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18/06/2012 AFTER SILVERSTONE

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by Nico Cereghini

 

The third consecutive win for Jorge Lorenzo at Silverstone. It is already the fourth victory on six races and the Yamaha rider now has a 25 point lead over Stoner. It may not be a huge lead but Honda have a lot of technical problems (with tyres in first place) and with Casey having announced his retirement at the end of the year, he no longer appears to be fully committed to the long-term development work needed to find solutions. The Australian doesn’t do much practice and even his own team are complaining. In contrast, this year's M1 is beautifully balanced, Lorenzo's finishes are beyond comparison and the number 99 rider appears to fully believe the title is his for the taking. The race was a showcase for the talent of Alvaro Bautista (surprise pole and just off the podium in fourth place at the flag) and the heroism of Crutchlow who finished sixth after starting from the back of the grid due to a nasty fall before qualifying. The Italian riders failed to make an impression. The Ducatis finished far down the rankings after falls on the Saturday then Dovizioso pulled out in mid race while challenging for a podium spot. There is much debate about the Ducati falls as the dynamics were almost identical: Was the front tyre carcass too soft? Is the Ducati steering too delicate? According to Guareschi it was just a puncture. It was just as well however that in both cases the riders' air-bags worked to perfection and saved them from serious injury such a broken collar bone or worse. During the race Nicky Hayden was well up with the front runners but a number of mistakes dropped him to seventh place. Not even Valentino made much of a showing: he has never particularly liked the track, his performance in qualifying was negative and he never really found his rhythm. His ninth place, 36 seconds behind the winner, is probably best forgotten.

 

Michele Pirro on the other hand put in a good performance to finish thirteenth overall and third in the CRT class that this time was dominated by Aleix Espargaro. Iannone and Corsi were going well in the pack leading the Moto2 race but in the end, Pol Espargaro crushed his rivals with a dominant display after the half way mark. In a fabulous, clean fight the British rider Redding held off the favourite Marquez. Iannone, Corsi and Corti spared no effort and had a great race finishing right behind Marquez. The race for the title is still wide open: Marc Marquez is only six points clear of Espargaro and Luthi and 18 ahead of Andrea Iannone.

 

In Moto3, two riders top the standings: Viñales who won again and Cortese (third here at Silverstone) who is just two points behind the leader. The sixth round saw the usual break away at the start. From a score of young riders ready to fight to the bitter end, a group of three managed to break away with Luis Salom finishing second behind Viñales, Romano Fenati was the best of the Italians and finished seventh; Niccolò Antonelli was thirteenth ahead of Ajo, Moncayo and Alessandro Tonucci. Compared with some of his earlier races, Fenati seems to have lost a little of his shine. Although he is always fast and was able to make up ground he lost at the start and catch up with the leaders, we are sure that there is still a lot more to come from him.