Spend Friday afternoon practice with Cal Crutchlow’s LCR Honda team
Mat Oxley is one of the most experienced, trusted and respected journalists in the MotoGP paddock. A former Motor Cycle News (MCN) GP Reporter, Mat has raced around the world and claimed an Isle of Man TT win along with multiple TT podium finishes.
He’s been working in the Grand Prix paddock for more than 30 years and his contacts within the racing teams are among the best in the world.
We asked Mat to pick out his favourite motorcycle GP racing moments from the long history of the track and he has chosen three. The first is the epic duel between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo in 2013 and he explains what made it such a great Silverstone race.
You can share your own Silverstone Stories on our Facebook page and everyone who shares a story will be in with a chance of meeting Cal Crutchlow and spending a Friday practice session in his LCR Honda pitbox.
All you have to do is share your favourite racing moment from any year the World Championship has been held at the Silverstone circuit to be entered into a prize draw.
To be in with a chance of winning, visit the Silverstone Facebook page and post your own Silverstone Stories on the official Silverstone Facebook post. You must use the hashtag #SilverstoneStories
Silverstone 2013: the duel of the walking wounded
By Mat Oxley
Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo showed typical MotoGP heroism five years ago: duelling for victory despite their injuries
I’ve only heard Marc Marquez admit to being scared three times since he started his Grand Prix career in 2008. There was the day at Mugello in 2013 when he crashed at 209mph. And at Assen this year, after he collided with Maverick Vinales and ran off the track during that frantic battle for victory. And on a wind-blown day at Silverstone a few years ago, when the combination of ultra-high-speed corners and strong winds nearly had him on the ground.
Silverstone is one of the fastest circuits in MotoGP. It therefore deserves and receives maximum respect from riders, just like Phillip Island, Mugello and the few other surviving old-school racetracks where riders can get their 260-horsepower MotoGP bikes really moving.
Silverstone’s fast, open layout also makes for incredibly close racing; much closer than at most tracks. Last year, MotoGP’s closest-ever season, the average winning gap was 2.2 seconds. Silverstone’s average winning gap over the past five years was just 1.4 seconds. And last year’s Silverstone winner Andrea Dovizioso ended the race with an advantage of just 0.1 seconds over Maverick Vinales, with Valentino Rossi a further six tenths down. So the whole podium was covered by seven tenths.
The closest two British GPs since the nation’s world championship round moved from the Isle of Man to the mainland in 1977 both happened at Silverstone. In 1979 Barry Sheene famously lost out to ‘King’ Kenny Roberts by 0.03 seconds and in 2013 Jorge Lorenzo beat Marc Marquez by 0.08 seconds.
That was back when Marquez was a MotoGP rookie and on his way to a historic first premier-class championship. The Spanish youngster was the first rider since ‘King’ Kenny to win the title at his first attempt.
Amazingly, Marquez crashed in morning warm-up, dislocating his left shoulder; the kind of injury that would have many sportsmen out of action for weeks. But Marquez had the shoulder treated by the paddock’s Clinica Mobile, was given several painkilling injections, then went out to race.
You would never have guessed that Marquez was hurting, or indeed Lorenzo, who had broken his left collarbone twice in the previous eight weeks. This was definitely a duel of the walking wounded.
The Honda and Yamaha pair went at it, Marquez shadowing Lorenzo and occasionally showing him his front wheel. Three laps from the finish he attacked at Brooklands, but Lorenzo counter-attacked at Vale the next time around.
Marquez tried one last time on the final lap, once again diving past at Brooklands, but his damaged shoulder was weakening by now and he couldn’t hold his line. He ran wide through Luffield and Lorenzo didn’t need a written invitation. Somehow Lorenzo squeezed between Marquez and the kerb, rocketing out of the final Woodcote sweeper just inches in front, just like Roberts and Sheene all those years ago.
With this year’s racing closer than ever, there’s a good chance the Sheene/Roberts British GP record will be broken on 26thAugust.