Yamaha's Valentino Rossi gave a stunning performance at Silverstone, taking a brilliant victory. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also rode a brave race and secured fourth place.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi mastered the MotoGP field under difficult conditions, taking his first victory at Silverstone to continue his streak of consecutive podiums finishes this season, making it twelve. Jorge Lorenzo encountered some difficulties but fought bravely at the British Grand Prix to claim a solid fourth place.
Tension built as rain picked up just as the race was about to start. The race was declared dry, so all riders had to make the agonising choice whether they would start from pit lane on a wet setting or on slicks from the grid. However, after the warm up lap all riders decided to come into pit lane to swop bikes, making race direction decide to delay the start and reduce the race to 20 laps.
I had great confidence with the bike and it‘s a fantastic victory at Silverstone, where I never won before, this is the first time!
Twenty-five minutes later the MotoGP field lined up on the grid for a second attempt, this time prepared for a wet race. Rossi was the fastest man in similar conditions in the morning warm up and quickly fought his way up the order from his fourth place grid position. The Doctor moved into third position to hunt down Marc Marquez, passing him with a brilliant move at the start of the second lap.
The nine-time World Champion then set his sights on his teammate and increased his pace. He made the audience cheer when he took over the lead, posting a 2‘21.807, the fastest lap of the race thus far. Under pressure from Marquez, he continued to pick up the pace and used his experience to keep his rival at bay until the Spaniard crashed out with eight laps to go, but the race wasn‘t won yet.
Rossi kept pushing on as Danilo Petrucci started closing in, towing Andrea Dovizioso. Aware of the threat the Doctor managed a gap of more than 1.5s perfectly. With two laps remaining Rossi raised the bar and expanded his margin by nearly one and a half second to take a faultless victory by 3.010s.
Teammate Lorenzo also had a strong start from second on the grid. He shot off the line to take the holeshot into first turn and kept the lead when he crossed the line for the first time. He was passed by Rossi and Marquez on the second lap, moving him down to third. Lorenzo did well to remain seated on his bike when he bashed fairings with Pol Espagrarò two laps later, but lost valuable time and was unable to make up the gap that was created between him and the top two.
The Majorcan continued to have a challenging outing as his visor fogged up. Continuing the race with impaired vision, he got involved in a scrap with Petrucci, Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa for third place. Lorenzo fell back to sixth, but kept his fighting spirit and with seven laps left he got a second wind. With Marquez crashed out he found himself back in fifth place and fought his way back to fourth position, which he held over the line, 5.726 s off his teammate.
Rossi's first place earns him 25 points, while Lorenzo's fourth fourth place of the year adds 13 points to his score. These results put the Doctor back in the lead of the championship with 236 points, 12 points ahead of Lorenzo in second place with a 224 points total.
Valentino Rossi: "I‘m very happy and proud of this victory, it‘s a great feeling! I think that the last race on the wet that I won was ten years ago. This morning I woke up feeling good, but my team also did a great job and my bike was fantastic already from the first lap of the warm up. I felt great and got more feeling and positive things from the bike, so I knew I could be competitive in the race. I fought a lot with Marc, which was very difficult.
I kept trying to break away but he stayed with me. I saw that Marc crashed on the mega screen and I didn‘t hear noise of his bike, so I already thought that maybe something had happened. After he crashed I slowed down, because I thought I had enough of an advantage but in reality Danilo wasn‘t so far, so I had to recover my concentration and start to push, because if I didn‘t he would catch me. This is my fourth victory of the season, so I‘m very happy and it‘s important for the championship. Today I was very fast, I had great confidence with the bike and it‘s a fantastic victory at Silverstone, where I never won before, this is the first time!”
Jorge Lorenzo: "At the first start with the slicks the situation was very dangerous, so I was happy when it started raining more so we could start with the rain tyre. The feeling in the first three or four laps was good and I was riding well, but the other riders started going faster than me. Valentino and Marquez passed me and I was in third position losing time every lap. They had a better pace than me early on in the race and I couldn‘t do anything to follow them. Suddenly, when entering the chicane, I almost had a big crash with Espargarò who made a incomprehensible move and it was a miracle I stayed on the bike.
I was upset, but luckily I remained on the track and I tried to stay in third position, but Petrucci, Dovizioso and Pedrosa passed me. I was able to move faster and was getting better and passed Dani. In the last laps I arrived at Dovizioso, who made some mistakes, but it started to get colder and raining more. I completely lost my vision, because the visor was foggy and had to slow down and lost a chance at the third place, which was a pity. In the rain I didn‘t have the same pace as Valentino and Marquez.”
Massimo Meregalli - Team Director: "We couldn't be happier for Valentino after this amazing result. He rode a perfect race in very difficult conditions, keeping cool under pressure from his rivals to take a well-deserved victory. Despite having issues that compromised his race, Jorge really showed his class to keep focus and bring it home in fourth. We have to thank the whole team who also showed their professionalism under pressure, working hard to make the last minute changes required to prepare the bikes for the changing weather conditions. We add another great Grand Prix victory to our tally for the year and head to Misano in two weeks time confident that we can fight for more.