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Maverick Viñales at the 2017 Grand Prix of Great Britain
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Yamaha return to double MotoGP podium spotlight at sunny Silverstone

Aug 272017

The rippled and historic Silverstone asphalt baked in much welcome summer temperatures as the British Grand Prix again drew MotoGP back to England’s midlands. The twelfth round of a gripping 2017 series saw Andrea Dovizioso claim his fourth victory of the year after a five-rider dash that perfectly encapsulated this tight, tricky and captivating contest.

The Italian was joined on the box by Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi respectively as a recent test in Italy seemed to yield vital gains for the Movistar Yamaha duo: Rossi led the majority of the chase around one of the longest tracks on the calendar and Viñales challenged ‘Dovi’ until the final corners but couldn't displace the veteran.

“We worked very hard all weekend to make the tyre last longer and I was really happy that I was able to catch the others and fight for victory: I pushed 100% in those last five laps,” #25 said. “It was a really tough race with five riders all in the same lap-times until the end.”

“I was able to ride well and give the maximum; I enjoyed the race,” Rossi said. “I could ride in a good way but I was a bit worried because we know that we suffer in the last five laps. I slowed down a bit but suffered a bit too much and Dovi and Maverick overtook me; it was frustrating because I wasn't strong enough to be able to fight to overtake again. Anyway I’m happy because the podium was my target and it was a great race. We will have to work for the last laps but this weekend we improved.”

Cal Crutchlow was in demand from the first moments he entered the gate at Silverstone. After finishing as runner-up in 2016 the Honda man carried a hefty weight of expectation to be the first British winner of his home event in forty years. The tension increased as Cal battled for pole position through Saturday and occupied a place on the front row of the grid. In the late Sunday afternoon affair an issue with front tyre grip kept #35 at the back of the lead group. Despite his efforts to form a strategy and attack, his machine’s rubber would not offer vital stickiness in the final five laps.

 

“I’m annoyed I could not finish the job off and get on the podium like last year but we have to take credit – like all the riders – because we were way-faster than last year’s race pace,” Crutchlow said. “We should be pleased because we put on a show for the crowd as best as possible.”

 

Jorge Lorenzo completed the top five while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco made a good recovery to grab sixth. German teammate Jonas Folger missed the race after a heavy crash in morning warm-up.

 

MotoGP is open warfare. 26 points split Dovizioso, Marc Marquez (who didn't finish in Silverstone due to an engine problem), Viñales and Rossi with six rounds remaining.

“This was like an occasion lost,” said the Italian who now leads Tom Luthi by 29 points. “We had the pace in the first few laps and through the race I saw we could have won. After Alex’s crash I had a big drop and I had to defend; I don't know why. So it was positive to get on the podium and get a small gap over Tom.”

 

“I still want to win every race because anything can happen in this championship. I had a chance today and I will keep attacking still,” he added.

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