Maverick rules Silverstone for a stunning maiden win

2016-09-05 10:07
The year of history-making continues as Viñales takes an incredible first victory in the British GP

Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has taken a historic first win for Suzuki since their return to the championship, as the 2013 Moto3™ world champion was in a class of his own at the Octo British Grand Prix to become the seventh winner so far in 2016. Viñales, who got his first podium in Le Mans in the French GP, got a front row start and simply pulled away once away in the lead - putting in an incredible performance to cross the line 3.4 seconds clear. After an almighty battle behind, it was home hero and pole sitter Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who completed the podium. It was a fitting race for Rossi's 20th start in the premier class, as he became the first rider to hit the milestone.

There was Lap 1 drama as the Octo British Grand Prix got underway, with rain threatening the grid and bike swaps practiced in morning Warm Up. With the initial lights out it was Viñales at the front, before an incident between Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha tech 3) brought out the red flag and the two riders went to the medical center. On the restart, the front row of the grid of Crutchlow, Rossi and Viñales fought for the lead, with Crutchlow taking the position early before Viñales got through to pull away.

With Viñales away at the front, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) led a five bike train of Rossi, Crutchlow, Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) and Marquez' teammate Dani Pedrosa in the chase, with reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) having a difficult race as he circulated in P8 despite his stunning record at the British venue. With Rossi then taking over in P2, Viñales was still over two seconds clear and the chase was on.

Iannone, after making his way to the front of the chasing group, then lost his Ducati with 6 laps to go and suffered a DNF, leaving Crutchlow in P2 and Rossi and Marquez to duel it out. With the Italian and the Spaniard the two men at the top of the championship - although Marquez 53 points clear - it was a battle royale for points, pride and supremacy as the two fought. With characteristic hard racing and some incredible moves from each, Marquez eventually broke away from his Italian title rival to close on Crutchlow - before running deep and dropping back behind teammate Pedrosa into P5, into another battle that he just won to come home P4. Pedrosa had a calmer ride than his teammate to the top five, but looked to have made an incredible leap forward in the setup of his Repsol Honda as he got back to running in the front group at the British GP.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) came home P6 in a solid ride despite having twisted his knee in a testing crash ahead of the event, with Aleix Espargaro on the second Team Suzuki Ecstar similarly riding after a recent hand injury to come home P7. 5-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo crossed the line eighth after struggling for grip, with Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completing the top ten. Home hero Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) was the last to cross the line after a crash, with compatriot and replacement rider Alex Lowes coming home in P13 on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in a solid first MotoGP™ performance.

The grid now head for Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the 9-11th September for the next race, with Marquez still 50 points clear at the front - despite Rossi taking a small amount of points back from the Spaniard's lead in the battle of Britain.

MotoGP™ Race Results
1- Maverick Viñales (SPA) SUZUKI 39'03.559

1st Independent Team Rider
2 - Cal Crutchlow (GBR) HONDA +3.480
3 - Valentino Rossi (ITA) YAMAHA +4.063
Championship shake up as Lüthi strikes in Silverstone

Thomas Lüthi (SWI)
Moto2 Podium
Zarco and Lowes collide in the final laps as Swiss veteran comes back in style

Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) has taken the win in the intermediate class at the British GP, as the Swiss rider came back from having sat out the Czech GP to get straight back to the top. In the battle behind over the last few incredible laps of the race, Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) beat Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in a last lap duel after Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) and polesitter Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) collided. Reigning champion and points leader Zarco was subsequently given a 30-second time penalty for the incident, which put him outside the points finishes.

Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) had the best the launch off the line, as the man lining up in P3 got the jump on home polesitter Sam Lowes to lead the pack into Turn 1, as a lead group of Folger, Lowes, Zarco, Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS duo of Alex Marquez and Franco Morbidelli fought it out behind. The Brit had a safe lead in the initial laps, before a crash for Marquez saw the 2014 Moto3™ champion slide out of podium contention and the pack shuffled. With Folger then dropping back, it was Luthi who charged to the front, leading the pack with a safe advantage and crossing the line clear of his nearest challengers as the battle raged behind.

Luthi returned to Silverstone following a heavy crash in the qualifying session for the Czech GP, as the Swiss rider lost control of his machine in the last third of the session. The crash knocked the former 125 world champion out and he suffered concussion from the incident; heading to hospital to be kept under observation and playing no further role in the race weekend. Riding only six days later at the British GP, Luthi had a steady weekend before finding incredible pace in the race to take the win.

Franco Morbidelli had seemed outpaced by his teammate in the last race in the Moto2™ world championship, but came back in style in Silverstone to take an impressive podium finish and equal his best ever result in the category. In with the frontrunners for much of the race, Morbidelli took Nakagami in the final stages to hold onto P2 and impress once again, as the Italian-Brazilian continues to make good inroads in the intermediate category. Assen winner Takaaki Nakagami had a great race in the UK to take another podium at the track, following his impressive P2 in the British GP in 2013 behind Scott Redding. The Japanese rider stayed in the mix throughout the race and made some good attempts on Morbidelli for P2, before crossing the line to complete the podium and get another good haul of points.

Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) made good on his early promise to take P4, ahead of early leader Folger. Lorenzo Baldassari (Forward Racing) came home in P6 - ahead of an absolutely stunning result from title contender Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40).

Rins began the Moto2™ race in Silverstone from P19 after breaking his collarbone in a training crash in the week before the event, and the gap at the top of the table looked set to grow once again. However, steadily making his way through the pack, the Spaniard was knocking on the door to the top ten by half race distance, with an incredible ride through the pain as he hangs onto his championship aspirations ahead of his move up to MotoGP™ with Team Suzuki Ecstar in 2017. Staying on the bike and making it into P10 with lap times almost matching those at the front, the former FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ championship winner proved his mettle as he crossed the line in P7 after the drama ahead on track. With neither of his closest rivals Zarco or Lowes scoring, an incredible turnaround now sees the Spaniard only ten points down on defending champion Zarco in the title fight.

Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) had a solid ride into P8 and stayed away from drama, with compatriot Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) coming home in P9. Axel Pons (AGR Team) completed the top ten, with Lowes and Zarco classified in P21 and P22 respectively.

Moto2™ will return at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for their next showdown, as 6 races now seem like an age ahead of the season finale - with only ten points separating the top two in the table.

Moto2™ Race Results
1 - Thomas Lüthi (SWI) KALEX 38'49.473
2 - Franco Morbidelli (ITA) KALEX +0.856
3 - Takaaki Nakagami (JPN) KALEX + 1.179


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