MotoGP: Pole ‘Like a Triumph’ by Paul Espargaro in Great Britain

‘A big breath of fresh air’: This is how Spaniard Paul Espargaro describes his first Honda position, as he faced a tough first season, on Saturday at the British Grand Prix, round 12 of the MotoGP season.

‘A big breath of fresh air’: This is how Spaniard Paul Espargaro describes his first Honda position, as he faced a tough first season, on Saturday at the British Grand Prix, round 12 of the MotoGP season.

He will be accompanied by Italy’s Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) and France’s Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), the world championship leader, on the front line on the starting line at Silverstone on Sunday at 1pm local time (2pm French / 12pm GMT).

The other Frenchman, Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac), will occupy the ninth place and the defending champion, Spanish Joan Mir (Suzuki) in the eleventh place.

Between Quartararo and his dolphins, Bagnaia and Mir at 47 points and Zarco at 49 points, it’s a chase that still has seven or eight races to go, depending on what the health crisis will allow.

“Joanne and I have the equivalent of two GPs behind us,” the Italian summed up at a press conference on Thursday. “So we have to win more than once. (…) Just standing in front of Fabio wouldn’t be enough with that difference.”

However, of the nine World Awards since 2010 at Silverstone, Yamaha has won four (2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015), Suzuki two (2016 and 2019) and only one Ducati (2017).

– Quartararo can ‘do a good thing’ –

Quartararo, who sprained his left ankle in a fall on Friday and didn’t struggle with it in the saddle, can therefore be optimistic, even if he is unhappy with his cred on a rear tire that doesn’t suit him.

Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) during qualifying for the British MotoGP, August 28, 2021 at Silverstone

Adrien Denis – AFP

“The most important thing is to have a good racing pace,” that irritates the Frenchman. “Let’s see what he can do on Sunday, but I think we can do something good ‘on a circuit’ that he loves.”

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“Fabio is still above the rest,” Zarco said, who “lacks pace this weekend.” But Bagnaia, who is chasing his first MotoGP win, assures us that he and his team have been working “perfectly” since Friday. As for Mir, he is always faster in the race than in the lap.

Whatever his outcome on Sunday, Pullman actually succeeded. “Even the first or second row would be a victory in a difficult season” for all Honda, Espargaro admits. “I’ve had a lot of difficulties, psychologically, she’s more than just a pole.”

“Working sometimes doesn’t pay off, but if you keep working, it ends, so I’ll keep working,” the Spaniard promises.

The second row goes to fellow countrymen Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac), whose best time in qualifying was canceled for crossing the track limits, Marc Marquez (Honda), who came out of a crash of more than 270 km/h Friday with some pain and a scratch on the surface of the eye, and Alex Espargaro (Aprilia).

Future Italian retiree Valentino Rossi (Yamaha-SRT) confirms that despite his performance at half mast this year, he still “appreciates” the British circuit. Eighth in the playoffs, he hopes to continue like this, even if it isn’t easy.

– run out –

At Yamaha, Briton Cal Crutchlow (19th), a full-time MotoGP player until last year and now a test rider for the Japanese manufacturer, replaced Spaniard Maverick Vinales, whose contract was terminated before it expired.

Italy's Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) in free practice for the British MotoGP GP on August 28, 2021 at Silverstone

Italy’s Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) in free practice for the British MotoGP GP on August 28, 2021 at Silverstone

Adrien Denis – AFP

At Yamaha-SRT, another Briton who normally develops in Moto2, Jake Dixon (21st and last), has replaced Italian Franco Morbidelli, who is recovering after knee surgery at the end of June.

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Italian Lorenzo Savadore (Aprilia), who tried to come back on Friday after undergoing surgery to fracture his right ankle in early August, has pulled out.

In Moto2, the pole goes to Italian Marco Bezzecchi, third in the championship. He was preceded by Australian Remy Gardner and Spain’s Raul Fernandez in the second row.

In Moto3, Italian Romano Vinati, also third among the riders, is on top. Spanish leader Pedro Acosta, runner-up and compatriot Sergio Garcia will start only in 22nd and 24th places.

Silverstone, one of the longest-running and fastest circuits on the calendar, was not on the program in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but sold out this year.

AFP / Silverstone (UK) (AFP) / © 2021 AFP

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