British Grand Prix 15-17 June 2012

Race report from Harry Lloyd (more on Harry)

British MotoGP 2012

The Silverstone weekend is always a favourite of everyone at Pole Position Travel, it offers a chance for fans and riders to get even closer than usual with the unique Day of Champions Event. The Day of Champions sees a large portion of the riders offer items in aid of Riders for Health, a highlight of the day came from our sponsored rider Danny Webb. Thanks to AGV and Rich-Art Concepts Danny was wearing a Barry Sheene replica helmet on race day and was offering one lucky fan the chance to take it home, after he’d used it of course. Along with Danny’s wonderful tribute Brad Binder and Cal Crutchlow also entertained the fans up on the stage with Toby Moody and Julian Ryder, both providing some laughs for everyone.

The weekend had begun well for all the Pole Position Riders as they set about learning Silverstone on their new bikes, be it a Moto3 bike or a big 1000cc MotoGP monster. Cal and Danny were both out to impress in front of their home crowd and both of them were well within the top ten over the first two days. This continued Cal’s strong yearlong form but was a welcome change to Danny, and Mahindra’s, recent run of terrible luck with technical problems.

Cal’s luck took a turn for the worse when in FP3 he came off his M1 and took a very long, nasty tumble through the gravel trap. Immediately he was taken off to hospital, almost every fan in the grand stand, pits and VIP Area worried if Cal had injured himself like last year. The next few hours consisted of watching the various qualifying sessions while hastily refreshing Twitter in order to find out if Cal would be back for the race tomorrow. One moment in qualifying that stopped everyone from checking their phones was when the Moto3 bikes initially went out. Dark clouds had gathered over head and the day’s gusty wind was getting yet worse, so near all 30 Moto3 bikes decided to try and get a quick lap in at the start in case the rain did come.

Moto3 riders aren’t known for their level heads and this was shown during the early parts of qualifying as all the riders fought hard for positions, the battle for the front wouldn’t have gone a miss in any of the previous Moto3 races this year, battling particularly hard was Danny, cutting up and under other riders and forcing it around the outside. Danny’s lap

Danny Webb (99) and Brad Binder (41) battle (PH)

s were hindered by other riders and the wind which meant that he ended up qualifying 21st with Brad Binder closely behind in 26th after a tough weekend learning the track. Jakob Kornfeil was the leading Pole Position Rider in 14th, continuing to show his goof form on board the FTR.

Race day started with the Moto2 race instead of the usual Moto3 race due to TV scheduling conflicts, with two Brits on the front two rows it was set to be a great race for all the fans there. The opening laps of the race

Scott Redding leading Marc Marquez (PH)

saw Bradley Smith and Scott Redding dive into the lead, battling with elbows and knees for the lead. The grandstand were on their feet as Scott began to pull away and Espagaro and Marquez chased him down. Espagaro may have passed him but Scott refused to let Marquez go as the two fought fearing to fearing for over half the race, Scott taking some creative lines to get past the young Spanish star. Their battle would go down to the last corner where Marquez made a mistake and Scott lunged with an all or nothing move, taking the lead coming out of the last corner. The race was yet another Moto2 thriller and set a high standard for the next races to follow.

MotoGP races are often more tame than the Moto2 and Moto3 races, but the Silverstone race provided a different MotoGP race which saw multiple riders lead and one rider ride a truly legendary race. The race started with Ben Spies in the lead from the line, for many fans this was a welcome sight as prior Ben had been struggling from a lack of confidence after several accidents. Casey looked to be struggling to keep up Ben in these opening laps until Ben made a small mistake and ran wide,  true demonstration of how perfect you have to be in MotoGP, one mistake and you go from first to third. Stoner put his head down to try and get away from the chasing pack that was lead by Lorenzo followed by Bautista who was brimming with confidence after his first ever MotoGP pole.Lorenzo was hungry to extend his series lead and it showed as within just a few laps he had broken Bautista and had caught Stoner resulting in a lap long battle that saw the riders swap positions at almost every corner.

Lorenzo would eventually win the day, but the true hero was the Honey Badger, Cal Crutchlow. Cal had been diagnosed with a fractured and dislocated ankle, causing him to miss Qualifying and thus start from the back of the grid. This injure was made worse as it was his foot in charge of gear changing that had been injured, meaning any serious pain killers would do more harm than good. This didn’t worry Cal though as all he was focused on was giving the fans a good show and making the Silverstone grid on a MotoGP bike for the first time. The next laps saw Cal speed through the CRTs and battle hard with the Ducati factory team bikes of Nicky and Rossi, seeming as though his ankle was perfectly fine. Cal did only as a Honey Badger could and fought his way all up to 6th, a result that last year he would have killed for at his home GP.

Not only had there been good racing, but also good weather and the fans were more than ready for the last race of the day in the form of the Moto3 race. As usual the Moto3 provided some great racing, especially at the front with a group of nine riders fighting for the win. While the battle raged at the front Danny and Brad battled hard to fight for points, Danny was particularly hungry for points as prior to this he had had bike troubles in nearly every race which prevented him from fulfilling his full potential. Sadly this wouldn’t be Danny’s weekend as his bike once again was hindered by technical problems. This left Danny bitterly disappointed as he’d been making good progress in the race and had had good pace through the weekend. Brad ended the race in 17th with Jakub ahead in an impressive 11th.

It was a great weekend for racing, highlighted by the strong effort from both Cal and Scott who gave all the English fans something to cheer about. When an entire crowd is behind a rider or two you can truly understand why nothing beats being there.


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