In just a few hours’ time, the MotoGP World Championship will resume following the five-week summer break. The legendary & speedy Silverstone Circuit is holding the British MotoGP 2022, and twelfth round of the calendar, this weekend (5-7 August).
Following the events at the last appointment at the Dutch GP, the title race arrives in Britain a lot tighter than expected. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) committed his first mistake of the season at Assen Circuit to see his advantage at the top of the standings considerably reduced.
The Frenchman attempted an impossible manoeuvre to overtake Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) in Assen and both pilots skidded off track as a result. ‘El Diablo’, however, was the worst affected and the only one who fell on the floor. Although he managed to lift the M1 back up, he did not add any point.
His Spaniard ‘victim’, on the other hand, managed to leave the gravel without crashing and re-joined the track in the fifteenth place to then climb all the way up to fourth, with a wonderful final double pass of Brad Binder (KTM) and Jack Miller (Ducati), on the last lap.
Just above him, in third, came his teammate Maverick Viñales for his first podium with the team from Noale. The Spaniard is improving his performance by the day thanks to his increasing confidence on board the RS-GP 22. The last race could even have supposed a point of inflexion in his trajectory.
Meanwhile, Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) was able to take advantage of the incident suffered by the leaders, to claim his third victory of 2022 (Spain, Italy & Holland), followed by an unexpected Marco Bezzechi (VR46).
The crown defender, therefore, arrives at the British MotoGP 2022 with a 21-point lead over Aleix Espargaró, 58 above Johann Zarco (Pramac) and 66 above Bagnaia. The 2021 champion might still enjoy a comfortable lead but with nine rounds and 225 points still up for grabs, nothing is in any way decided yet.
After that mistake, the pilot from Nice knows that he cannot take his eyes off the ball again, nor can he falter or lose control under the pressure. Otherwise, the very regular and consistent Aleix Espargaró will be there to dethrone him. The Spaniard also has a card up his sleeve, which could prove to be decisive.
Viñales and Espargaró: Allies against Quartararo
The Catalan pilot will count on the invaluable help of his ‘resurrected’ teammate and friend Viñales. If possible, the latter will try and finish before the Frenchman in order to deprive him of some very valuable points.
Quartararo, on the other hand, will be left to fend for himself in this three-way battle. Similarly, Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha), cannot count on his alarmingly poor-performing teammate to lend him a hand.
At the very least, this is a friendly round for Quartararo in which to demonstrate that he is still fighting fit after his accident. In his previous visit to the UK, he took a shining victory. This time around in Silverstone, however, he will need to face the burden of the long-lap penalty he received as a result of his accident in Assen.
Bagnaia hopes to join the party
Bagnaia is, together with Aleix Espargaró, the other great contender to win the British MotoGP 2022 as well as to attempt to fight for the crown. ‘Pecco’, who has been harshly criticised for his disappointing performance during the first half of the season, wants to make up for it during this second half, a period when he normally tends to get stronger.
In sum, everything is ready to kickstart the first one of the nine “finals” left in the Championship…until the real final in Valencia in November.
The summer break is over, @MotoGP is back at Silverstone, one of the fastest circuits on the calendar. It isn't an easy one for our #MICHELINPower range of tires due to the mix of the high speeds on the straights combined with the very fast corners.#BritishGP #MichelinMotoGP pic.twitter.com/LCVWSiRrwE
— Michelin Motorsport (@Michelin_Sport) August 2, 2022
Images of British MotoGP 2022: MotoGP.