Michelin saw its MotoGP™ tyres produce some impressive performances as records were broken throughout the weekend which resulted in a race victory for Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) at the Octo British Grand Prix at Silverstone in England.
Under beautiful blue skies and bright sunshine, the full selection of MICHELIN Power Slick tyres were again chosen in various mixes, as the soft, medium and hard versions of both front and rear rubber were put through their paces over the 20-lap race. As the lights changed to signal go, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) – making his 300th MotoGP performance today – grasped the lead from the start from pole-setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). The Italian then led for the next 17-laps as an ever-changing and evolving battle took place behind him, with Marquez, Dovizioso, Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) wrestling for positions. The relentless pace of all riders was evident as the lap-record was broken several times in the early stages, before Marquez set a new benchmark on lap-10. This achievement added to his stunning pole-lap on Saturday which eclipsed the previous best and saw a motorcycle travel around the 5.9km English circuit in under two-minutes for the first time in history, both highlighting the incredible grip produced from the Michelin tyres over the bumpy surface. Marquez can take consolation from these successes as his race was to draw to a premature end as an issue with his bike saw him retire on lap-14.
As Rossi – using the hard front and rear pairing – started lap-18 he came under pressure from Dovizioso – using the same selection as Rossi – and the hard-charging Ducati man seized his opportunity and took the lead, a position he held onto until the chequered flag, despite coming under pressure from Viñales after he had passed Rossi in the closing stages – the Spaniard having paired a hard front MICHELIN Power Slick with a soft rear. Dovizioso scored his fourth victory of the season and moved to the head of the championship, following an event which saw Michelin and the Italian set another new record, as the race duration time was beaten by over six-seconds.
As the British crowd witnessed an exciting race and a one-two-three of Dovizioso, Viñales and Rossi, they were given even extra cause for celebration as local-hero Crutchlow finished fourth and took the title of First Independent Racer. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was the next over the line, ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in sixth. Seventh place went to Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), with Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Racing) taking eighth. Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) scored his best result of the season as he took ninth, with Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) marking his 250th Grand Prix appearance with tenth place and the honour of the fastest recorded speed of the weekend.
Today’s race was watched at trackside by more than 56,000 spectators and they basked in the glorious English weather as air temperatures rose to 25°C and the track moved up to 40°C with very little wind, making conditions almost perfect to produce yet another exciting instalment of this year’s championship. Victory for Dovizioso moved him to the top of the standings, but with a third of the season still to go and the top-five separated by just 35-points, the championship is still very much in the balance.
Michelin and the MotoGP paddock now heads to the Adriatic Coastline of Italy for the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix at Misano on Sunday 10th September, where another episode of this enthralling 2017 season is sure to unfold.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team:
“This race was very strange, because it felt like we could not push as hard as we did in the practice, because we wanted to save the tyres so we could all arrive in a good shape at the end. That was the key for me because at the end I had a really good grip. The race was really fast and felt good, it was great fun to ride in and race with the other guys. The front tyre worked well and I felt very comfortable throughout the race with the Michelin tyres and am really pleased with this victory.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“We have obviously got to be very pleased with everything we have achieved this weekend here at Silverstone. It is a long, fast track and very bumpy, so to have the times we did right from the start on Friday was encouraging. On Saturday, the morning session started damp, but the riders used the slicks to good effect, which gave them had lots of grip and again set some very competitive times. The qualifying was a huge confirmation of what we had tried to accomplish here this weekend as we saw Marc Marquez go under two minutes and give us the fastest lap on a motorcycle ever seen here. This showed the potential for fast times and that was again emphasised in the race as both the race lap record and race duration record – by five riders – were both broken. This is a great result for us and it again emphasised the choice we are giving the riders, as the first guy was on a hard rear and the second placed one was on a soft rear. The other encouraging aspect was the consistency and durability of the tyres, as we witnessed no significant drop in lap-times and the riders were pushing very hard as the race drew to a close. Congratulations to Andrea Dovizioso on his fourth victory this year, the title is still wide open and we at Michelin are glad that we have an important role in giving the riders the tyres they need to make this year’s championship the closest and most exciting it can be.”