MotoGP: British GP Gives Vital Confidence Boosters

06/17/2012 @ 6:40 am, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

With Sunday’s race having perhaps some of the best weather yet at Silverstone, the British GP started with concern, after Cal Crutchlow missed qualifying after a hard crash in FP3. Getting cleared to ride Sunday morning, the Honey Badger was relegated to the back of the grid for the start, dashing any hopes of a podium finish.

Still, the man from Man delighted British fans with his resolve to go racing, with further spectacle coming in the form of Alvaro Bautista’s first MotoGP pole-positiion start, putting his black San Carlo Gresini Honda in front of the factory machines of Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, and Jorge Lorenzo.¬†With the British GP showing the first signs of Spies’ renewed confidence, MotoGP fans had all the makings of a good race as the sun shined through the cloud cover. To see how it all finished out, click on past the jump.

Getting the jump off the line, Ben Spies lead the grid through the first turns, as he took control of the race ahead of Stoner, Bautista, Hayden, and Lorenzo. Leading the first four laps, it looked like Spies was going to runaway with the British GP, but the reigning-World Champion Casey Stoner caught up to the American with 16 laps to go. Capitalizing as Spies entered a corner too hot and ran wide at the apex, Stoner had no further contest from Spies who tried to hang onto the Honda’s pace, despite the Yamaha’s tires fading lap-by-lap.

Putting his own gap on the field, the only man that could respond to Stoner was Jorge Lorenzo.¬†Moving up through the field at a rapid pace, Lorenzo found himself coming from fifth to second in just six laps. With Stoner enjoying a margin to Lorenzo, and Lorenzo gapping with a comfortable buffer the five-way battle for third , the Spaniard went to work on catching the Australian in front of him. Watching Stoner fade, Lorenzo passed the factory Honda rider, and never looked back as he finished over three seconds ahead of Stoner. Casey’s fate would be less certain however, as Dani Pedrosa soon caught his teammate, and put pressure on him all the way to the line, though could not close the deal on the soon-to-be-retired racer.

As that rounded out the podium, other notable races came from Nicky Hayden, who looked to be in the hunt for a podium until a mistake cost him several places, and found himself out of touch with the front-runners as he too had trouble with his tires lasting on the British course. Putting in a fantastic showing for the satellite Honda team, Alvaro Bautista held his own at the British GP, and finished fourth for the day. However, the ride of the day certainly has to go to Cal Crutchlow, who managed to make a sixth-place finish out of his last place start. Crutchlow may now have landed on a podium this weekend, but you would be hard-pressed to find a British fan who wasn’t proud of their pseudo-countryman.

Perhaps the most disappointing ride of the day came from Andrea Dovizioso, who crashed on the tenth lap while sitting in a very confident fourth place. While Yamaha’s day was surely made with Lorenzo’s victory (and now one full-race lead in the MotoGP Championship), Dovi’s crash today, Cal’s crash in FP3 yesterday, and Ben’s fifth place finish after leading the first quarter of the race all combine to make it a bittersweet weekend.

The good news for Spies is that he seems to have his fortunes heading once again in the right direction — the only question is whether the American can salvage his season rapidly enough to save his factory Yamaha seat for next year. Only time can tell, but MotoGP comes to The Cathedral on Saturday, June 30th.

Race Results from the British GP at Silverstone, Great Britain:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 41’16.429
2 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda +3.313
3 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +3.599
4 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda +5.196
5 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +11.531
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +15.112
7 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati +15.527
8 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda +22.521
9 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +36.138
10 Hector BARBERA SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati +41.328
11 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART +1’03.157
12 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART +1’03.443
13 Michele PIRRO ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR +1’07.290
14 James ELLISON GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART +1’14.782
15 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Avintia Blusens BQR +1’15.108
16 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing Suter +1’29.899
17 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda +1’40.302
18 Ivan SILVA SPA Avintia Blusens BQR +1’52.099
19 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1 Lap
Not Classified
54 Mattia PASINI ITA Speed Master ART 6 Laps

Source: MotoGP