Aleix Espargaró with Marc Marquez at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix

Aleix Espargaró wins MotoGP British Grand Prix in last lap Silverstone thriller

Saturday’s gloomy clouds and torrential rain made way for (partially) clear skies and improved track conditions as the MotoGP weekend reached its apex. Aleix Espargaró clinched the premier class honours after an epic wet-dry, last-lap duel whilst 17-year-old Colombian Sensation David Alonso stormed to victory from the back of the grid in Moto3. Meanwhile, in Moto2, Fermín Aldeguer sealed his first podium of the season with a commanding win. 


MotoGP The start of the Grand Prix was reminiscent of the Sprint race less than 24 hours earlier, with Jack Miller claiming the early advantage into Abbey. Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia had contrasting fortunes, faring much better this time around slotting into third behind Marco Bezzecchi. After some back and forth between the factory Ducati and the Mooney VR46, Bagnaia moved swiftly and decisively to take two places in as many corners, first Bezzecchi at Copse followed by Miller at Maggotts. Urgency was the name of the game for Bezzecchi who followed suit, passing Miller at Stowe on Lap 2 in an attempt to follow the reigning champion.  

With 16 laps to go, Aleix Espargaró made his presence known with the fastest lap of the race before overhauling Sprint winner Álex Márquez for third place at Village. The Gresini Racing rider retired with a mechanical issue shortly thereafter. In his attempts to close in on Bagnaia, Bezzecchi pushed beyond the limits of his bike; the Italian’s race was ended by a high-speed crash at Stowe that left Espargaró to pressure Bagnaia. He did just that, closing a 1.2-second gap to just four tenths over the next few laps. That was the start of things to come, as the other Aprilias were synchronised in their progress through the field with Maverick Viñales passing Brad Binder for third and Miguel Oliveira overtaking Johann Zarco further back. 

Just when riders, teams and spectators all thought they had seen the last of the weekend’s unpredictable weather, marshals at Vale and Club began waving white flags to indicate rainfall, at which point the top four of Bagnaia, Espargaró, Viñales and Binder closed to be covered by less than a second. Frantic position swapping followed, punctuated by Binder’s exhilarating double-Aprilia overtake at Stowe on Lap 15, moving the Red Bull KTM rider into second place. With tension building towards the end of the race, Espargaró took back second place at Village and at the start of Lap 18, Oliveira moved up to third at the expense of Binder and Viñales. Unfortunately for the CryptoData RNF rider, Binder claimed the position back on the penultimate lap. Maggotts would be the scene of Espargaró’s last gasp pass for the lead, one which Bagnaia was unable to respond to. Having climbed from P12 on the grid, Espargaró took an emphatic victory for only the second time in 310 starts ahead of Bagnaia and Binder.  

Aleix Espargaró en route to his British Grand Prix victory


Moto2The first lap of the Moto2 race turned out to be a disappointing one for the British riders and fans, with Rory Skinner crashing out at Abbey and Jake Dixon replicating his qualifying crash on the exit of Club. At the front of the field Alonso López claimed the advantage at the start followed by Pedro Acosta and Arón Canet. Canet wasted no time in making progress though, passing both Acosta and Lopez on Lap 3 before running side-by-side and swapping positions with Lopez repeatedly for over half a lap. 

By Lap 5, Canet began breaking away from the duelling pair of Acosta and Lopez and opened a gap of one second. Fermín Aldeguer then began to make his move, overtaking Lopez and Acosta in short order, before swiftly closing the gap to leader Canet. A three-bike battle for the lead emerged on Lap 10, headed by Canet. Aldeguer snatched the lead at Stowe that lap and Acosta relegated Canet further still the following lap. At the flag, Aldeguer took the win ahead of Canet – who reclaimed second – followed by Acosta. Sam Lowes, meanwhile, finished his final British Grand Prix in seventh.

Moto2 rider Fermín Aldeguer on track at Silverstone


Moto3Drama unfolded before racing had even gotten underway in Moto3. British hopeful, Scott Ogden surrendered his second-place grid slot having stalled before the warm-up lap. He joined the grid before lights out but lined up at the very back of the pack. The first sequence of corners would see Daniel Holgado and Jaume Masià duking it out for the early lead, whilst they were locked in combat, they were left vulnerable to Deniz Öncü who had surged through the field from ninth to take the lead. Ayumu Sasaki then entered the fray whilst Jaume Masià hit the front and tried to gap the bikes behind. It wasn’t to be though, as the Spanish rider crashed out at The Loop leaving championship leader Holgado at the front. 

With 11 laps to go, Sasaki had his turn at the head of the field and held the position for several laps. In true Moto3 fashion, an 18-bike lead group – that turned into a 19-bike group as Ogden caught the back of the train – was separated by just over two seconds with nine laps remaining. At the race’s halfway point, Holgado took over at the front from David Alonso who was astonishingly in contention having started P28. As the field started the final tour, Holgado led the way, but Sasaki was on a charge, and moved from fourth to first on the stretch from Woodcote to Maggotts. Alonso eventually grabbed the lead at Stowe and crossed the line first to become the first-ever Colombian Grand Prix winner ahead of Sasaki and Holgado. 

David Alonso prior to his Silverstone Moto3 victory


British Talent CupRace 1’s race winner Sullivan Mounsey claimed the holeshot into Turn 1 but fell at Luffield whilst battling for the lead. Much of the race would be defined by a titanic battle between Evan Belford and Amanuel Brinton, which raged for the entire 10-lap contest. On the final lap, Brinton made a decisive move at Stowe, eventually crossing the line first ahead of Belford and Lucas Brown in third. 


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