Saturday, August 15, 2020

Quick out the blocks: Quartararo crucifies the lap record on Day 1

Aug 24. 2019
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By MotoGP

French rookie in a class of his own on Friday as we see scorching times set at Silverstone

Fabio Quartararo’s (Petronas Yamaha SRT) savage 1:59.225 was allowed to stand to give the rookie phenomenon the advantage on Friday at the GoPro British Grand Prix with a brilliant new lap record, after the lap was initially disallowed before a photo review. The Frenchman was also fastest in FP1 to make it a full house on Friday, with a significant advantage in both sessions. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) sits as Quartararo’s closest challenger, 0.251 back, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completing the top three as Yamaha stormed the timesheets. 

FP1 started under cloudy Silverstone skies as the MotoGP™ riders got their first taste of the new asphalt, and it was Quartararo who came into FP2 with a half-second advantage over the rest. Marquez was again his nearest rival in the opening session and it was the number 93 who instantly led FP2, cutting Quartararo’s advantage to two-tenths on the overall timesheets. Other early improvers were home hero Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), the British rider dipping into the 2:00s, while Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) climbed into the top 10 as well.

Temperatures in England – believe it or not – were soaring and it seemed the riders were struggling to improve their times from FP1 at first, with Marquez' benchmark putting him over seven tenths clear of the field for the first half of FP2. However, it wasn’t plain sailing for the seven-time Champion as at the Vale complex, Marquez crashed for the first time since Le Mans Q2 – but rider instantly up and ok. FP1 P4 finisher Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) then moved into second in the session, but then came Quartararo to cut the gap.

With eight minutes left, the timesheets lit up as fresh Michelin rubber was slotted in for a thrilling time attack. Riders like Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) – 10th in FP1 – had slipped down to the lower ends of the timing screens, but the Australian soon jumped up to fourth overall and the two Yamahas were on barnstormers. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) looked set to go top overall and he did so with a new lap record, but ‘The Doctor’ didn’t stay there long as rookie Quartararo then hammered in his stunning 1:59.225: the quickest ever lap we’ve seen around Silverstone.

Viñales then got overhauled by Marquez as he beat his compatriot with a 1:59.476, with Rossi's time putting him in fourth. Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) moved up into fifth and sixth respectively, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) strong on fresh tyres to end the day seventh on the combined times.

Oliveira once again impressed to lead the KTM charge in P8, the Portuguese rider improving from P16 in the opening 45 minutes, with Miller’s aforementioned time enough to give him ninth overall. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) took tenth. 

Takaaki Nakagami, another who had their laptime reinstated, ended the day in P11, just ahead of Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro just missed out after the laptime reinstatements despite managing to get back out on his Aprilia Racing Team Gresini machine after first one completely cut out heading into Brooklands corner, and he ends the day in P12. Pol Espargaro, teammate Johann Zarco and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completed the fastest fifteen.

A fast and furious couple of sessions on Friday now sets us up nicely for Saturday. FP3 should be dry, so there’s still time for the top 10 to change ahead of qualifying. Tune in for a crucial session at 09:55 local time (GMT+1).

Friday's fastest:

1 - Fabio Quartararo* (FRA - Yamaha) 1'59.225

2 - Marc Marquez (SPA - Honda) +0.251

3 - Maverick Viñales (SPA - Yamaha) +0.540

4 - Valentino Rossi (ITA - Yamaha) +0.712

5 - Cal Crutchlow* (GBR - Honda) +0.768

*Independent Team rider

Navarro puts Speed Up in the driving seat at Silverstone
Spaniard leads Gardner and Fernandez on Friday

Campetella Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro went one better than he did in FP1 to finish Friday at the GoPro British Grand Prix as the fastest man in Moto2™, setting a new lap record of 2:04.993 to edge out Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) and FlexBox HP 40’s Augusto Fernandez on Day 1.

FP1 saw Navarro and teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio sit pretty at the top of the times as Speed Up got off to a perfect start at Silverstone, but it was Navarro who came out all guns blazing in FP2 as he went 0.8 quicker than the fastest FP1 time with 33 minutes left on the clock. And that was all she wrote in the fight for P1 on Friday.

Gardner and Fernandez moved up the timesheets later, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) ultimately completing the top four ahead of a solid showing from home hero Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) in P5. The Brit has been on pole at Silverstone twice before.

Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) ended the day in sixth despite a tip off, rider ok, with Austria polesitter Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) for close company. Marquez' key title rival Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) was P8, ahead of Austria winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and veteran Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2).

High profile replacement rider Bradley Smith put his Petronas Sprinta Racing machine in P27 on Day 1, but the Brit cut 1.3 seconds off his laptime from FP1 and there'll surely be more to come on Saturday...

The times in Moto2™ were blindingly fast as the intermediate class rip around the newly surfaced Silverstone, but will the top 14 change on Saturday morning? The automatic Q2 places are still up for grabs so don’t miss the action at 10:55 local time (GMT+1).

Friday's fastest:

1 - Jorge Navarro (SPA - Speed Up) 2'04.993

2 - Remy Gardner (AUS - Kalex) +0.129

3 - Augusto Fernandez (SPA - Kalex) +0.289

4 - Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA - Kalex) +0.314

5 - Sam Lowes (GBR - Kalex) +0.328

Arbolino sets a benchmark to stay ahead of the chasing pack
Italian fastest overall on Friday thanks to a new lap record in FP1

Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) set a new fastest-ever lap of Silverstone Circuit on Friday at the GoPro British Grand Prix, putting in 2:12.008 in FP1 and remaining unassailable come the end of FP2. The Italian’s half a second advantage was halved in the afternoon, however, thanks to Sama Qatar Angel Nieto’s Albert Arena as the Spaniard went quickest in FP2. Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) was third quickest, just 0.028 off Arenas.

Sunny skies at Silverstone saw everyone able to stretch their legs, and most riders improved in the afternoon. Darryn Binder (CIP - Green Power) was one of those who took the biggest leap forward, with the South African ending the day fourth overall as he cut more than two and a half seconds off his laptime. Tatsukia Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) also made big gains and completed the top five, just ahead of title contender Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team).

Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) was the second rider in the top ten, alongside Arbolino, who didn't improve in the afternoon but he ends Day 1 in seventh, just 0.007 ahead of Austria winner Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers).

Replacement rider Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) impressed to end Friday in ninth, 0.014 off Fenati, with Stefano Nepa (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) another impressive performer on Day 1 as he took tenth.

Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing), and Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) were next up, ahead of home hero John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), who also renewed his contract on Friday. Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) locked out the fastest fifteen.

McPhee and Kornfeil both crashed in the morning, and there was an incident that saw Kazuki Masaki (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) hit Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) in FP1. Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) and Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) also went down in the afternoon.

FP3 gets in gear at 9:00 local time (GMT +2) on Saturday to decide the direct entrants to Q2. Can the lap record get beaten again even before qualifying 12:35 (GMT +1)?

Friday's fastest:

1 - Tony Arbolino (ITA - Honda) 2'12.008

2 - Albert Arenas (SPA - KTM) +0.216

3 - Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA - Honda) +0.244

4 - Darryn Binder (RSA - KTM) +0.279

5 - Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN - Honda) +0.407

Marquez was forced to settle for second
Viñales ended the day in third despite a tip off in FP1

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