MotoGP: Rain-Soaked British GP Shakes-up Championship

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The nice British weather could only hold-out for so long at Silverstone this race weekend, as MotoGP came to the English track for the British GP. Accordingly, Sunday’s MotoGP race was soaked to the bone with rain, as Casey Stoner took his pole position for the day’s start.

Followed by Marco Simoncelli and Jorge Lorenzo respectively on the front row, the weather showed the potential to make it anyone’s race…that is of course as long as “anyone” doesn’t include Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, both of whom could not compete because of broken collarbones.

Speaking of broken collarbones, Colin Edwards was set to race, just a week after breaking his at Catalunya, though his teammate was gutted about being unable to race in front of his home crowd after crashing in practice.

As the 15 riders launched off the starting line at Silverstone, it was Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo who lead through the first turn. Followed closely by Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso, and Marco Simoncelli, Lorenzo’s lead would not last long as the top riders sorted themselves out.

First it was Andrea Dovizioso who got by teammate Casey Stoner, then a few laps later the Italian got by Lorenzo as well. Lorenzo continued to slip down the order as Stoner passed Lorenzo with ease, followed several turns later by Marco Simoncelli going past his Yamaha rival. Dovizioso’s lead wouldn’t last long either though, as Stoner was clearly a man on a mission at Silverstone.

Two laps into the race, the order seemed to settle a bit, with Stoner leading, followed by Dovizioso, Simoncelli, Lorenzo, Hayden, Spies, Edwards, Elias, Bautista, Abraham, Aoyama, Rossi, Capirossi, Barbera, and De Puniet. From this point foward, Casey Stoner put his head down, and broke away from the field, finishing the race 15 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.

While everyone tip-toed through the wet conditions, Marco Simoncelli showed that he has a bit to learn still in wet riding, as he miraculously held onto his San Carlos Gresini Honda when it lost traction and bucked him. Though Super Sic stayed upright, the moment did allow Jorge Lorenzo to get by him.

This lead to a three-way battle for second between Dovi, Lorenzo, and Simoncelli. That melee would only last for a moment though, as Jorge Lorenzo crashed out with 12 laps to go, hitting the tarmac only seconds after Ben Spies crashed in an unrelated incident. With both its riders out, the factory Yamaha squad finished the weekend on a down note, especially with Lorenzo now no longer at the top of the points leader board. Since Cal Crutchlow was out for the day with his broken collarbone, this incident also meant that Colin Edwards was the only Yamaha left standing on the track.

With Casey Stoner now lapping a full second faster than the rest of the field per lap, the British GP still had 11 laps to go before its almost preconceived conclusion. Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli continued their battle without Jorge Lorenzo, with Super Sic getting past Dovi at one point, and then the Repsol Honda rider answering back at the exit of the turn. Close throughout the lap, Simoncelli would unfortunately find the tarmac a lap later (in the same corner as Jorge Lorenzo crashed just two laps prior), effectively putting Colin Edwards now into third place.

The rest of the race proved to mainly be a parade, as Stoner increased his lead, and eventually lapped Randy de Puniet and Hector Barbera with four laps remaining in the race. The day’s win means Casey Stoner sits at the top of the Championship standings, 18 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, and 33 points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso. MotoGP heads to Assen for the Dutch TT in two weeks’ time.

Race Results from the British GP at Silverstone, England:

Pos. No. Rider Nation Team Time
1 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team +15.159
3 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +21.480
4 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team +26.984
5 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP +35.569
6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team +1’04.526
7 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing +1’32.650
8 24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP +1’51.938
9 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini +1’52.350
10 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Pramac Racing Team +2’03.312
11 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP 1 Lap
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team 1 Lap
Not Classified
58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini 10 Laps
1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing 12 Laps
11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing 13 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved