Riders set to challenge Silverstone’s two-minute barrier
This year’s OCTO British Grand Prix on September 1-4 at Silverstone could witness the first ever sub two-minute lap of the 3.67-mile Northamptonshire circuit by a MotoGP™ machine.
Four times World Champion Marc Marquez has recorded the fastest lap so far, a 2m 00.234s on his way to pole position last year, his third consecutive MotoGP™ pole position at Silverstone.
However, when the best split times are combined the virtual lap becomes an agonisingly close 2m 00.009s:
Best sector 1: Andrea Dovizioso, 2014 23.606s
Best sector 2: Marc Marquez, 2015 38.717s
Best sector 3: Marc Marquez, 2015 27.387s
Best sector 4: Marc Marquez, 2015 30.299s
Former 500cc Grand Prix star Niall Mackenzie believes the sub 2m lap could well be achieved this year, he said: “I think this year’s Yamaha has improved top speed, which is obviously important at Silverstone, and they’ve probably got the best out of the Michelins so far.”
Mackenzie continued: “Honda seemed to struggle earlier in the season with corner entry and front feel but this has since improved. And I always think Dani Pedrosa is the true level of the Honda as Marc Marquez’s exceptional talent can sometimes mask machine or set up issues. And as a result of that you never know what Marc can achieve over a single lap.”
Silverstone is the longest circuit on the World Championship calendar and Mackenzie runs Masterclass Track Day Schools at the venue, he casts an expert eye over the secret to a fast lap.
He explained: “Corner exits onto the fast straights are important. However, having a nimble bike through the fast changes of direction can also be a contributing factor. Focus in machine set up needs to be on mid corner and exit grip so good electronics and chassis settings are crucial.”
“Turn one at Copse is important as it builds towards the very fast left and rights of Maggotts and Becketts. Good momentum out of Chapel and onto the Hangar Straight is required then the next decent chunk of time can be gained by getting the perfect run through the kink and onto the Wellington Straight.”
Mackenzie concluded: “In the final corner at Woodcote you need stability, good grip and to hold a perfect line to the finish of the lap. And if Lorenzo is on form I reckon he’ll be the man for the first 1m 59s lap.”
Of the leading riders’ best laps of Silverstone Lorenzo is the closest to the Marquez lap of 2015, the best lap times and those of the British riders are:
Jorge Lorenzo, 2015: 2m 00.522s
Dani Pedrosa, 2015: 2m 00.716s
Valentino Rossi, 2015: 2m 00.947s
Bradley Smith, 2015: 2m 01.140s
Andrea Dovizioso, 2014: 2m 01.140s
Scott Redding, 2015: 2m 01.329s
Cal Crutchlow, 2015: 2m 01.376s
Eugene Laverty, 2015: 2m 02.894s
And Marquez’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa holds the official lap record from the 2013 race, at 2m 01.941s.
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