Super fast Silverstone set for MotoGP return
A fantastic new Silverstone awaits MotoGP for round five of the 2010 World Championship as the redeveloped circuit plays host to the AirAsia British Grand Prix from June 18th-20th, and the track has been widely noted as one of the fastest circuits on this year's calendar.
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will be looking to capitalise on the potential speed as he bids to further strengthen his hold on the top spot in the standings. The Fiat Yamaha rider, who has a 25-point lead heading into round five, will be facing the unknown however as he and his fellow premier class riders take to the track for the first time in its current form.
Now locked onto his fellow Spaniard and sitting in second place, Dani Pedrosa will be going for his first back-to-back premier class wins after victory at Mugello. Having finished ahead of Lorenzo in the last race the Repsol Honda man secured his ninth win in the elite category, but he will have to contend with team-mate Andrea Dovizioso who has also enjoyed a strong start to the campaign. The Italian won the British GP at Donington last year in a rain-affected contest -- his first and to date only premier class victory -- and has been on the podium in three of the four rounds so far in 2010.
Ducati Marlboro's Nicky Hayden will be aiming to bounce back from the disappointment of not finishing the race in Italy as he looks to close a 19-point gap to fourth-placed Dovizioso, whilst Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) will draw on the inspiration of his British-based podium last year as he goes for consolidation as his status as the highest place private rider.
Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) will want to build on his best result of the campaign so far in the last round (fifth), and Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro) also scored his highest placement of the season yet with fourth in Italy. The Australian will be eager to get his first podium of 2010 and improve on his standing of eighth.
San Carlo Honda Gresini's Marco Simoncelli currently leads a group of three rookies that includes Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Hector Barbera (Paginas Amarillas Aspar) and all will continue their education at Silverstone. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team), Aleix Espargaro (Pramac Racing) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) will all be targeting progressive points hauls, whilst Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) will hope their respective injuries do not hinder their early season progress any more than has already been the case.
In missing the last race at Mugello Valentino Rossi failed to start a Grand Prix for the first time in his career, bringing to an end a record sequence of 230 successive Grand Prix starts. The World Champion continues his recovery from his broken leg, with the Fiat Yamaha team opting to not field a replacement rider at Silverstone. The Italian's garage will be set up however with both his YZR-M1 machines on display for fans to see.
The opening MotoGP practice session of the AirAsia British Grand Prix begins at 1.55pm local time on Friday, June 18th.