When the Moto GP rolls into town for the British Grand Prix over the weekend of the 31st August, it will be, as it always has been, one of the most eagerly anticipated, and indeed hotly contested races in the calendar.
Furthermore, the prestigious reputation of the Silverstone track, which has experienced racing for over 60 years, adds to the red-hot atmosphere of race day.
The track itself has undergone serious redevelopment in recent times, and these multi-million pound changes have made it a much faster circuit, as agreed by many riders.
The figures themselves also seem to agree that it has become faster, with the fastest lap, circuit record and top speed broken over last year’s event, and the smart money is on records to be broken again this year. The 5,900 metre track is host to the most high-profile events nowadays, and with a glittering personnel hoping to top the podium, this years race is expected to be dramatic.
This is a far cry from the early days of Silverstone, when following the Second World War, Britain had no race tracks, only previously used airfields that were converted. One of these was situated in the midlands on the outskirts of the village of Silverstone. With that started the task of bringing motor racing back to Britain.
Fast-forward to today and there will be a number of riders hoping to impress on the big stage in front of the tens of thousands of fans. It’s no surprise that Spaniard Marc Marquez has made such a blistering start to this years Moto GP season.
In only his second season in the competition, after securing the World Championship last year in his debut campaign, many people are tipping the Repsol Honda rider to walk away with the crown again, and impressive wins in Austin and Le Mans strengthen his claim.
His major adversaries will come in the shape of his more experienced Honda team mate, Dani Pedrosa and seven-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who has been the golden boy for Moto GP since his debut at South Africa in 2000. His Yamaha will be there or thereabouts without question come August 31st. Along with Marquez and Pedrosa, the Spanish contingent could also be celebrating should last years winner Jorge Lorenzo take the chequered flag.
As far as local interest is concerned, British fans will keep their eyes fixed firmly on the likes of Coventry boy Cal Crutchlow who impressed last season by finishing fifth in the overall standings, however has struggled to match the pace in the early rounds of 2014. Another Brit to watch come the Silverstone race would be Yamaha’s 23-year-old rider Bradley Smith, who hails from Oxford, and has looked the part for the first few races this year, following his debut in the competition last season at Qatar.
If this season’s race is anything compared to last year, then we will certainly be in for a mouth-watering contest. The lead changed hands between compatriots Lorenzo and Marquez four times heading into the final two laps and after resolutely defending his lead from the Repsol Honda Riders since Copse Corner on the first lap following a strong start, Lorenzo fought with Marquez for a thrilling finish.
Marquez then gained the upper hand at Brooklands on the penultimate lap before Lorenzo regained the lead with a daring manoeuvre. Then during the final lap, Marquez went past Lorenzo at Brooklands, only for Lorenzo to yet again fight back to get the lead at Luffield, and hold on until the finish line, when both riders were separated by a mere 81 thousands of a second.
Silverstone has always been a circuit for drama, tension and excitement, but one thing is for sure, that come the Hertz British Grand Prix on August 31st, the most daring riders will be rewarded.
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