“This is one of my favourite tracks on the MotoGP bike”: Riders ready to take on Silverstone
The pre-event Press Conference and a key Triumph announcement kick off the Monster Energy British Grand Prix.
Is everybody ready for the British GP? The MotoGP™ grid certainly is, with the pre-event Press Conference seeing Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) joined by closest challengers Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Austrian GP winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and rookie superstar Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), as well as home heroes Cal Crutchlow (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and MotoGP™ debutant Jake Dixon (Petronas Yamaha SRT) ahead of track action on Friday.
Here are some key quotes!
Fabio Quartararo: “I was super happy about the second race in Austria because the first one I finished quite far from Jorge, close to 10 seconds from victory, in the second one I improved my pace a lot and I think I had a chance to fight for victory. I think it was one of the most fun races from this year, I enjoyed it a lot and I was feeling great. We know Austria is the most tricky track for us and we were there fighting for victories and podiums. Of course it’s not the result we wanted but I was more happy with the second one than the first one.
“Two years ago was one corner on Sunday here, but this is one of my favourite tracks on the MotoGP bike, the Yamaha suits the track really well and it’s just a matter of going out tomorrow morning, enjoying it straight away, having a good time. I hope we get good weather and let’s see!”
Advice for Jake Dixon:
“To be calm. Because already when I started in Valencia, it’s a short track but the first day I was totally lost. It was a day of testing. I’ve already told him it’s totally different. He will already feel the power and the brakes, don’t look at the lap times so much and yeah, take it easy!”
Francesco Bagnaia: “For sure I’m happy. I recovered more points like this than in fully dry conditions because Fabio was in trouble with rain tyres. I was close to fighting for a win but in any case I am happy because I did my best race in MotoGP I think. I was setting my pace and feeling comfortable. It was better the second race, the first one we had a bit of bad luck with the restart but the second one we managed to be fast enough to stay in front.
“I’m really confident to ride this track, it’s one of my favourites. I really like the layout and our bike maybe suits good, maybe not like a Yamaha but we will try to be fast enough to stay with Fabio because we really need to recover more points. Still we’re at 47 and if Fabio wants to enjoy the Championship more maybe we can fight until the finish, it’s better!”
Joan Mir: “The last race was a little bit crazy. I would say that in Austria the feelings were nice at both weekends, the race in the second GP was unexpectedly difficult but finally we could be really close to the podium which was our goal. Now we come to this track which as you say Alex was strong here in 2019, he was able to win, Suzuki got two victories in the modern era and this is for a reason. The bike can fit well with this track, it will be important to be fighting with the top guys. I will give my best. It will be difficult because it’s the first time coming here after a long time, and it will be important to be strong straight away in FP1 and FP2, to get the correct feeling, the correct lines and I will give my best.
“I’m not nervous. I think that the important thing is once you get the feeling, is to put the feeling here. Not the track. I haven’t ridden a bike here since ’18 and for sure this will be a bit difficult in the first laps. But if you have a great feeling and you know, we did a lot of races this year and I think I’m in good form, but I think I will be able to adapt quickly on this track. The track is quite long, wide, difficult to find the line, but yeah. It’s important to find it as quickly as possible.”
Brad Binder: “Now I’ve had a bit of time to go back and watch it all over it again, I’m really glad there wasn’t one more lap. It was cool. It was a big risk to stay out, and yeah, the last lap was super sketchy. I’m glad I made it home safe but sometimes you have to take a chance and this time it worked so really happy about that, happy to come out of the two Austria races with two good results and hopefully looking at keeping that momentum going.
“I mean we’ve all been to Silverstone a few times. It’s always a bit of a challenge I find at a new track on the MotoGP bike, no matter how many times you look through the data, I always find it completely different to how I remember. The big goal for me is to be comfortable straight away and not start too far down the order like I have done many times when I come to a circuit for the first time on a GP bike. It’s a special track, last time I was here I really really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to riding the big bike around here for sure.”
Jorge Martin: “I would be so confident if the race was in Austria again but we come to a new track and I need to be focused and start from zero. I don’t know how it will be, so just try to find a good feeling with the bike. I will give my 100% as always, it won’t be easy but I’ll try my best.
“From my side it will be the same as always, because I’ve come to the track with MotoGP so I’m not nervous, I’m ready and raring to go.”
Cal Crutchlow: “It’s great, it’s great to come to Silverstone. I never thought I’d be racing a Silverstone GP again after I retired so to come back, already we missed last year with was disappointing, but to come back this weekend with Monster Energy Yamaha is a privilege. It’s a privilege to ride Silverstone anyway, and then now with a full crowd it’s going to be entertaining for everybody. I’m looking forward to it. Riding in Austria was not easy after being so long off the bike, but to come this weekend here, maybe in a little bit better of a situation after the last two races, I look forward to seeing what we can do.
“I think Austria wasn’t too bad. On paper its always going to look bad, but we expected nothing, and we got nothing. We got information for Yamaha and I did my job, and I enjoyed it which was the main thing. After so long off the bike to ride again is always enjoyable. Speed wise we weren’t too bad, I qualified half a tenth slower than what I did last year on the Honda. After 5 months off it wasn’t too bad, I enjoyed it, I felt good and in the end hopefully I’ll feel a little bit more comfortable with not such a big a gap off. Silverstone is a good circuit for that, I know a few tricks of the trade around here and in Austria I really really don’t. So let’s see what we can do at the Monster Energy GP here.”
Jake Dixon: “It’s obviously fantastic and obviously thanks to Petronas for giving me the opportunity to ride the MotoGP bike. To do it at home is pretty special, if anyone could do their debut I think they would do it at home so yeah, I can’t wait. We’re going to have a full house in front of the full crowd, Silverstone seems to suit the Yamaha in the past. I can’t wait, it’s definitely going to be a massive learning curve, but I’m ready to take it on and see what we can do.
“I was just saying to Mir that I’ve had a few sleepless nights yeah. It’s definitely excitement, so much excitement but also nervous times. I’m not expecting anything from myself it’s just a massive learning curve. I can’t be expected to do anything, I’ve never ridden a MotoGP bike, everything is so different. I’ll just try to do the best job I can do at the weekend, take it on and see if I enjoy it!”
That’s a wrap on the Press Conference at Silverstone! Free Practice begins on Friday, before MotoGP™ heads out for another battle of Britain on Sunday at 13:00 (GMT +1).
For more MotoGP info checkout our dedicated MotoGP News page
Or visit the official MotoGP website www.motogp.com