge in tomorrow's Silverstone showdown.
Smith advanced comfortably from QP1 with a lap of 2.03.110, which saw him dominate the opening 15-minute qualifying session by close to a second.
In the heat of battle in QP2, the 22-year-old further improved his pace to an impressive 2.02.409, which was only 0.3s away from securing Smith a place on the second row of the grid for the third time this season.
Position: 3rd - Time: 2.01.447 - Laps: 7
"Well that was just a normal Saturday for me at Silverstone! After what happened in 2011 and 2012, the last thing I needed was a crash, so to have two made it even worse. Both were very fast crashes and I am thankful not to have been injured, though my right arm is covered in abrasions and is quite painful because of the swelling. The first crash was my fault because the front tyre was too cold. And in the second one, with my arm hurting, I just couldn't hold on when the bike starting moving around on the brakes. I've got to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because they put in an amazing effort to at least get me out this afternoon. After all that happened this morning it feels great to be on the front row, but the gap to Marc and Jorge is pretty big and it will be tough to beat them tomorrow. I'll be giving it my all though because the support from the British crowd today really spurred me on. They've really got behind me and it was a good feeling to bounce back from the crashes to get a front row."
Position: 10thd - Time: 2.02.409 - Laps: 7
"My lap time is something to be really proud of today because we made a big jump compared to the rest of the weekend. The overall result is not what we expected but going into QP1 showed we have been having a tough weekend. So to end up close to the top six is positive but that gap to the front is obviously a big step. I still believe we can make another step with the bike for tomorrow. It will be a long race but it might be an advantage to be able to follow and learn something because on this track it seems easier to chase than make a lap time on your own. It has not been an easy weekend but I've not made any mistakes and got faster every session, so I am looking forward the race and rewarding the amazing support from the British crowd.
BRADL BACK ON THE PACE AT SUNNY SILVERSTONE
Silverstone, 31 August: after yesterday's 9th position on day one, LCR rider Stefan Bradl was convinced that more had to come from his Honda machine and he confirmed his prediction getting an impressive 4th place in today's QP2 session at Silverstone race track. Thanks to the warmer afternoon temperatures the lap times dropped dramatically and the 23-year-old was capable to make good use of his soft rubber posting a best lap time of 2'01.558 ahead Pedrosa and Rossi.
"For sure this is the place we deserve because we improved a lot from yesterday and we finally achieved our target. This is a good sign because, in the last two rounds in Indianapolis and Brno, we were fast on Friday but we dropped off a bit on Saturday so I am quite happy about this qualifying session. I could push and ride the bike as I would like and must thank the team for their efforts: it's nice to start from the front again".
Third row for Ducati Team in Silverstone qualifying
Day two of the British Grand Prix was marked by sunny but chilly weather, with track conditions that encouraged the MotoGP riders to set a blistering pace in the qualifying session at the Silverstone Circuit.
Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were pleased with the improvements made to their Desmosedici GP13 race machines, but with the other riders getting faster as well, they qualified in seventh and ninth positions, respectively, and will start tomorrow's race on opposite ends of the third row.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th (2:02.123)
"I'm really pleased with my time. We all set good times, and I doubt if anyone could have expected we'd be able to lower them so much. Maybe the track improved a bit, but the new tyre also made a big difference when we didn't have much fuel. We've worked well the whole weekend, and I've been pretty fast. I think our race pace is still quite a way off, but we're certainly going better than we have at the other races so I think if we're able to have a consistent race, we might have a smaller gap to the leaders. It might be an unusual race because the tyres drop off after about six laps. You couldn't see it much in practice, but I think that the same thing as last year will happen."
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th (2:02.289)
"We've definitely improved a lot today, but everybody is going faster as the track gets better. I'd hoped to do a low 2'02", which I did. I thought maybe I could squeeze onto the second row, but one tenth made a big difference today. I made one little mistake on my best lap, which hurt me a little bit. Also, I have a hard time using the hard front tyre, so I chose to go with the soft front, which was better over the bumps but was also moving in some places. We need to try to make that work for the race and do a couple of little things to help with change of direction. We know it'll be tough, but we'll see what we can do."
Sixth row for Andrea Iannone and the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
The second day of action on the Silverstone circuit in the UK saw Andrea Iannone and the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team qualify on the sixth row of the grid for the race tomorrow.
Despite persistent discomfort in his right shoulder, Andrea gradually improved his time during the sessions of this 12th round of the World Championship, moving up from a time of 2'05.708, obtained during yesterday's FP1, to 2'04.073 which he set at the end of this morning's FP3.
Unfortunately the Italian rider has some difficulty in finding the right lines on this fast and demanding circuit, just as he did in the category he raced in last year.
Andrea Iannone - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
"These have been two difficult days of free practice. The track is very wide and very fast and I am making more effort than usual. I don't feel entirely comfortable, and it shows. Furthermore the problems of our bike are made even worse here for me, and it has been really hard so far. My shoulder has not improved and three races in a row has really tired me out. I was hoping to avoid the painkillers, yesterday I thought I could, but this afternoon I had some injections even though I already took a pain killer this morning, and this situation does not help me psychologically. Nevertheless, I'm giving my everything and I'm trying to understand how to improve for the race."