MotoGP Silverstone: Fabio Quartararo dominates the British Grand Prix

Fabio Quartararo cruised to his fifth victory of the 2021 MotoGP season at Silverstone to extend his championship lead.

Quartararo took the lead of the race away from Pol Espargaro at Farm on the fifth lap and proceeded to pull the pin – setting the fastest lap of the race on the following lap. Quartararo immediately opened a lead of over 1.5s.

Qualifying: Pol Espargaro takes stunning pole for HRC

The Frenchman took the chequered flag with an advantage of 2.633s and he now holds a 65-point advantage in the standings after a disappointing day for his main title rivals.

Behind Quartararo, Alex Rins secured his first podium of the season in second, whilst Aleix Espargaro clinched an emotional podium in third. He held off the challenge of Jack Miller on the final lap to clinch Aprilia’s first-ever podium in the MotoGP-era. It’s also Espargaro’s first podium since 2014 Aragon Grand Prix, when he rode for Suzuki.

Miller had to settle for fourth after his late charge, whilst pole man Pol Espargaro completed the top five. The Repsol Honda rider led in the early stages but was unable to match the pace of the eventual podium challengers.

Brad Binder crossed the line in sixth to ensure that all six manufacturers were represented inside the top six – another example of just how competitive MotoGP is. Iker Lecouna was seventh after another impressive display for Tech3 KTM, ahead of an equally impressive Alex Marquez.

Reigning champion Joan Mir dropped down the order in the final few laps, eventually finishing in ninth. Danilo Petrucci completed the top 10 on the second Tech3 KTM RC16.

Johann Zarco’s difficult weekend ended in 11th, with the Frenchman finishing 1.3s clear of rookie Enea Bastianini. Takaaki Nakagami was 13th ahead of the struggling Francesco Bagnaia. Like Mir, Bagnaia suffered a massive drop in performance after the half-way stage and was unable to put up any fight against his rivals.

Luca Marini took the final point in 15th, ahead of Miguel Oliveira and Cal Crutchlow. Valentino Rossi limped home in 18th after suffering similar problems to Bagnaia and Mir. Rossi was as high as sixth in the early stages after a great start to the race. Teammate Jake Dixon ended his first-ever MotoGP race in 19th spot.

Marc Marquez crashed at turn nine (Vale) on the opening lap and took Jorge Martin down with him. The duo had been exchanging positions for the previous two corners, with the duo touching twice. Marquez attempted to go back down the inside but lost control of his RC213V, and Martin had nowhere to go.

It’s Marquez’s fourth DNF because of a crash since his return to racing at Portimao. He also crashed at the Austrian Grand Prix but was able to remount and finish 15th at the Red Bull Ring.

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MotoGP Silverstone: Pol Espargaro takes a sensation first pole with Repsol Honda

First published: 27 August 2021 by Josh Close

Pol Espargaro Silverstone Pole

Pol Espargaro clinched a vitally important first pole position as a Repsol Honda rider at Silverstone this afternoon.

The Spaniard posted a best lap-time of 1:58.889, enough to beat Francesco Bagnaia by 0.22s. Espargaro has been quick all weekend, inside the top six in every session, in the cooler UK conditions. This result will do wonders for his confidence after a tough start to life as a HRC rider.

Friday: Fabio Quartararo tops day one despite crash

The result is Espargaro’s third premier class pole position, having taken pole for Red Bull KTM at the Red Bull Ring and Valencia in 2020. He also secured pole position at Silverstone in the Moto2 class in 2012, a race which he would then win.

It’s Honda’s first pole of the 2021 as well. The last time a Honda rider started from pole was at Aragon last season, with Takaaki Nakagami putting his LCR Honda at the front of the grid.

MotoGP commentators and fans were left confused at the end of the session when Jorge Martin was deemed to have posted a staggering lap of 1:58.008. However, both he and his team failed to celebrate. It turned out that he’d cut the corner at turn eight, but hadn’t been picked up by race direction.

Espargaro and Bagnaia will be joined on the front row by championship leader Fabio Quartararo. Martin will start from fourth, whilst Marc Marquez completes the top five on the second Repsol Honda RC213V.

Aleix Espargaro sixth ahead of Jack Miller, whilst Valentino Rossi qualified eighth. That’s Rossi’s best qualifying performance since the opening round of the season in Qatar, where he qualified fourth on the grid. It’s only the third time he’s qualified inside the top 10 this season.

Johann Zarco and Alex Rins complete the top 10 after being forced to go through Q1, with reigning champion Joan Mir and Austrian Grand Prix race winner Brad Binder completing the Q2 positions.

Enea Bastianini was unfortunate not to make it through from Q1. The Italian was leading the way with two minutes remaining, but crashed in sector three. He’ll start from 13th on the grid, equalling his best in the premier class.

Teammate Luca Marini will line-up alongside him on the fifth row, ahead of Nakagami. Danilo Petrucci heads row six, and will be joined by Alex Marquez and Tech3 KTM teammate Iker Lecouna.

Cal Crutchlow, Miguel Oliveira and Jake Dixon complete the grid. Dixon has been improving session by session, but suffered his first crash on a MotoGP bike during FP3.

Tomorrow’s British Grand Prix is due to begin at 13:00 and will be shown live for free on ITV, as well as BT Sport.

MCN has been the home of bike racing since 1955. To get behind the scenes access, big name exclusives and hear from some of the best motorcycle racing journalists in the world, pick up a copy in your local newsagent every Wednesday. Or why not subscribe and get four issues for £2.

MotoGP Silverstone - Qualifying Result

MotoGP Silverstone: Fabio Quartararo bounces back from nasty crash to top day one

First published: 27 August 2021 by Josh Close

Fabio Quartararo Silverstone Friday

Championship leader fought through the pain barrier at Silverstone to end the day with a comfortable half-second advantage over the field.

Quartararo had a nasty slow-speed fall at turn eight, which result in his leg left and ankle becoming tangled with his M1. The Frenchman struggled to get to his feet, and was unable to put weight on his left foot. He was seen limping heavily once he returned to the back of the Yamaha garage.

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Despite this, the Frenchman was soon back out on circuit. Not only was he back on his bike, but Quartararo would become the first rider to dip into the 1:59s. His best lap-time was a 1:59.317, initially putting him over 0.7s clear.

Jack Miller and Jorge Martin moved into second and third in the closing seconds, with both riders also dropping into the 1:59s – the last riders to do so. Pol Espargaro enjoyed a positive day for Repsol Honda in fourth spot, with teammate Marc Marquez completing the top five.

Marquez had a huge crash towards the end of FP1, losing control of the Repsol Honda at around 170mph between turns two and three (Maggotts). He went rolling through the grass, whilst his bike was left stranded, and heavily damaged, in the middle of the circuit. Marquez was unharmed, but the red flags were waved so that his bike and debris could be removed.

Francesco Bagnaia was sixth on the second factory Ducati bike, ahead of Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia RS-GP. Espargaro was fuming at the end of FP2 after his final flying lap was brought to a premature halt by brother Pol, who was riding slowly on the racing line.

Brad Binder was eighth on his maiden MotoGP visit to Silverstone, with 2019 race winner Alex Rins and Valentino Rossi completing the top 10. Rossi will be desperate to put on a show for his British fans, with his impending retirement no doubt being a huge factor in race day being a sell-out.

Iker Lecouna is currently outside of the Q2 qualifying spots by just 0.013s, with Enea Bastianini and Joan Mir currently 12th and 13th respectively. It’s all three riders’ first visit to the circuit as premier class riders.

Johann Zarco had a quiet day down in 14th, as did Takaaki Nakagami just behind him. Cal Crutchlow ended his first day as a Monster Energy Yamaha rider in 16th, finishing ahead of Luca Marini and Danilo Petrucci.

Alex Marquez was another victim of the cool conditions at Silverstone today. The LCR Honda rider fell at Farm in FP1, before crashing at Maggotts this afternoon. His RC213V was sent flying through the air, meaning another big repair job for the team. Marquez ended the day in 20th, behind Miguel Oliveira.

Jake Dixon ended his first-ever day as a MotoGP rider in 20th. The Brit improved his lap-times throughout the day, improving from a 2:03.939 in FP1, to a 2:02.601 in FP2. Lorenzo Savadori completed the classification on his return from ankle surgery.

Tomorrow’s MotoGP FP3 session is due to begin at 09:55. FP4 is scheduled for 13:30, and will be followed by Q1 and Q2 at 14:10 and 14:35 respectively.

MCN has been the home of bike racing since 1955. To get behind the scenes access, big name exclusives and hear from some of the best motorcycle racing journalists in the world, pick up a copy in your local newsagent every Wednesday. Or why not subscribe and get four issues for £2.