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Marquez vs Rossi vs Miller: a three-man freight train fights for Silverstone pole
High-speed chess in Q2 sees the reigning Champion emerge ahead in the final dash for the line
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez took pole number 60 of his career to steal P1 in a Q2 Silverstone stunner, with everything going down to the wire and a three-man freight train of Marquez, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) fighting it out in the final seconds of the session. Over the line it was Marquez who took the upper hand, with Rossi set to start P2 after taking his first front row since Austin and Miller alongside the two men on the front row in third. Turn 1 is going to be a stunner.
It was Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) who made it through from Q1 after finding themselves outside the top ten on Saturday morning, with the number 04 ultimately topping the session by 0.246 to set himself up for an assault on Q2. That Q2 didn’t disappoint, with the grid in the air until the final few seconds.
After the first run it was Free Practice pacesetter Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who was on provisional pole, but the Frenchman came under threat once the final assault began. Rossi needed a lap time after having his maiden lap cancelled for track limits and ‘The Doctor’, Marquez and Miller came out of pitlane at the same time as a cat and mouse game proceeded on the out-lap, with no one wanting to lead.
After they’d almost ground to a halt on the Wellington Straight, it had to be go-time and needing a lap time the most, Rossi had to bolt. Marquez and Miller slotted into the tow, and all three were up in the first sector. And the second…and then the third – but Marquez was the man with the biggest margin, the reigning Champion a few tenths under Quartararo’s time by the final sector.
As the three barrelled round the final corner, Rossi was first over the line to take over at the top, before being deposed by Marquez just behind him. A split second later Miller stole third, leaving Quartararo relegated to fourth and a Marquez-Rossi-Miller front row.
As it transpired, an alarm on the dash had caused the Frenchman to switch to his number two bike and there wasn’t time to change the front tyre. So Q2 may have been out of reach, but El Diablo’s FP4 pace says he’ll be guns blazing on Sunday afternoon…
Alongside Quartararo on the second row is Rins after a solid session despite the Suzuki rider’s journey through Q1, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) slotting into sixth after he’s shown good speed all weekend at the track that saw him take his first premier class win. Dovizioso, who topped Q1, will line up seventh and will be gunning for another characteristic stunner of a start, although the Italian’s fastest laptime was identical to that of Viñales.
Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was eighth fastest and starts just ahead of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) after the home hero suffered a crash in Q2, with his teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) completing the top ten.
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) had a tough day at the track where he took his first podium and was P11, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and the Red Bull KTM Factory racing duo of Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco. Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira was only just off the factory duo in P15.
A Q2 treat sees Marquez vs Rossi take centre stage, but there’s plenty of challengers waiting in the wings. The man who set the pace all weekend is certainly one of them, but a good eight riders will fancy their chances of a win or assault on the podium, so it looks like we’re set up for another Silverstone stunner. Tune in for the race LIVE at 13:00 local time (GMT+1) on Sunday afternoon.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales were in the mix during today’s sunny Q2 session at the Silverstone Circuit. Both riders flashed multiple red sectors. In the end it was Rossi who put his YZR-M1 on the front row in second place, whilst Viñales will start the GoPro British Grand Prix from sixth position, on the second row.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales showed great form on the second day at the Silverstone Circuit. Having both secured places in the Q2 session at the end of FP3, the Factory Yamaha riders went on to set impressive lap times under the 1’59s-mark to secure second and sixth place respectively on the grid for tomorrow‘s GoPro British Grand Prix.
Rossi was quick to leave pit lane and commence his 15-minute shoot-out. His first hot lap earned him provisional fifth place after all riders had completed their first attempt. His next lap was cancelled due to exceeding track limits and meanwhile he moved down the order to 11th place.
With six minutes remaining, the Doctor pulled into the pits for a fresh rear tyre. He was quickly back on his way. In theory he had enough time for two more flying laps, but with various riders cruising and looking for a tow, the Italian opted to wait until the last moment to make a dash for pole. He was now lying in P12 and the pressure was on, but that’s when Rossi shines. He produced a 1’58.596s lap to qualify in second place, 0.428s from first.
Viñales waited for most of the riders to exit their pit garages before he swung his leg over his YZR-M1, ready to push to the max, going all out for just one hot lap. He slotted into third position after this first try and immediately returned to the box.
With four and a half minutes on the clock, the Spaniard was back on his way. He was holding fifth place for the moment but was intent on being on the front row of the grid. He set three red sectors on his penultimate bid, but a twitch in the last sector cost him precious time, although he did move back up to fourth with this 1’58.762s lap. Unable to improve with his last effort, Viñales ended the session in sixth place, 0.594s from pole.
“Today was positive. We made another step, so Valentino and Maverick were comfortable with their bikes and were able to push hard during qualifying. Starting from the front two rows is crucial for tomorrow‘s race, so that was our aim, but there are many riders that are fast for one hot lap, so we knew it was going to be tight. Vale already showed he was strong this morning. Because of the traffic on track, he had only one chance to really push to the limit and he delivered with a very fast 1‘58s-lap, earning second place. Maverick couldn’t capitalise on his final hot lap, but his penultimate time puts him on the second row, which is still within our target for today. For sure he would have liked to be on the first row, but we have seen his race pace and rhythm and are confident that he will be in the mix tomorrow too. We‘ll continue to work tonight to fine-tune the bikes and find some extra time in some parts of the track. We will also make the final tyre choice tomorrow morning, because this will be a key factor in how the British GP plays out when the riders will be completing a full race distance for the first time on this new track surface.”
“I‘m very happy, because starting from the front row is important now, it‘s crucial for the race. We worked well, I feel good with the bike, and also the pace is quite good. I hit some traffic and I had to wait, there was some confusion, but then I said to myself ’I can‘t start from the back, I have to do everything I can in one lap‘ and I enjoyed it very much, it was a great lap. I feel good on this track. For the second part of the season we changed something on the bike and I feel better, race by race I‘m getting more competitive. I have a quite good pace, we need to make the right tyre choice, but I feel good with the bike and I want to make it a good race. We hope that we will also have good weather tomorrow, and we‘ll try to be ready.”
“It has been a good weekend so far. We prepared really well for the race and I feel very confident for tomorrow, so I‘m going to try my best from Lap 1. Somehow I can hit very good lap times at the end of a race, which means that will be one of our strong points. I will be trying the maximum at the end. The beginning of the race is what we have to improve on, we have to be at the maximum level there too. I think it will be important to make another step in the Warm Up tomorrow if we want to battle for the win. The podium is very open, so we will try to be there, at the front, at the beginning and then we‘ll see.”
On song Marquez soars for record-breaking Silverstone pole
Marc Marquez delivered his 60th premier class pole position from 120 premier class starts with a new lap record at the British Grand Prix, Jorge Lorenzo battled his physical condition.
Times were tumbling from early in the day as the Silverstone circuit record was improved on continuously throughout the day. The bar was provisionally set during Free Practice 3 when Marc Marquez was one of three riders to enter the 1’58s – over a second faster than the record from 2017.
Immediately in the 1’58s from his first flying lap of Q2, Marc Marquez left it late to set his fastest time as he secured pole with a 1’58.168 and set a new outright lap record around the Silverstone circuit. The record-breaking lap is his 60th pole position in the premier class on what is his 120th premier class start. This is also the World Championship leader’s eighth pole of the 2019 season and his fourth pole in a row.
Aside from his incredible pole lap, Marquez has demonstrated strong and consistent race pace throughout the weekend in Silverstone. The competition in the MotoGP World Championship is as close as ever as Marc Marquez prepares to battle for a potential 88th premier class podium with the Repsol Honda Team.
Jorge Lorenzo continued his efforts in returning to pre-injury form, improving his lap time with each session on track. Able to set a 2’01.562 during Q1, the still recovering Lorenzo has improved his pace by almost three seconds since Friday. Given his physical condition, Jorge Lorenzo is aware of the challenge a full distance MotoGP race at Silverstone presents on Sunday.
Sunday’s 20-lap British Grand Prix will begin at 13:00 local time as the second race of the day due to the unique running schedule of the British round.
“With the first tyre I felt really, really good and I just tried to find a good lap and I did my first lap alone. When we went out with the second tyre there was a fair bit of traffic, I was on top in the results so I did not want to push first. We were then waiting a bit and playing with our strategy and then on the last lap the tyres were ready and we made a really good lap. Valentino was ahead, maybe a little too far because I couldn’t profit fully from the slipstream. I think we can be strong in the race tomorrow, but for sure there are many rivals for tomorrow.”
“I am still limited a lot by my physical condition, tomorrow will be a difficult day but I want to race to test myself. I’m realistic about what to expect from the race, it’s not something I have experienced before in my career but I am the only rider on track with this kind of injury. It’s important to finish this weekend because it means I can be physically and mentally more prepared for the next test and races. We will try our hardest tomorrow and avoid any unnecessary risks.”
MotoGP | Saturday 24 August 2019
Third and fourth row starts for Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, seventh and eleventh respectively, in British GP qualifying at Silverstone
Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci will line up for the start of the British Grand Prix, which is scheduled to get underway at 13.00 local time (14.00 CET) tomorrow and which will be run over 20 laps of the Silverstone circuit, from rows 3 and 4 respectively after today’s qualifying session.
Dovizioso finished this morning’s FP3 session in fourteenth and so had to take part in Q1, which he headed with a time of 1’58.944. Andrea then improved in Q2, with a lap time of 1’58.762, exactly the same as Viñales, but he was classified seventh behind the Spanish rider.
Danilo Petrucci was fifth quickest in FP3 with a time of 1’59.034 which took him through into Q2, but he was unable to repeat that performance in qualifying and will start from row 4 in eleventh place after recording a lap time of 1’59.487.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1’58.762 (7th)
“Luckily we managed to find a good feeling in FP4, when we used the hard tyre for the first time and we were in good shape by carefully studying the data. Marquez appears to be the quickest, but then there’s a group of five riders, me included, who all have a similar pace. It’s difficult to predict how the race will go: for sure the Yamahas and the Suzuki of Rins, as well as Marquez, will be very strong, especially over the early laps, but this track is very challenging, both for the tyres and for the body, so we’ll have to see what will happen. Tomorrow it’ll probably be hot again, the same as or even more than today, and I think that a lot of riders will opt for the hard tyre, which isn’t easy to get the best out of because it doesn’t have much grip but allows you to ride more smoothly. It’s a pity I just lost out on the second row, but I don’t think that the starting position will affect my race.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1’59.487 (11th)
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do a good qualifying session. It’s a pity because this morning I liked the bike a lot and I was fast: in the afternoon we made a few small changes but I wasn’t able to find the same feeling. In Q2 there was a lot of rear grip but not very much at the front and I felt that the steering was lighter so I couldn’t even repeat this morning’s time, maybe because of the higher temperature. Our minimum aim was to start from the second or the third row, but we didn’t manage it and so the race won’t be very easy for us. Now we’ll have to have a close look at the data to see exactly what happened and try and find a solution for tomorrow.”
The Ducati Team will be back on track again tomorrow, Sunday 25th August, at 9.30 local time (10.30 CET) for the warm-up session in preparation for the race, which is scheduled to start at 13.00 local time (14.00 CET).
The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team pair of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli will start tomorrow’s British Grand Prix from fourth and eighth respectively, after a solid qualifying performance at Silverstone. Fast throughout practice, they’re going into tomorrow’s race with strong grid positions and confidence in their potential in the 20-lap race.
Quartararo was set back a little in qualifying by a small technical issue with his number one bike and forced to switch to his number two machine on short notice. Spending much of the qualifying session holding onto the top spot, he was unfortunately bumped from the front row in the final seconds of the session, but nevertheless secured a second-row qualifying position. Ultra-fast and consistent in the day’s practice sessions, he’s raring to get going tomorrow and certain that he can be a key player in the battle for the victory.
Team-mate Morbidelli ended the day delighted with his speed in both time attack and race pace, closing the distance to the front-runners and ending up eighth for tomorrow’s race. Feeling stronger over race distance than on one flying lap and enjoying an impressive practice session this morning, he too goes into the race content that he can be involved in the fight at the front of the race.
Tomorrow’s 20-lap British Grand Prix will get underway at Silverstone at 1300 local time (2000 Malaysian time).
“Today we improved, but unfortunately so did everyone else so we’re more or less in the same place as before! But the gap is a lot smaller than it was, and in FP4 I had a good feeling and strong pace. We’ve still got some work to do, but from what we’ve seen in practice I’m not too far away. It’s going to be a big group race tomorrow because a lot of riders are all at a similar level, and I think it could be a good fun fight.”
“From the beginning of the first lap I had an error showing on my dash, so when I came into the garage, I unfortunately needed to swap to my second bike. We didn’t have time to change the front tyre, so I had to use a soft tyre that wasn’t my first choice. We still managed to get a good lap time. Although we’re not on the front row, we’ve been fast all weekend and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. There are many riders who will be fast in the race, but I’ll try to stay with the group, manage the tyre degradation and see what happens.”
ALEIX TWELFTH IN THE SILVERSTONE QUALIFIERS
CHATTERING LIMITS ANDREA, ON THE SIXTH ROW
The first good news for team Aprilia came at the end of FP3, where Aleix Espargaró was sent straight through to the Q2 session. The Spanish rider therefore took advantage of FP4 to work on race strategy, trying various tyre options and assessing the ideal setup. Aleix finished qualifying with a time of 1’59.620, which puts him in twelfth place.
Andrea struggled in today’s sessions with some nasty chattering which limited his efforts in finding the best performance. His time of 2’00.240 places him in the second spot of the sixth row on the grid. In anticipation of the race, Andrea and his team will analyse their options to attenuate the problem with vibrations and increase the feeling.
“I am having a lot of fun riding the bike and that is a positive aspect. I think that the new asphalt is helping. We have not had any problems caused by vibrations. The layout, with not too many spots where we need to accelerate from low speed, also suits the RS-GP well. I am pleased with this Saturday, but the top-ranking riders were really fast. It will not be easy to stay in the group during the race, but that is my goal.”
“In terms of tyre selection and race configuration, we have rather clear ideas. Unfortunately, we still have the chattering problem which really limited me. We’ll see if the guys are able to find some solution that will allow me to gain confidence and close the gap, even compared to Aleix. It will not be simple, but we’ll hang in there and try to improve constantly.”
Espargaro takes 13th on the British Grand Prix grid
MotoGP 2019 – Round 12, Silverstone Circuit (GBR)
Red Bull KTM faced qualification at a sunny GoPro British Grand Prix and a resurfaced Silverstone circuit for the twelfth round of the 2019 series today. Pol Espargaro took 13th position on the grid ahead of two other RC16s for the 20 lap race tomorrow.
MotoGP reactivated at the UK’s historic home for motorsport – the Silverstone Circuit in England’s midlands – for the twelfth round of nineteen this year and the rain and cancellation of 2018 was partially forgotten with warm sunshine and a decent climate at the fast and long layout today.
The comprehensive resurfacing work at Silverstone was positively received by the riders as lap records tumbled through the first Free Practice sessions on Friday and the crucial Qualification runs during Saturday afternoon. Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro took his factory RC16 to 13th place in Q1 and was just 0.4 of a second from making the cut to Q2. His chrono of 1:59.549 represented an improvement of three seconds from 2018.
Teammate Johann Zarco had to wait until late into Q1 to make his time attack after a technical problem with his first race bike, and was also slithers of a second from entering Q2. The Frenchman was just 0.01 behind Espargaro and will line-up adjacent to the Spaniard on the grid.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira showed promising speed on Saturday around the old venue and his 8th fastest lap-time caught the eye in FP3. The Portuguese ended the day ranked behind Zarco in 15th – to create an all-KTM row – while Hafizh Syahrin was 20th; the Malaysian still feeling his way back to pace after his heavy crash at the Red Bull Ring two weeks ago.
The GoPro British Grand Prix gets underway at a later time (CET) tomorrow but MotoGP occurs at 14.00 as the second race on the schedule.
Pol Espargaro: “I’m quite happy and we made a fast lap but I was losing three tenths and that stopped me entering Q2, which was frustrating. I was expecting FP3 to be better for us. Anyway, we have good information and we have to use it for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the race because I was quick in FP4 with the hard tyre and we have good rhythm but we must work on the fourth sector to not give that time away.”
Johann Zarco: “I’m happy and the progression was interesting. I had the potential to go into Q2 in FP3 but just missed a few tenths and it was still possible to improve. In the afternoon I was a bit unlucky with the first bike and the mechanical problem and I knew I had one chance with the second bike that was fitted with the soft option. I made a good lap and had Pol and [Alex] Rins as a reference. For the performance we have so far here at Silverstone it was a good day.”
Miguel Oliveira: “Overall, today has been difficult. We managed to do our best to be fast. This morning, we were realistically thinking about Q2, but didn’t [make it] by less than a tenth of a second. We knew, that Q1 was going to be difficult but we did our best and finally, we have a quite unique Qualifying with one row full of KTM’s. Tomorrow we will see how our pace is.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “In comparison to yesterday I improved my time and my position. Our plan for tomorrow is to find a steady pace in Warm Up and use this during the race. The main target is to stay upright. I still need to improve something on the bike, as I still struggle in turning but we will work hard in order to find a better setup for the race tomorrow.”
Moto2 & Moto3
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder emerged with the 8th best effort in the Moto2 Q2. The South African was just 0.5 of a second from the Pole Position mark set by Alex Marquez. In Moto3 Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team’s Raul Fernandez will sit on the front row of the grid courtesy of a fastest lap that placed the Spaniard in 3rd. Can Öncü is on the ninth row and 25th spot.
Races: August 25th, 2019 – Moto3 12.20 | MotoGP 14.00 CET | Moto2 15.30
Results Qualifying MotoGP Silverstone 2019
1. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda 1:58.168
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Yamaha +0.428
5. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +0.434
4. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha +0.444
5. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki +0.502
13. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM 1.59.549 (Q1)
14. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM 1:59.648 (Q1)
15. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:59.758 (Q1)
20. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 2:00.700 (Q1)
Oliveira and Syahrin to launch British GP from row five and seven
Sunny skies accompanied Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira this morning while he was braking the 2:00 minutes mark in FP3. The fast rookie lowered his best time further in the course of the day and was fifth fastest in Q1, which means he’ll have to start his 12th premier class race from row five of the grid.
Yet, Hafizh Syahrin further built up his confidence aboard the KTM RC16 on Saturday, went faster with nearly each session and ended up 10th in Qualifying one. The Malaysian is eager to improve on his position come race day tomorrow. The British Grand Prix kicks off at 13.00 local time (14.00 CET) on Sunday.
“Overall, today has been difficult. We managed to do our best to be fast. This morning, we were realistically thinking about Q2, but didn’t came in directly for less than a tenth of a second. We knew, that Q1 is going to be difficult, but we did our best and finally, we have a quite unique Qualifying with one row full of KTM’s. Tomorrow we will see how our pace is. Right now, it’s fine-tuning for the race, so let’s wait and see what we can do.”
“In comparison to yesterday I improved my time and my position. Our plan for tomorrow is to find a steady pace in Warm Up and use this during the race. The main target is to stay upright. I still need to improve something on the bike a bit, as I still struggle in turning, but the team and me, we work hard in order to find a better setup for the race tomorrow.”
THIRD ROW START FOR CRUTCHLOW AT SILVERSTONE
Cal Crutchlow will start the British Grand Prix from the third row of the grid, after setting the ninth fastest time during qualifying at Silverstone on Saturday. The LCR Honda CASTROL man had gone straight through to the qualifying final after showing consistent pace during free practice at his home race, and was amongst the first to post a fast lap in the 15-minute shootout.
On his second qualifying run, Crutchlow was pushing to take a spot on the front row at his home race, but unfortunately lost the front of his Honda RC213V at Stowe corner. The Brit was had to settle with his first effort, but still harbours hopes of pushing on towards the podium positions in front of his adoring home public.
The 20-lap British Grand Prix takes place at 1pm local time on Sunday, with Crutchlow hoping for a good start to put him in the mix.
Cal Crutchlow – 9th
(1’59.243 – lap 3 of 5)
“I will try my best, that’s all I can do. There’s not a lot of room here before the first corner to make up places, so I expect to be deep on the first lap and will have to pick my way through the field. I think we have to throw the chips all-in on the first few laps to get towards the front, because otherwise the race will split. I don’t want to get caught out early on. Things almost never go to plan, but let’s see tomorrow”.
“The crash was completely my fault, but that’s what happens when you’re trying to go for pole. It was a bit of a rookie mistake. I braked too far into the corner, but I had nobody in front of me and a bit of a headwind and thought I could brake a bit deeper. When I braked I didn’t brake enough initially and just carried too much speed in. I tried to hold it instead of running off, so it’s just one of those things. Everyone is so fast in MotoGP at the moment and pushing so hard, I wanted desperately to be up at the front, and this is what can happen.”