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Aug 24, 2018

MotoGP: More From Friday At The British Grand Prix At Silverstone

Andrea Dovizioso (04).

Stand-off at Silverstone: Dovizioso, Crutchlow and Viñales within a tenth

After Yamaha dominated FP1 at the GoPro British Grand Prix, 2017 winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) came out firing on all cylinders in FP2 to go fastest overall on Friday - but home hero Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was just 0.005s off the Italian’s 2:01.358 to take second. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), meanwhile, stayed up at the sharp end for a strong opening day overall, with the 2016 winner 0.061 off the top to end the day in third overall.

After a sunny morning, the threat of rain was in the air but it held off as the premier class got an all-important dry Friday under their belts on a newly resurfaced Silverstone. Behind that close trio at the top it was Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who took fourth - joined in the top five by Austria sparring partner Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) - despite some ups and downs for the two. Marquez suffered a crash in FP1 - a low drama lowside - and Lorenzo left it late to blast back into the top ten and provisional Q2 entry should the weather change.

After finishing FP1 in fifth, meanwhile, Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) continued to rediscover his early season speed to end Friday sixth fastest overall, less than half a second behind fellow Ducati man Dovizioso. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) managed to grab a top ten position in seventh at the end of FP2, the Frenchman jumping up two positions from his P9 in the morning, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) eighth quickest overall after finishing FP1 in second - a turnaround so far for the Iwata marque after a tough Red Bull Ring.

Fellow Italian Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) consolidated a top ten in FP2 to finish ninth quickest, with Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) sitting in the final provisional automatic Q2 spot in tenth, improving from P11 in FP1.

So far Silverstone looks set to be a classic, with Ducati, Yamaha and Crutchlow all aiming to take the fight to Marquez this weekend. The premier class have another chance to book their place in Q2 on Saturday morning, with big names such as Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) all aiming to get into the top ten before qualifying kicks off at 14:10 local time (GMT +1).

The action wasn't over by Friday evening as Petronas and Sepang International Circuit presented their MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™ projects. Joined by representatives of Yamaha and Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta (far left), the Press Conference saw the team discuss the new outfit ahead of its debut as well as confirm their line up.

Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo will race in the premier class, with Malaysian Khairul Idham Pawi stepping in to the Moto2™ team. The Moto3™ riders will be Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee.

Schrötter reigns before the rain sets in

Marcel Schrotter (23). Photo courtesy of Dorna/

FP1’s fastest man Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) ends Friday at the GoPro British Grand Prix fastest overall following the heavens opening for the intermediate class in FP2, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and local hero Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) rounding out the top three after proving the fastest trio in the morning.

The start of the afternoon session was dry, but it wasn’t long before the rain started to fall on the Northamptonshire circuit - ending anyone’s hopes of improving their times from FP1. This meant the overall standings remained as they were from the morning, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) fourth quickest and FP2’s quickest man Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) fifth overall.

Fabio Quartararo (+ Ego Speed Up Racing) goes into qualifying day as the sixth quickest rider at Silverstone, with Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) seventh on the combined times – 0.741 back from Schrötter. Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) continues his good run of form to finish eighth on day one, with Romano Fenati (Marinelli Snipers Team) and Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) completing the top ten.

Meanwhile, Championship contender Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) ended Friday down in P20 on the combined timesheets. The Portuguese rider began the day with a lowside and was then thwarted by the rain - so he'll likely be one of the first to blast back out on Saturday, looking to improve.

The Moto2™ field will be hoping the final practice session will be dry ahead of qualifying at Silverstone, with the battle for pole getting underway at 15:05 local time (GMT +1).

Arbolino heads Italian 1-2-3 on Friday

Tony Arbolino. Photo courtesy of Dorna/

Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) went fastest in Moto3™ FP2 to go top on Friday at the GoPro British Grand Prix, despite having finished 18th in FP1. It was close at the top, however, as Championship leader Marco Bezzeccchi (Redox PrustelGP) ended the day second and just 0.008 behind his compatriot, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) rounding out the top three on the overall timesheets.

The rain threatened to disrupt the lightweight class’ second session of the weekend, but it held off before the field came out to put in some of the quickest times of the day. Fourth on the overall timesheets was Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider), improving from his P16 finish in the morning, with Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) rounding out the top five after the opening day’s track action – slipping down from P2 in FP1 as the top five were the only riders to drop below the 2:15 barrier.

Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) was the man to beat in the morning, however, and the German rider eventually ended up sixth fastest on the opening day as the top 20 riders all improved their times in the afternoon. Seventh overall was Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), with Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrustelGP) in P8. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) improved from 22nd in FP1 to finish ninth at the end of the opening day, with the still-recovering Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) rounding out the top ten in another impressive performance despite his crash at Brno.

So, Arbolino it is who ends Friday at Silverstone on top as qualifying day appears on the horizon. Who will grab pole on Saturday? Find out from 12:35 (GMT +1).

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech3:

Intense opening day for Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo in Silverstone

Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin started their work for the British Grand Prix today with two busy sessions at one of the longest tracks in the MotoGP calendar. With an impressive effort during the last minutes of the second session today, French star Zarco made it to the provisional Q2 rankings, after he improved on his fastest FP1 lap by 1.281 seconds in order to conclude Friday in seventh position.

In the meantime, Syahrin did a huge step in the course of his first day aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 at the British circuit. The Malaysian rookie lowered his lap time by incredible 2.155 seconds from this morning to the afternoon, while increasing his feeling at the windy and demanding venue. Syahrin now eagerly awaits FP3 tomorrow morning at 9.55 local time to make another step into the right direction.

Johann Zarco

Position: 7th - Time: 2’01.962 - Laps: 32

Johann Zarco (5).

“We were lucky to have dry conditions today, so I’m happy because we were able to do some really good work in the course of the day. In the afternoon we improved a lot and on my last three laps I really got a great feeling and I’m satisfied that the bike was answering well. We ended up in seventh position, which is going to be useful in case of rain tomorrow to be straight in Q2. The track itself is difficult, the wind and the bumps make the bike moving a lot, but this pushes us to work even more on the bike. I think we can find further solutions for this, which will also help us a lot for the next races.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 18th - Time: 2’03.293 - Laps: 33

Hafizh Syahrin (55).

“I felt very good today, but we still need to find a better feeling with the front. I know that Barcelona is already far from this weekend but I’m looking for the sensations I had there in order to stop the bike better. We are working really hard and improve step by step. Here we find quite many bumps, so it’s even harder to turn the bike when the front is jumping. We need to try to solve this situation. This track is not easy with the GP machine, I need to understand everything a bit better and then we see how it will work out tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:


The doubts concerning the condition of the English asphalt at Silverstone that had been raised on the eve of the MotoGP weekend were confirmed by the first two practice sessions, where both Aprilia riders paid the price for the instability generated by the bumps in terms of times. The characteristics of the track, combined with the particularly low temperatures, did not help Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding to find the right rhythm and this is a situation that the team mechanics will be trying to mitigate for the qualifiers tomorrow.


"Right now, we have difficulty in acceleration. The bike is not stable and the extremely bumpy asphalt certainly does not help. Looking at the times, we are just a few tenths outside the top 10, but I am able to keep that pace only for a few laps and riding at the limit - conditions that cannot be replicated in the race. It is shaping up to be a hard weekend for us, but we need to work non-stop to find some solutions that will help us."


"With these low temperatures, we are really struggling to get the tyres up to temp. I used the soft front for this reason, but unfortunately it moves around a lot. The bumps make the bike twitchy. I am unable to ride smoothly and find the right rhythm. Tomorrow I should be using the new evolution of the engine that we tested in Misano, so we'll see if that, along with other changes, will help me improve."

More, from a press release issued by Angel Nieto Team:


Ángel Nieto Team rider places tenth on opening day at Silverstone, with a provisional spot in Q2

The MotoGP World Championship action in Great Britain got underway with up to four Ducati riders amongst the Top 10. With track temperatures of around 24ºC, Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest rider of the day, clocking a 2:01.390 lap of the Silverstone circuit. Home rider Cal Crutchlow was second, just 5 thousandths of a second off Dovizioso. The leader of the World Championship, Marc Márquez, closed the first day in fourth position, just behind Maverick Viñales.

Angel Nieto Team rider Álvaro Bautista, who yesterday announced that he will compete as a factory Ducati rider in World Superbikes in 2019, started the British GP well. The Spaniard is provisionally through to Q2, lying tenth on the timesheets. He was a second down on Dovizioso, and struggled with bumps on the track that destabilised his Ducati. Karel Abraham finished this first day at Silverstone in twenty-second position, after improving by more than a second between the first and the second session. The Czech rider worked together with his team to improve the front end grip for his Ducati. Abraham could have cut 7 tenths off his best time had his top sector times been combined, but he was impeded by a rider in front of him.

10th Álvaro Bautista 2:02.448 (26 laps): "Our goal is always to be in Q2, and we will be there with our position now if it were to rain tomorrow. Today we have been able to compare the performances of each type of tyre and there isn't much of a difference. The only bad thing about this weekend is the circuit, which I'm not comfortable with at all. It seems that there are no bumps, because at first glance you don't see them but then the bike moves a lot and is very unstable. I don't have a good feeling but I think we are all in the same position. We will have to try to improve the movements on the bike and get more confidence because on many parts of the circuit I can't force the bike -it's as if it's floating. I think it will be tough, because we basically haven't changed anything since the last race, so it must be the circuit that's the problem."

22nd Karel Abraham 2:04.223 (27 laps): "I think the team did a great job, because we had a problem this morning but we managed to reduce its effects for the afternoon. With us not having winglets, we have wheelie problems and the bike can't work with maximum power; I can't steer it and we don't have all the grip we need -especially coming out of fast corners. In the second session of the day we had a better race pace, but with new tyres I only managed to get three hot laps in. That was ruined by the rider in front of me. My ideal lap is up to seven tenths quicker than my final lap. The attitude of this rider was neither safe nor responsible, and it happened to me twice, but we will continue working tomorrow."

More, from a press release issued by Alma Pramac Racing:

GoPro British Grand Prix - Free Practices

#BritishGP FP – Great Friday for Jack (P6). Petrux abandoned his time attack to avoid a collision with Lorenzo

The first day of free practice of the #BritishGP gives very positive indications to Alma Pramac Racing. Jack Miller is in great shape and is fast in both FP1 and FP2. Danilo Petrucci works on race pace in FP1 and in FP2 he finds a great feeling but is forced to abandon his time attack to avoid a collision with Jorge Lorenzo.

Jack pushes very hard in FP1 finishing in P5 without using the soft rubber. Also in FP2, the Australian rider confirms his great feeling with the Ducati Desmosedici GP and with the medium tyre he notches up a precious lap-time that would allow him, in case of rain tomorrow, to conquer direct qualification to Q2.

Petrux focuses on the tyres in the FP1 and the indications are positive. In the afternoon free practice, the rider from Terni is constantly in Top 10 but in the time attack, after two very fast sectors, finds Jorge Lorenzo - that has just come out of the pits - in his trajectory. The Spanish rider suddenly brakes and Danilo is forced to go off the track to avoid the impact.

P12 – Danilo Petrucci 2'02.616

"I was doing a good lap but I had to release the brakes and get out of the track to not hit Jorge who was going slow in the trajectory. It's a shame because I was sure I could be in the Top 10. Tomorrow we will try again as the feelings are positive".

P6 – Jack Miller 2'01.819

"I am pleased with this first day of free practices. The feeling is very good and we have done a good job with the tires. Maybe we didn't find the ideal moment to get out with the soft but with the medium one, the time is really good. We have great confidence”.

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez and Pedrosa begin action at Silverstone

One can always rely on British weather to have a say in the day’s plans, but luckily enough, today at Silverstone the rain waited to fall until just after the end of the MotoGP FP2 session. That being the case, the Repsol Honda riders had two dry sessions to make their first steps on the newly resurfaced circuit and start their work for Sunday’s 1 p.m. British GP.

Following his usual work path, Marc Marquez spent the entire morning session on the same set of tyres, recording the 10th fastest time before moving up to fourth overall in the afternoon stint.

Dani Pedrosa also improved his speed over the day, reducing his gap to the top by over a second, though he moved up just two positions, from his morning 17th place to 15th at day’s end.

Marc Marquez 93

4TH 2'01.529

“I’m very happy with today’s final outcome because this morning we didn’t have the best start to the weekend; I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike and also had a small slide that didn’t help. We struggled with the bumps, wind and new asphalt because last year’s base setup wasn’t working so well anymore. We did a recheck of everything and made a huge step from FP1 to FP2. We understood the direction to follow, which is very positive; the team has done a great job. We must continue this way tomorrow as there are a few things we have to improve further, but the important thing is that we’re right there again, not far from the top. Tomorrow we’ll try to get a front-row start, but if that’s not possible, we must do not worse than the second row because with a high chance of rain on Sunday, it will be important to start near the front.”

Dani Pedrosa 26

15TH 2'02.864

"I hoped to have a better feeling on the new asphalt but unfortunately there still some bumps on the track, and with the addition of some wind, the bike was moving around quite a lot. We actually made an improvement in the afternoon and recovered up to a top-10 place, but at the very end of the session, we didn’t make that final step that would have allowed us to keep it. Tomorrow we’ll try to improve the bike’s setup further and also work on tyre choice, as we have an extra spec here that we need to test.”

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:


Andrea Iannone: 9th - 2:02.231 (+ 0.846)

Alex Rins: 19th - 2:03.591 (+ 2.206)

• Iannone places inside the Top 10.

•Tricky opening day for Rins.

•Cold and windy conditions dominating Day 1.

Friday morning saw a very chilly start to the British GP, with air temperatures hovering around 15c for FP1. This, paired with a new track surface which still contains many bumps, meant the riders had a lot to contend with in the morning session. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins closed FP1 in 8th and 16th respectively.

FP2 carried possible significance for qualifying as it’s likely tomorrow’s FP3 could be too cold to see big improvements. Iannone and Rins were able to try a variety of different tyre options during the session and on the Italian’s final stint he was able to place himself into provisional Q2 with 9th place, +0.846 seconds from the top. Despite both riders improving their deficit compared to the morning, Rins struggled to climb the leaderboard in FP2 and he completed the afternoon in 19th place.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“We were struggling today on this circuit. Andrea managed to finish in the Top 10, but we still have room to improve. Alex is struggling to find a way to go fast, and the wind is not helping, but it’s the same for everybody. We need to work a bit with the tyres and how to understand the best combination for the race. We’ll keep working and try to improve our pace tomorrow.”

Andrea Iannone

“For sure with the new asphalt the track seems more slippery and the situation is strange because we all expected better conditions. The bike moves a lot and it’s more bumpy. The feeling with the bike is not so bad but we are quite far from the top riders. We have to improve a lot, especially in braking and acceleration. In the first part of the braking we lose more than the others and this is where we’re losing the most time. Let's see if we are able to improve the set-up for tomorrow.”

Alex Rins

“It seems like it’s difficult for us here in Silverstone, but we are working to improve our lap time tomorrow, we need to improve a lot in some areas. But together we’re giving 100%, so we just need to improve. We need to stay positive and concentrate on the bike and the rhythm. I hope to get better as the weekend goes on and put in a good performance on Sunday.”

More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:


Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales started the weekend as the fastest man at Silverstone in FP1 and kept showing great speed in FP2 to end the day in third place. Valentino Rossi also featured in the provisional P1 spot. He showed good pace in the first practice session ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix, but finished eighth in the combined standings.

Silverstone (UK), 24th August 2018

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales made a strong start to this weekend's British Grand Prix in the first free practice sessions. He wrapped up Day 1 as the third fastest rider overall. Valentino Rossi also needed little time to adjust to the Silverstone Circuit and showed he has the pace to contend at the top of the timesheets. His fastest time of the day took him up to eighth place in the combined free practice results.

Viñales had been looking forward to riding at the Silverstone Circuit for weeks, and the YZR-M1 was as good around it as he remembered. He was soon positioned at the top of the timesheets, more than a second clear of the rest of the field. The pace picked up, but the Yamaha rider responded every time and finished by setting two successive fastest laps, a 2‘02.165s and a 2‘02.073s, to end the session in first place, 0.189s ahead of his teammate in second place.

The Spaniard was quick to get into the flow of things again in the afternoon. He claimed the number one spot on his first flying lap. He was pushed down to third, but kept dropping 2‘02s laps, showing his strong pace. He was on a late charge, eager to regain the honour of finishing in first place, but some chatter on the start-finish straight as he completed his penultimate lap prohibited him from fully exploiting the soft rear tyre. Nevertheless, he had still managed to set a new PB of the day, a 2'01.446s, to take third place, just 0.061s from first.

The wind and cold morning temperatures (15°C) also didn‘t bother teammate Rossi. The Italian gradually upped his pace in FP1 and climbed up to the top-4 in the last 15 minutes of the session. As the competition heated slightly in the final stages, he put in a soft tyre, just like his teammate, and moved up from ninth in the rankings to second place, 0.189s behind Viñales.

The Doctor followed the same strategy in the afternoon. He waited for the final third of the session to make his mark. He rode a strong stint on the medium rear tyre and didn‘t stop posting low 2‘02s laps until he secured P1 with a 2‘02.152s. He held this position until the last five minutes, when various riders put in a soft tyre to secure a place in the provisional combined FP top-10. Rossi also gave it a go on the softer option but was unable to improve his time, which secured him eighth position in the FP2 and combined free practice results, 0.767s from the top.



We started the weekend exactly as we intended: having both riders feature at the top of the timesheets right from the first session. The test in Misano last week helped us prepare a bit for this weekend, because we started it the way we ended things there. We know the YZR-M1 suits this track, but we were curious about the new asphalt. Despite the cooler weather conditions and the bumps on track, both riders are quite comfortable on their bikes. We've been able to compare multiple tyre options, but the combination for the race hasn't been decided yet. We'll continue the fine-tuning tomorrow and we'll we keep an eye on things because changeable weather is forecast, so we'll need to be able to adapt to whatever the weekend brings. It looks like the race will be wet, so we hope to have at least one fully wet practice session to prepare for Sunday.


For sure, Silverstone is a circuit I really love to ride at. I love every corner of this track, so this helps a lot. The combination of this track and this bike helps too. We made good improvement. We could see today in the data that the bike was working better than it was in the previous races, and that's really important. We're going to try to at least fight for the win. So far we're having a good weekend and we're feeling positive. There's still work to do, but we're at a good point. Concerning the lines, riding style, and electronics, there's still a little room for improvement. This will be very important for the next days.


It looks like this track is better for the M1 and Yamaha, our bike works well. Maverick and I are quite fast. About the tyres, I tried the soft, I tried the medium, front and rear. It's always a lot of work with the tyre decision, because you have to understand the situation well, but it looks like it didn't change a lot compared to last year. The allocation is good. The new asphalt's grip is a bit better than the old one. It's also good because last year we had a lot of types of asphalt, there was a bit of confusion, but now there's just one. The problem is the bumps, because they remained and there are quite a lot of them. That situation is difficult, but for the rest it's good.

More, from a press release issued by Reale Avintia Racing:

Rabat within the fastest riders on the first day at Silverstone

MotoGP British GP – Silverstone

Tito Rabat, rider of Team Reale Avintia Racing, ended the first day of practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 13th position, but his potential is even higher, as he showed with seventh position in the first free practice session on Friday morning. An unfortunate crash in the last minutes of the afternoon session dashed his hopes of improving further, but the Spaniard remains confident that he has the pace to make a direct move to Q2 and to be able to fight for a good grid position.

For his team-mate Xavier Simeon, the first day of practice at Silverstone was difficult. He could not significantly improve his lap times and trailed the field in the combined classification. The Belgian rider and his team are looking for a solution for Saturday, with the aim of being more competitive in qualifying and of improving the race pace for Sunday.

The weather forecast for Saturday is good, but on Sunday, rain is forecasted for the region of Towcester, so the riders have to be prepared for the possibility of a wet race.

Tito Rabat | 2'02.704 | P13

“I was a bit worried this morning, because even though we finished in seventh position, I didn’t have a lot of confidence with the medium front tyre compound. But in the afternoon, I went out with the hard option and I felt really well. The crash towards the end of the session, when I just was at the point of speeding up and putting in a better lap time, was a bit of a shame. But all in all, we are working well and since it is going to remain dry tomorrow, we can continue to work in the same direction. We’ll grit our teeth and fight in the FP3 in order to make a direct assault on the Q2.”

Xavier Simeon | 2'05.212 | P24

“It was a very difficult day. Once again, we did well on one circuit and arriving at the next one, we are being thrown back again, far behind the front runners. I don’t understand why the feelings with the bike can be so different from one circuit to the next and to tell the truth, I was a bit frustrated today. We improved only marginally from FP1 to FP2 and I don’t feel comfortable on the bike at all. I hope we can find something tomorrow that will allow us to make a big step and to be closer to the front.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:


LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow put down a marker at the British Grand Prix as he went second fastest on the opening day of free practice. The Briton headed into his home race on a high as it was revealed on Thursday that he had agreed a one-year extension to his HRC factory contract to continue racing in the colours of LCR.

Crutchlow has already made a good start in repaying that show of faith and was fourth quickest in a sunny but cool FP1 session on Friday morning. And, having qualified on the front row at Silverstone 12 months ago, the local hero is now well-placed to do so again as he then finished just five thousandths behind Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in FP2.

Cal Crutchlow – 2nd

(2’001.390 – lap 14 of 16)

“I don’t think it was superb today, but that’s me being a racer and wanting to improve. Obviously I’m happy with the position I’m in, but I’m not fantastically happy with the way I feel on the bike. But overall I’m pleased, I happy with the way the team is working with regards to how we’re approaching the weekend and doing our job, but I’m concerned for the weather and with the forecast for Sunday. I want a dry race because I have the pace to win this in the dry”.

“I do not want to say anything bad about Silverstone because they do a great job here with how they run the event. But the track is in bad shape, I rode here three months ago and it was flat and perfect, but now it’s really bad and there are a lot of bumps, especially on a MotoGP bike with the horsepower we’ve got. With the wind we had today also, it made it a difficult day for everybody.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:


LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami made an encouraging start to the British Grand Prix weekend as he finished the opening day of free practice in 11th position. The Japanese talent has fond memories of Silverstone having emerged victorious in the Moto2 race at the British circuit last year and is now hoping for another notable result on Sunday.

Nakagami could only manage 14th place during a cool and windy FP1 session on Thursday morning, but then shaved over a second and a half off his best time in FP2 to finish the day well-placed on the timesheets. After that superb improvement, Taka is looking to carry his momentum into Saturday qualifying and secure a place in the Q2 session.

Takaaki Nakagami – 11th

(2’02.515 – lap 17 of 18)

“It was a positive first day for me, I know that this track is a good layout for me as it’s more high speed. But the conditions change all the time and today it was very cold and windy, and it’s difficult to adapt because every lap is different".

“But from FP1 to FP2, with each session we are improving a lot and I’m happy about the end of the session in FP2. I’m just outside the top 10, I finished 11th and the best thing is always to finish the first day inside the top 10. But I’m happy to feel strong, but we can still improve and I’m looking forward to the second day.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo first and fifth at the end of Day 1 of practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone

The first day of free practice for the British Grand Prix, which is being held this weekend at the Silverstone circuit, concluded with Andrea Dovizioso provisionally topping the timesheets and Jorge Lorenzo in fifth after FP1 and FP2, which were both held on a dry track surface.

The factory Ducati riders both set their best times in the afternoon session: Dovizioso with a best lap of 2’01.385 and Lorenzo with 2’01.782.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st (2’01.385)

“I’m pleased because despite the difficult track surface conditions we were able to put in a good performance, especially this afternoon when I lapped with the tyres used in the morning and we were even quicker. Unfortunately, here at Silverstone the bumps in the asphalt make the situation rather complicated, but in any case I can see that virtually everyone is struggling: they’ve resurfaced the track but the conditions are worse than last year. Luckily the grip is good and so in the end things are not going so badly. Tomorrow we’ll try and use some other tyres, seeing as today we only focussed on tyre solutions for the rear, but for the moment I’m very satisfied with this first day.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 5th (2’01.782)

“I’m quite pleased with the work we’ve done today, because in the afternoon we were able to improve the bike from this morning. In the second session I felt a lot better and we resolved a few set-up problems, and if we continue like this I think that we can get our times down even further tomorrow and fight for the leading positions. Despite the fact that it has been resurfaced, the track has more bumps than before and the grip hasn’t improved, and that’s the reason why we weren’t able to lap with better times today.”