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GP Week : Issue 189
The big question at silverstone, third of three races in three weekends, was whether Marc Marquez could make it five wins in a row. He failed – but it was only by inches, and after picking up an injury in a morning warm-up spill that would stop most riders in their tracks. Instead it was at last Jorge Lorenzo’s and Yamaha’s turn ... the defending champion’s first since the Catalunyan GP way back in mid-June, and the bike’s first since Rossi at Assen. Jorge had to demonstrate his own return to full strength with a last-lap of full aggression, as his young tormentor overcame his own weakness with typical Marquez the Merciless style. Even then, the defeat did not cost the supposedly junior Repsol Honda rider too dear. Lorenzo is only a relatively distant threat to the historic maiden title win that is looking increasingly likely race by race. More important was that he defeated his older team-mate. Dani Pedrosa for once made a bad start (Lorenzo has taken over his rocket- ship mantle, it seems); and by the time he’d battled his way from sixth to catch the runaway pair up front, he had done for his tyres. He had no fight left in him, and Marquez extended his points advantage to a highly comfortable 30 points. With the race moved from the early part of the summer to September, the notoriously wet race was run instead in sunshine that last for all three days, and saw the lap record slashed by the best part of a second (it fell to Dani, in his catch-up charge). Silverstone’s sprawling acres laid on a top-class battle reminiscent of the best days of the 500 class. Rossi confirmed his uncomfortable new fourth-place status, and he too had to fight hard – once again against an ever-stronger Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda), battling to the end and still challenging over the line. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) fell away from this pair for a lone sixth; a dismayed Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha) had another bruising home GP, crashing three times over the weekend and overcoming painful injuries for a downbeat seventh after qualifying on the front row. The two Marlboro Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden battled for most of the race with second Monster Yamaha rider Bradley Smith. Dovi got the best of it, only to crash out with a couple of laps left; Hayden beat Smith by less than two tenths. Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics ART) broke a finger in a practice crash, but still managed to come out top CRT bike, in tenth. A record crowd of almost 74,000 were rewarded by a home win in the Moto2 race, where Scott Redding (Marc VDS Kalex) took a dominant victory to regain ground in the championship over practice faller Pol Espargaro (Tuenti Kalex), who finished tenth. Moto3 saw the usual Spanish suspects locked in combat from start to finish, with Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM) overcoming his own injuries (broken heel at Indy) to extend his points lead. Estrella Galicia KTM team- mates Alex Rins and Alex Marquez were second and third, with Maverick Vinales (Calvo KTM) an ultra-close fourth. MOTOGP >>> nEWs lorENzo fIGHTS bAck IN brIT clASSIc 14 GPWEEK.com // 14 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: