Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi travel to the United Kingdom for this weekend’s Octo British Grand Prix.
After a successful one-day test at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli last Sunday, the riders arrive at the twelfth round of the MotoGP World Championship relaxed and positive about their chances this weekend at Silverstone, a circuit with fast sweeping corners that’s well suited to their YZR-M1s.
At the end of the previous round, Viñales already expressed his excitement to take part in the British GP on a Yamaha, which he feels should complement his riding style to a tee.
The Spaniard has tasted sweet success before at the Silverstone Circuit. He secured a Moto3 class victory there in 2012 and a third place in the Moto2 class in 2014, but the highlight came last year, when he took his first ever MotoGP victory. This year he is eager to defend the golden trophy at the British venue. Holding third place in the championship standings, he is fully focused on decreasing the 24-point gap to first place.
After the full-on test in Misano, teammate Rossi is also looking forward to putting on a show for the British fans. He still thinks back with pleasure to his 2015 win at Silverstone. When the British Grand Prix moved there in 2010, he missed out on the first edition due to injury, but stood on the podium two further times when he scored two third place finishes in 2014 and 2016, giving him a 50% podium rate at the Silverstone track.
This weekend the Doctor will again be aiming for a top result, as he is fully aware we have come to a very important point in the season. He holds fourth place in the championship standings, 33 points behind the leader, and is determined claw his way back up the rankings.
After innovations and investments, Silverstone was added to the MotoGP calendar seven years ago. The circuit’s new lay-out made it one of the fastest tracks of the season and saw it become a favourite amongst riders and fans alike. The track has over 60 years of history, and with the championship being as close as it is, the riders are eager to make this year’s race another unforgettable event.
The upcoming British Grand Prix is extra special as the Factory Yamaha riders, in cooperation with the team’s title sponsor Movistar, will be showing off a new sticker on their bikes. Both Viñales and Rossi will sport a “#rodamosjuntos” logo on their YZR-M1s at the rounds in Silverstone and Misano, as a part of a safe driving awareness initiative started by Movistar. The safety campaign was launched during La Vuelta (from August 18th to September 9th) to promote mutual respect between drivers and cyclists on the road.
Championship 3rd – Points: 150
“I’m really excited to arrive at Silverstone again. It’s a special track for me as I won my first MotoGP race there last year, so I will give my 100%. We completed the private Misano test with a good feeling and we will work hard to find a good set-up when we start work in Silverstone on Friday. I like the track lay-out a lot, because there are many fast corners, many chicanes, and that’s something that really suits my riding style. Honestly, it’s one of the best tracks on the calendar. It’s one of the Grands Prix that I’m always eager to go to and I will do my best and give my maximum to repeat last year’s victory.”
Championship: 4th – Points: 141
“We go to Silverstone after a day of testing in Misano and I want to go back on track immediately to find out if we have been able to find positive solutions to improve our bike. Silverstone is a very fun and beautiful track but also very demanding. This track is very long and there are so many changes of direction at high speed. It’s important to find a perfect set-up of the bike, in braking and in the fast corners. It’s a really nice track for me and for my riding style. I want to do a good weekend and fight for the podium.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“After the test in Misano last Sunday we arrive in Silverstone. The team is looking forward to getting this weekend started because the track’s fast lay-out suits our bike, as shown in the results of the previous years. Our riders like the track’s lay-out as well. Both Maverick and Valentino secured superb victories there and, after completing many laps during the private test last weekend, they will commence the British round with a good confidence and a positive mind-set. The team is 100% committed to produce the best results possible. We want to give the crowds a good show, but there is also a serious message to be delivered. As a part of Movistar’s initiative, our riders will sport a slightly amended livery during the race weekend in Silverstone, as well as during the next round in Misano. Their bikes will feature #rodamosjuntos to promote safe driving, especially with regard to cyclists.
Fired Up Tech3 Duo Primed for British GP Battle
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders keenly await the round 12 fight at the iconic Silverstone circuit where they once again aim to duel with the leading MotoGP bikes. After finishing the Austrian round as the leading Yamaha rider and in 5th, Johann Zarco fully intends to take advantage of the flowing and high-speed nature of the British circuit to clinch the top independent honours on Sunday. Whilst Jonas Folger plans to bounce back and fight with his teammate for a top-five finish to continue the highly positive start to his MotoGP career. The action commences at 09:55 this Friday.
Championship: 6th – Points: 99
“Silverstone is a very fast track and I am happy to go there after the solid and rewarding weekend that we had in Austria. I have a high level of motivation again so my target is to fight with the top guys and to collect as many points as possible for the championship. In the past, I have been competitive at Silverstone in Moto2, so I hope I will feel good on my Yamaha MotoGP bike. I am sure that I will be confident and I aim to manage the tyres as well as I can in order to have a strong race and then finish close to the front.”
Championship: 8th – Points: 77
“I really like the Silverstone track so after the unlucky weekend that we had in Austria, we are looking forward to the British Grand Prix where we will attack and try to clinch a good result. I am certain that we will come back in a strong way and we have to collect points because Brno and Spielberg didn’t go to plan. I’m sure that we can show our true level at Silverstone, which is a circuit that I really enjoy riding at. I have great memories there, including my first-ever victory in the 125cc class and some other solid results. I hope that we are going to try the new winglets too, which we are supposed to get at Silverstone so it will be interesting to work with the new aerodynamic parts. I’m sure our hard work will get us close to the top and I’m excited about the British GP challenge.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager
“After a short rest following the back to back races in the Czech Republic and Austria, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is more than ready and excited to go to Silverstone. This will be the first time in many years that we have not had an English rider in the Tech3 team, after James Ellison, James Toseland, Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow all spent time with us. Anyway, our team has always had an incredibly warm welcome and a strong level of support from the British crowd, who I think are possibly the best fans in the world. This is because they love travelling and they know so much about our sport, plus it is a real pleasure to meet some of these people at Silverstone every year. A big moment of the weekend is the Riders for Health auction on Thursday, where the paddock is open and we can meet so many people. It’s a really special, friendly and family orientated event where a lot of riders as well as team managers go onstage to answer the public’s questions and share our passion for MotoGP. With regards to our guys, Silverstone is a track that both of them enjoy. There was a memorable battle there last year in Moto2 and Johann and Jonas did a great job. The Yamaha goes well at the circuit so everyone is ready for a great event and our boys are fully fit and raring to go. I really hope that we can please the crowd and a podium in the UK would be like a dream, so this result would especially reward the two English Monster Yamaha Tech3 members on their home soil. Steve Blackburn is Johann’s mechanic who has been with us for many years, and Wil Moody is our social media coordinator and press writer and one of the important people in our communications team. We are ready for this special event.”