#BritishGP: Crutchlow flies the flag on home turf

2017-08-25 15:06
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) topped the timesheets on Day 1 of the Octo British Grand Prix, two tenths ahead of the first of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo – with nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi heading teammate Maverick Viñales, last year’s winner.

Fourth fastest on combined timesheets was an impressive showing from Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) riding through the pain barrier, ahead of reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Marquez had two crashes in the afternoon, but got back on track - rider ok. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was the fastest Borgo Panigale machine on Day 1 in P6 overall. The Majorcan is also the man with the most premier class victories at the track - and got back to pitlane at the end of FP2 with a little help from Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).

FP2 was also marked on Friday by a trial run of a new flag-to-flag bike swap procedure at the end of the session, with teams given a new angle for the bikes and a lollipop man in place to ensure safe releases. The Safety Commission will now discuss the trial.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaro put in a rockstar performance on Friday, running third for some time in FP2 before ending the day in seventh. He headed rookie Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who was eighth fastest as he attempts to keep his momentum from Austria after getting back in the battle at the front.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was P9 at the end of action on Day 1, but the Championship challenger was only 0.008 off eighth in the incredibly tight top ten – which was completed by Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) on home turf.

Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were P11 and P12 respectively at the track where the GSX-RR won last year, with the fastest fifteen on Friday completed by Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), teammate Karel Abraham and Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing).

Two big names further down the timesheets were Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) in P17 and Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in P19 - both looking for improvements tomorrow.

After the rush to get through to Q2, qualifying begins from 14:10 (GMT +1) at Silverstone.

Coming in hot: Alex Marquez lands first at Silverstone

Álex Márquez - fastest on Friday and the benchmark so far
EG0,0 Marc VDS rider seeks his first victory outside Spain at Silverstone

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) went fastest overall on Friday at the British GP, staking an early claim on a third win of the year at a favoured venue for the rider from Cervera. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took P2 as he seeks to bounce back from a crash out of contention in Austria, with Mattia Pasini (Italrans Racing Team) rounding out the top three as he improved and moved up in FP2.

Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) had taken control of FP1 towards the end of the session with a serious benchmark, but had to settle for P4 by the end of action – nevertheless fastest Suter and with an improvement in the afternoon.

Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) got the weekend off to a good start as he locked out the top five, pushing hard for a result after the recent announcement of his graduation to the premier class next season. Another man recently announced as on the move for 2018 is Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten), winner at the British GP last year, who took P6 – just ahead of the man he’s chasing at the top of the standings, Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS).

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) and Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) took P8 and P9 respectively, with second Forward rider Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) rounding out the top ten despite a crash in FP2 – rider ok.

Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) was eleventh quickest, ahead of a solid start to the weekend for RW Racing GP rider Axel Pons in P12. Stefano Manzi (Sky Racing Team VR46) made a big impact on Day 1 – as he did in the race in the lightweight class at Silverstone last year - in P13, with Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and last year’s Moto3™ winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) locking out the fastest fifteen.

Moto2™ head out for qualifying on Saturday at 15:05 (GMT+1).
Canet can’t be caught on Day 1

Aron Canet was unchallenged at the top, laying down a marker on Day 1
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider tops both sessions to reign Friday at the British GP
Aron Canet (EG 0,0) was fastest under sunny skies on Friday morning at Silverstone, and repeated the feat in the afternoon to go fastest on Day 1 by a tenth – heading key rival Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers). 2016 rookie podium finisher Bo Bendseyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was third on combined times.

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), who took a podium last time out despite still suffering the after effects of his crash at the German GP, was fourth quickest on the opening day in the UK – half a tenth quicker than his teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio. Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) completed the top six.

Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) had a more muted first day following his domination of the Red Bull Ring – P7 on the combined timesheets and behind most of his key rivals. The Majorcan did take a top ten finish as a rookie last year, however, and will be pushing to move up in qualifying.

Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team) was the rookie superstar on Day 1, going eighth fastest to head Austrian GP front row starter Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team). Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) completed the top ten.

RBA BOE Racing Team’s Gabriel Rodrigo – polesitter in the last two Grands Prix – took P11, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) taking P12, P13 and P14 respectively.

John McPhee flew the flag in fifteenth at home, with the British Talent Team rider optimistic about moving forward on Saturday – and the midfield incredibly tight.

Qualifying for the lightweight class starts at 12:35 (GMT +1).

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