Silverstone: Return From Summer Break. The Sound of MotoGP is Here!
Author: Myanna Wedes
Welcome back to MotoGP for the second half of the season. The summer break was essential for the riders to recharge, think about their strategies for the next few races and earn the tokens to play mind games once again as the World Championship race heats up. This weekend we are at Silverstone. The main challenge for title leader Fabio Quartararo will be the fact that he must take a long lap penalty during the race because of that clash which occurred with Aleix Espargaro. Therefore, we are confident that Quartararo will be practising his long lap penalty entry and exit during the practice sessions to make sure it is a smooth transition during the race and not a burden on his overall performance. The French rider is super talented and knows the importance of starting off on the right foot for this part of the season. It can literally be the thorn in your side or the sweet taste of Prosecco that equals success as you stand on the top step of the podium blocks. Biting at his heels is A. Espargaro who enjoyed time with family, friends and cycling all summer break. The Spanish rider wants to win so badly and knows that this is the chance to take a crown. Both are hungrier than ever to succeed with the teams investing a lot of time, money, energy and wholeheartedly believing in their abilities to lead the charge. It is one thing to be a factory rider and another to be the one at the front of the bike with all pressure and expectation on your shoulders every round. Mistakes are costly. So, who will come out victorious this weekend?
Fabio Quartararo #20:
“I’m happy to start riding again. I used the summer break to get some rest, but I also put in a lot of hours of training. My mind was always still on returning to action in the best shape possible. I am really looking forward to Silverstone - I won there last year. This time will be tricky because we know that we have that long-lap penalty… But if I’m really honest, that only motivates me to do even better.”
Aleix Espargaro #41:
“This year more than ever, we really needed this break! The first part of the season was incredible, but the new situation we are experiencing has also demanded a lot of physical and mental energy. So we really needed to recharge our batteries, also because we have some tracks ahead of us where both the Aprilia and I have the chance to continue racking up important results. Starting with Silverstone, a circuit that I like and where I have always managed to be rather competitive.”
From our perspective, A. Espargaro is in the prime of his career. His motivation is at an all-time high and you can see this in his personality, the training sessions he undertakes and of course he knows the intensity of the upcoming three months to perform. The Aprilia rider has a very good team, bike and now just needs to be fast whilst staying calm. The last part is one of the hardest to master in this sport because reaction times are vital though mistakes can happen within a split second. No doubt, Silverstone is going to be a good test as the first race to become reacquainted with your bike, team, and tyres. We have to say that the time off was a good reminder of being grounded and putting in the work for Pecco Bagnaia. During the holiday season, Bagnaia had a drink driving accident which according to him will not distract the remainder of his racing calendar or overall career. He made a mistake and admitted that publicly. No doubt, he has said it will not impact his mindset, however, if it continues to be a topic of discussion, there is only so much one person can take answering those same questions time and time again. How the Italian rider handles this setback will be interesting. Everyone must of course always respect the road rules and laws. The Silverstone circuit is quite technical, especially in the first sector, so we are excited to see how the Ducati versus Yamaha versus Aprilia shapes up.
Pecco Bagnaia #63:
“I am very happy to finally be back on track this weekend. We finished the first part of the season with a win and at that moment my feeling with the Desmosedici GP was really perfect, so I hope to be able to pick up where we left off. During the break I trained a lot with my Panigale V4S and also won the Lenovo Race of Champions at WDW, but now let's get serious again! Last year I was fast at Silverstone, but I had some difficulties in the race. I hope to be able to do well this weekend: it will be important for me to be able to restart on the right foot and not make more mistakes in this second part of the Championship ”.
There are a handful of riders we are super excited to see in this half of the season. They are Maverick Vinales, Jack Miller, Enea Bastianini, Johann Zarco and Pol Espargaro. We have picked these select few for this week’s article insight because three are excelling whilst two others struggle to find form even when they had it to begin with at the start of the season. There is everything to play for including the win and podium finishes. In addition to this, P. Espargaro must step up whilst Marc Marquez still recovers, even if the process is going to plan and Marquez is feeling stronger by the day. The flex in Marquez’s bicep of his arm that was operated on is a key indicator in terms of a potential ride back in 2022 rather than being delayed to 2023. Of course, the stress riding puts on a rider’s body will need to be considered to ensure he is ready and not jumping back on the bike too early. This is a final straw to be taken out of the pack for MM93. He gets one chance. The healing time is his golden ticket to regaining performance with the Honda and enjoying the sport he loves so much from on board rather than on the sidelines or in a garage. The one rider who has loads of potential to secure victories and podiums is Zarco. He is lightening quick and even when he crashes hard, still finds a way to go fastest. The French rider has adapted to the Ducati machine and is one to watch this weekend. Consistency is the key and Zarco is refining his race weekends, something that Bastianini will observe closely because he has lacked this element to his racing career in 2022. Whilst, the young rider has accomplished major goals early on, you need to be at the front more than in the gravel. It is game on between the Ducati riders!
Maverick Vinales #12:
“Given the way we finished the first part of a season on an upward trend, I can’t wait to get back on the track. The enthusiasm after the Assen podium made this break seem like an eternity, but now I'm ready and stoked to get back in the saddle of my Aprilia. The results show that we are improving and my feeling with the bike is extremely good but I feel like I still have margin to improve. I want to keep working together with the team in order to be able to achieve our full potential. I'm sure that from here to Valencia we’ll have great fun.”
Jack Miller #43:
“It was a nice summer break: I went back to Australia for a few weeks and I had a lot of fun at World Ducati Week! But now I want to get back to racing with the Desmosedici GP and I'm happy to be able to start the second part of the Championship at Silverstone: competing in a country where the same language is spoken makes me feel at home! Last year we were quite competitive and close to the podium: I hope to find the same sensations again this year and to be able to fight for the top positions on Sunday.”
Enea Bastianini #23:
“We’re finally back in action! The break has been very useful to reset and look back at the mistakes made in the first part of the season. I really like Silverstone and I really want to get a good result, so we can return to our best form. Our season has been a bit of a rollercoaster right now, so we want to be more consistent from now on.”
Pol Espargaro #44:
“I have had a good break, being able to recover from the rib injuries in Germany and get back to training. Last year we had a great weekend in Silverstone and I will working hard to try and recapture that result, but there’s work to do. It’s a track which suited us last year so hopefully we can start this second part of the year better than the races before the break. It was a great break but now I am ready to get back to racing and the Repsol Honda Team.”
In sad news for Andrea Dovizioso fans, the Italian rider will be retiring officially from MotoGP and will no longer be riding after Misano. The Yamaha experience for Dovi has been harder than expected and quite disheartening, especially for someone who was at their peak with Ducati not so long ago. It will be hard for those who have followed the sport for a long period of time to see another one of the original older riders who made the sport what it is today walk away. We will miss the politeness of Dovi during interviews, his ability to work with a team to provide the best feedback to develop the bike and his desires for a World Championship which have not arrived, a similar story to Dani Pedrosa. We thank Dovi for some seriously memorable battles over the years and look forward to sharing the paddock with him as we hope to see him continue working inside MotoGP. A rider coach or team leader would be ideal considering his skill sets have always been about working together. With Dovi leaving and putting his boots up, Cal Crutchlow will be the substitute rider for the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team and take charge for the remaining six races after continuously bringing the goods for the testing schedule. Yamaha have trust in Crutchlow to bring home points, data and provide feedback to ensure the future Yamaha machines are on course to continue being competitive.
Andrea Dovizioso #04:
"Unfortunately, in recent years MotoGP has changed profoundly. The situation is very different since then: I have never felt comfortable with the bike, and I have not been able to make the most of its potential despite the precious and continuous help from the team and the whole of Yamaha. "The results were negative, but beyond that, I still consider it a very important life experience. When there are so many difficulties, you need to have the ability to manage the situation and your emotions well. We did not reach the desired objectives, but the consultations with the Yamaha technicians and with those of my team have always been positive and constructive, both for them and for me. The relationship remained loyal and professionally interesting even in the most critical moments: it was not so obvious that that would happen. "For all this and for their support, I thank Yamaha, the RNF Racing Team, WithU, and the other sponsors involved in the project. It didn't go as we hoped, but it was right to try. My adventure will end in Misano, but the relationship with all the people involved in this challenge will remain intact forever. Thank you all.”Protect your Motorcycle. Call Shannons Insurance on 13 46 46 to get a quote today.