MotoGP preview: Brit stars to shine over Silverstone

By Simon Hancocks
HancocksToad Rides a KTM 125 Duke, mad keen race fan, in fact, mad keen about everything about biking,
Cal Crutchlow was in high spirits in the pre-British GP press conference

Starting at the pointy end of the paddock, Cal Crutchlow heads to Silverstone buoyed by his recent win at Brno. Cal entered the history books as the first British MotoGP winner since the great Barry Sheene some 35 years ago.  Cal’s run to the top step was made by selecting the tyre that few of the other riders would work, but as the track dried the harder front and rear tyre came into their own and allowed the LCR Honda rider to scythe through the field and take his historic victory.

Silverstone hasn’t always been kind to Cal, having only made it to the chequered flag three times out of five. The stats don’t naturally point to a Crutchlow win, but then again they didn’t at Brno; Cal had only finished twice there out of five visits.

Scott Redding will be looking to build on a string of strong results that has seen him visit the podium once this year at Assen, and also run with the leading group on a number of occasions including a scintillating ride to a nearly podium in Germany only to be pipped by both Crutchlow and Dovisiozo on the final lap! Read Scott’s exclusive blog and his view on that race here.

As always with Silverstone the weather could play a part and with the Pramac Ducati’s speed and poise on a wet track, should Scott and his team get the tyre choices nailed, he could well be knocking on the door for further silverware this weekend. “My home GP is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar and also in front of my home crowd with all my fans there is unbelievable. It's a weekend that no one else can live except me or the other British riders. I'm looking forward to it because it's a bit of a Ducati circuit also, and we're strong in rainy and mixed conditions, which is possible in Silverstone. And also in the dry, we can be quite competitive there I think."

Watch Scott’s exclusive on-board lap of Silverstone with commentary here.

2015 Silverstone results

Bradley Smith will play no part in his home race; he has caused serious damage to his knee in a training accident for the Oschersleben 8hr race which will see him out for back to back rounds. It’s not all bad news though as Alex Lowes has been gifted the ride as a reward for an amazing victory at the Suzuka 8hr. Lowes has just come back from a post-race test on the bike at Brno, and had this to say. "First of all, I just want to say how sorry I am to hear of Bradley's injury. It sounds like he has been extremely unlucky and I hope he gets well soon. With regards to me getting this opportunity, of course it's genuinely a dream come true, I'm sure that I'll have to pinch myself when I'm sitting on the starting grid with Rossi, Lorenzo, Marquez. However, I have no expectations at this point. I simply want to learn as much as I can from everyone around me.” 

Alex Lowes makes his GP debut at Silverstone

Alex’s brother and Moto2 championship contender Sam started on pole here last year and is just back from a 3rd place finish in Brno. S. Lowes lies is 3rd in the championship and had this to say prior to the race.  "It's always very nice for me to get to Silverstone for the Grand Prix, there will be many fans to support me and this gives me a great charge.”  Even more so given that rival Alex Rins is coming back from shoulder surgery just prior to the British round, questions marks may remain over his fitness.  “It's a track where I know I can be very competitive: last year I got the pole position and this year the goal is to fight for victory.  We may encounter variable weather, but it's a possibility that doesn’t bother me, we are confident whatever the circumstances."  He concluded.

Another triumphant homecoming will be for Scotland’s John McPhee. He took a maiden win in the world championship at the last round in Brno, judging the conditions perfectly to take the victory by 8 seconds, sealing a maiden win for Peugeot in Moto3.  

John McPhee - Brno 2016
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