After an action packed trio of races, MotoGP found its winners for Silverstone, with Maverick Vinales securing victory for Suzuki.
Maverick Vinales Wins MotoGP at Silverstone
Pole sitter Francesco Bagnaia got off to a lightning quick start and Bastianini, Binder, Bendsneyder, Martin, Navarro, Antonelli and several others tailed him. Peugeot Saxoprint rider Albert Arenas was the first casualty of the relatively dry race, but around him the battle raged on.
Last year’s rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo continued his poor 2016 campaign with yet another retirement. Brad Binder was on course for another victory and get one hand on the world championship, but 12 other riders were not going to let him go without a fight. The soon to be Moto2 graduates Bagnaia and Navarro, along with the likes of Bastianini, Bendsneyder and Di Giannantonio swapped the lead several times.
While all that was unfolding, an unlikely name popped up among the leading pack. Italian wildcard Stefano Manzi who was on-board the Mahindra works bike, sneaked into the leading pack and started scrapping with the other riders. The 17 year old had started in a lowly 34th place so there was little expected from him but somehow, the youngster managed a career best fourth place.
It was a forgettable race for Jorge Navarro who was second in the championship, as he was in the thick of the battle however, was taken out of the race. In the end Brad Binder crossed the finish line in first followed by Bagnaia and teammate Bo Bendsneyder. The other point scorers were: Stefano Manzi, Nicolo Bulega, Fabio Di Giannantonio, Enea Bastianini, Aron Canet, Joan Mir, Jorge Martin, Gabriel Rodrigo, Philipp Oettl, Jules Danilo, Andrea Locatelli and Jakub Kornfeil.
Moto2 was a fairly uneventful race until the last few laps. Pole man Sam Lowes was the favourite to secure spectacular result in front of his home fans, however, was eliminated from the race by Johann Zarco. Zarco dived down the inside and was on the curb when the incident took place, Lowes had taken his usual line into the corner but found a startled Zarco instead. The two collided causing Lowes to drop out of the points. To make matters worse for Zarco, he was docked 30 seconds, which dropped him out of the points as well.
The only championship contender who benefitted was Alex Rins who had qualified down the order but battled his way up the pack to finish 7th. Tom Luthi dominated the race and took victory followed by Franco Morbidelli and Takaaki Nakagami. The other points finishers were: Hafizh Syahrin, Jonas Folger, Lorenzo Baldassari, Alex Rins, Simone Corsi, Mattia Pasini, Axel Pons, Marcel Schrotter, Sandro Cortese, Xavi Vierge, Julian Simon and Danny Kent.
Cal Crutchlow had qualified on pole for his home GP flanked by Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales. All 3 riders had opted for the Hard front tires and Medium rear tires. As the lights went out it was Vinales in the Suzuki who got the best start and was leading into the first few corners followed by Eugene Laverty who had had an even better start until the red flags were brought out due to a collision between Loris Baz and Pol Espargaro.
In the restart, Vinales managed to get another perfect launch and rocketed off into the distance, Laverty could not repeat his earlier heroics and dropped like a stone. Behind Maverick, the battle for the remaining podium spots was raging. Cal Crutchlow, Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone were locked together in an intense duel for second spot and a chance to chase the 21-year-old Suzuki rider.
Unfortunately for Ducati, Iannone dropped it in the gravel and Dovizioso wasn’t making much of an impression. Meanwhile the duel between Rossi and Marquez was bordering on personal levels. This allowed Crutchlow to escape and the battle ended when Marquez ran wide and dropped behind a lurking Dani Pedrosa. However Dani played the teammate card and let Marc through, albeit with a fight. By then Rossi was too far out of reach and with too few laps left. Vinales seized a historic win for the extremely nervous Suzuki team; it was the teams first win in nearly 9 years after Chris Vermeulen’s win in Le Mans 2007.
The Top 3 were Vinales, Crutchlow and Rossi, the other point scoring finishers were: Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Aleix Espargaro, Jorge Lorenzo, Danilo Petrucci, Alvaro Bautista, Yonny Hernandez, Eugene Laverty, Alex Lowes, Hector Barbera and Tito Rabat.