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10 issues we discovered from the 2023 MotoGP British GP

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MotoGP’s return from its summer time break didn’t disappoint, as a dramatic weekend concluded with an exciting British Grand Prix.

The rider market saga kicked off proceedings at Silverstone, with information of Alex Rins changing Franco Morbidelli at Yamaha in 2024 opening up extra rumours about bike swaps.

On monitor, Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro put in a shocking cost from twelfth on the grid to steal victory within the grand prix from Francesco Bagnaia with a daring last-lap overtake. However woes for rivals allowed Bagnaia to maneuver 41 factors clear within the standings, strengthening his place because the rider to beat because the championship enters its second part.

The Japanese producers continued to wrestle, however there gave the impression to be some gentle on the finish of the tunnel for Marc Marquez a minimum of.

Pol Espargaro made his race comeback for Tech3 after 4 months on the sidelines recovering from severe harm, placing in a heroic effort to simply get by the weekend and are available away with some factors.

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Elsewhere, race course choices drew the ire of riders, whereas the implementation of a brand new rule proved clunky.

Listed below are the ten issues we discovered from the 2023 MotoGP British GP.

1. Aleix places ambition apart to win at Silverstone

Aleix Espargaro recorded simply his second MotoGP win on the weekend

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Aleix Espargaro’s thrilling overtake (having almost crashed earlier in the tour) on the within of Francesco Bagnaia on the Maggotts complicated on the ultimate lap of the British GP will go down as one of many highlights of the racing yr.

It was a courageous transfer to cap off a superb trip for the Aprilia runner, who got here from twelfth on the grid to register his second profession grand prix victory on the venue the place his Aprilia dream actually began to blossom two years in the past.

After the breakout of 2022, way more was anticipated of Aprilia and Espargaro this season. Previous to the summer time break, the marque had simply two grand prix podiums to its credit score, Espargaro getting his first at Assen after a monitor limits penalty for Brad Binder.

Espargaro admitted after the British GP that ambitions have been too excessive for 2023 after a powerful pre-season, and that led to him making extra errors.

“At first of the season the expectation was too excessive, on myself and on the workforce,” he mentioned. “So, I made too many errors; I crashed in Argentina, I crashed in America, I misplaced a number of factors. I had good velocity, many Fridays, many classes within the dry I used to be near Pecco, main.

“But it surely doesn’t matter, it’s important to be quick on Sunday. So, for one motive or one other, I used to be not in a position to actually match my velocity with the outcomes. And clearly, we don’t have the factors we deserve.”

Placing ambition to at least one facet seems to have executed the trick, and maybe now Aprilia can actually kick into gear within the second half of the season. LD

2. Bagnaia rode like a champion, even when he doesn’t care about proving a degree

It might not have been a win, but Bagnaia made a massive stride towards the 2023 MotoGP title at Silverstone

It won’t have been a win, however Bagnaia made an enormous stride in the direction of the 2023 MotoGP title at Silverstone

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Francesco Bagnaia’s Silverstone weekend was a combined affair, with a mystifying issue in the wet sprint leaving him without points for the primary time this season on a Saturday down in 14th. However he and Ducati bounced again brilliantly on Sunday.

Main for a lot of the 20-lap race, an absence of traction within the closing phases meant he may do nothing to cease Espargaro from taking a hard-earned win away from him.

Nonetheless, a crash for Marco Bezzecchi and Jorge Martin ending sixth has allowed Bagnaia to go 41 factors clear within the standings in a race the place a mistake was all too straightforward to make. That has been a sin of Bagnaia’s he’s slowly overcoming, even if he doesn’t feel has anything to prove in situations like this.

“I’m not considering ever that I’ve to exhibit to anybody our potential as a result of I do know completely what I can do, what our workforce can do, what Ducati can do,” he mentioned. “So, I’m simply making an attempt to work nicely, to arrange completely for the race and don’t have any surprises within the races. That is one thing that has modified in comparison with final yr.” LD

3. Quartararo’s Yamaha embarrassment continues

Quartararo and Yamaha plunged to new lows at Silverstone

Quartararo and Yamaha plunged to new lows at Silverstone

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Having taken his maiden world title in 2021 and preventing for wins final yr, of which he took three, Fabio Quartararo has clearly cemented himself as one of many MotoGP stars of at this time.

However you’d suppose in any other case from his outcomes this yr, with Yamaha’s M1 proving a troublesome beast to tame.

In actual fact, the Frenchman concedes that riders on the Japanese producers – Yamaha and Honda, who’re having an much more torrid time – are being embarrassed by their machinery.

Having completed twenty first within the 10-lap dash, Quartararo mentioned: “Properly, after all. I imply, for those who verify, now it’s extra the European bikes than the Japanese bikes, however there may be not one [Japanese manufacturer rider] on prime and the others backside.

“All of us are down, so for certain we’re doing one thing fallacious. However particularly from my facet beginning that far down, we should do one thing completely totally different tomorrow.

“We now have nothing to lose and my precedence now’s to attempt to enhance, to be extra in entrance and make a step ahead within the coming races, the place usually within the second half of the season is the place we drop down.”

His woes continued on Sunday, tangling with VR46 rider Luca Marini whereas working seventh and shedding the entrance of his fairing. He went on to complete fifteenth of the 17 riders to cross the road, having began final, and regardless of glimmers of hope, he doesn’t imagine he may have fought for a top-five place. MW

4. Pol’s comeback ache reveals his dedication

Pol Espargaro made his first MotoGP outing in almost five months

Pol Espargaro made his first MotoGP outing in nearly 5 months

Picture by: GasGas Manufacturing facility Racing

Participating in your first race weekend after a comeback from harm is all the time onerous, not to mention when these accidents are as extreme as these suffered by Pol Espargaro in a horrific FP2 crash on the season-opening Portuguese Grand Prix.

Having sustained a number of again and jaw fractures after hitting an unprotected tyre barrier, it was a protracted highway again to MotoGP for the Tech3 KTM rider, so it’s unsurprising that the weekend left him exhausted.

“I’m cooked. Properly, after 10 laps I used to be cooked,” he mentioned after Sunday’s race. “After the primary 10 laps, I used to be utterly burned out. I believe the primary 10 laps I discover myself behind Augusto and I may observe him for the primary few laps, and I believe that was the issue.

“I requested of myself a bit bit extra and my physique simply mentioned ‘sufficient, you’ve executed sufficient’. It utterly locked, the neck is totally locked, I couldn’t do extra.

“I used to be desirous about retiring, however initially I wished to complete however then I noticed some guys pitting in when it began to rain in sector 4, in order that was a gift that they have been giving to me. So, I simply continued and took some factors.”

And take some factors he did, ending a really respectable twelfth to attain 4 factors on his return to the premier class. Having struggled each bodily and mentally in Saturday’s dash too, even having to take an hour nap between sessions, it was an admirable comeback from such a decided rider.

Although his trip for 2024 could also be beneath menace (extra on that later), Espargaro’s sheer willpower is one thing to be counseled, particularly given he’s “far, very distant from the place I wish to be” on the subject of health. MW

5. The actual Marc Marquez has been put away, a minimum of for now

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Staff

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Nobody was fairly certain what Marc Marquez would re-emerge from the five-week summer time break following his bruising, demoralising begin to the 2023 marketing campaign.

Whereas questions on his Honda future proceed, even when he mentioned at Silverstone that “my intention” is to stay for 2024, the ‘actual’ Marc Marquez has been put away for now whereas he figures issues out.

He took a brand new strategy for the British GP, shunning outcomes and driving purely on feeling: if he felt good, he’d push a bit, if not then he’d maintain it wise. It meant his dash outcome was a lowly 18th however was on for a prime 10 within the grand prix earlier than he collided with Enea Bastianini in an “unfortunate” late incident.

Beginning the Silverstone weekend with the bike he raced in Portugal, Marquez is but to discover a base set-up to construct on. Nonetheless, after the grand prix, there was a Positive to take out of the spherical.

“I’m comfortable concerning the weekend as a result of the goal was to attempt to rebuild a bit the arrogance and attempt to discover the bottom,” Marquez mentioned. “I rebuilt the arrogance, however to search out the bottom, we’d like extra races, extra race tracks, totally different conditions. However the weekend was strong, and steady, additionally I managed myself. The strategy of the weekend was very totally different. I neglect the occasions, neglect the whole lot.”

Now Honda should ship him with a 2024 prototype at September’s Misano take a look at that can elevate that confidence stage. LD

6. “Robust soldier” Zarco may get true KTM redemption as Honda swap looms

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Johann Zarco may get a full-time Honda shot in 2024 as hyperlinks to LCR to replace Yamaha-bound Alex Rins emerged throughout the British GP.

The 33-year-old contested three races for LCR on the finish of a 2019 marketing campaign wherein he was kicked out of KTM having introduced mid-season that he can be ending his two-year contract early – one thing he instructed Motosprint a number of years in the past was “not solely my alternative”.

Zarco may have been a manufacturing unit Honda rider at first of 2019 had his supervisor not inked that fateful take care of KTM, the place the Frenchman struggled to match his podium kind from his Tech3 Yamaha days the 2 seasons prior – managing only one prime 10 on the RC16.

On the face of it, shifting to Honda now threatens a lot the identical: Marc Marquez has scored 15 factors in 2023, Joan Mir simply 5, whereas it’s a motorcycle that wore down Pol Espargaro to return to KTM for this yr and killed Jorge Lorenzo’s profession in 2019.

However Zarco believes the maturity he has gained since 2019 ought to stand him in higher stead for a Honda swap, resulting in a attainable true redemption for his KTM nightmare.

“I might be proud to be this man as a result of I couldn’t make this work nicely in KTM,” he mentioned of serving to develop the Honda. “Possibly my suggestions was good for KTM, however the outcomes I used to be having I used to be not able to be on this place. So, I made the choice to come back again to Ducati. However within the case of getting this alternative, certain the maturity just isn’t the identical [as it was in 2019]. So, we should maintain the choices open.”

Zarco additionally harassed that his outcomes have been ok to warrant remaining with Ducati and Pramac, even when that appears unlikely as Marco Bezzecchi will get set to take his trip. LD

7. KTM’s Acosta placement scenario removed from resolved

KTM may need to shuffle its pack to make room for Acosta

KTM might must shuffle its pack to make room for Acosta

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

KTM seems to be in fairly the bind for 2024. With rising prodigy Pedro Acosta confirmed to be graduating from Moto2, the place he’s at present second within the standings, the Austrian producer might want to discover a house for him.

Each manufacturing unit seats are occupied, by Brad Binder and Jack Miller, which leaves the 2 Tech3 GasGas-branded KTM seats, at present taken by 2022 Moto2 champion Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro, who raced in his first full grand prix weekend of the yr at Silverstone.

Typical knowledge put Fernandez on the chopping board to make means for Acosta, given he didn’t have a two-year deal at hand. Nonetheless, he instructed Autosport final Thursday that his deal for next year is already done, including that he’s “actually comfortable” to be staying with the workforce.

So, with three riders for 2 seats, what is going to KTM’s resolution be, particularly given their bid to accumulate two extra grid slots has failed for now?

Properly, it seems to be like Espargaro may very well be the large loser right here, nudged apart right into a take a look at rider function in lieu of a greater possibility.

The Spaniard has accepted he may very well be moved apart and mentioned over the weekend that he’ll “not hesitate to maneuver aside if there was an improve, as a result of what I need is to see the manufacturing unit shining.”

KTM’s musical chairs strategy to seats has lengthy since been unpredictable, however hopefully, extra readability will come subsequent day out on the Austrian Grand Prix, its house race. MW

8. Race course choices beneath fireplace once more at Silverstone

Saturday's British MotoGP action was a wet and wild affair

Saturday’s British MotoGP motion was a moist and wild affair

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

It was a brand new weekend, however the age-old criticisms of MotoGP’s race course continued – this time amid moist climate circumstances which throughout FP3 and qualifying on Saturday morning.

Poleman Alex Marquez was left sad on the quantity of grass deposited on monitor from crashes in Q2 at a number of corners, with each second-place starter Marco Bezzecchi and Marquez taking place, as did Francesco Bagnaia, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Luca Marini.

The Gresini Ducati rider said the session should have been red-flagged to wash it up, including: “I noticed there have been many crashes, a number of grass going into the nook the place Marco crashed, additionally another corners.

“So, I don’t know if it was a world championship or a regional championship [we were riding in]. This isn’t acceptable. When it’s like this, there must be a pink flag and they should clear the monitor.”

Reigning world champion Bagnaia concurred, and mentioned after the dash race: “Already from FP2 it was a pink flag, I believe. In case of [practice] session, it’s alright to allow us to go.

“However the spray, and contemplating my crash, I used to be already in entrance [of the rest] – like Marco’s – but when that was a race, you’d undergo three or 4 riders for certain. So, it was a bit on the restrict throughout the session, however was a pink flag if the race was on this situation.”

Aleix Espargaro, too, was crucial, saying: “I am very, very offended. I don’t perceive what at this time’s race management did in any respect.”

He added: “I talked with them after the qualifying. They mentioned to me ‘100%, if the circumstances are like this then the race received’t begin’. I mentioned ‘Okay, after which why did qualifying begin?’ It was not possible on the straights, there was aquaplaning in all places, and we noticed many crashes.” MW

9. Mid-season regulation adjustments want extra thought

A MotoGP tyre rule change has been installed for safety, but is it set to cause more risk?

A MotoGP tyre rule change has been put in for security, however is it set to trigger extra danger?

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

There have been two regulation adjustments on the British Grand Prix. The Friday format had been tweaked in order that solely FP2 (now referred to as Observe, whereas the third follow of the weekend is FP2… yeah, we don’t know both) counted in the direction of the qualifying teams.

The second has doubtlessly further-reaching penalties. From Silverstone, the new Tyre Pressure Monitoring System was put into action, which measures the entrance and rear pressures of all riders.

All riders should run to a entrance minimal strain of 1.9 bar for a minimum of 50% of the grand prix and 30% of the dash, whereas the rear minimal is 1.7 bar. This has been a rule all yr however has not been formally regulated till now.

Riders have spent all yr elevating security issues about one thing that was ostensibly meant to enhance security, with a lot of them stating at Silverstone the entrance tyre loses grip when it hits 2.0 bar and above.

Whereas the system is built-in, penalties will probably be issued on a sliding scale starting with a warning after which time penalties for every subsequent transgression.

In the end, as a result of the dash was moist and the grand prix was declared flag-to-flag, the rule didn’t apply.

Nonetheless, the system is but to be automated – as was the entire level – and the race director randomly selects riders to verify. None of this was really absolutely defined till FP1 when Michelin motorsport boss Piero Taramasso was interviewed on the world feed.

Given the confusion surrounding its implementation and the very fact the system isn’t absolutely operational, it has made MotoGP look a bit foolish. Maybe it’s time to bench it once more till it has been absolutely developed for the 2024 marketing campaign. LD

10. Britain’s MotoGP hopes boosted as Dixon shuns WSBK transfer

Jake Dixon, Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Jake Dixon, Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Manufacturing facility Racing

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

It wasn’t a homecoming that went to plan for Jake Dixon, however Britain’s latest grand prix winner has a minimum of given followers hope of cheering on a compatriot on the MotoGP grid within the subsequent few years.

Whereas Dixon had been linked to a MotoGP transfer in 2024 previous to the summer time break, choices are scarce and seem earmarked for others: Yamaha has already secured Alex Rins, Gresini has its eye on Tony Arbolino, VR46 is more likely to welcome Franco Morbidelli, Pramac is about signal Marco Bezzecchi and LCR may both take Iker Lecuona or Johann Zarco as Takaaki Nakagami has a powerful declare to maintain his seat.

Dixon instructed Autosport at Silverstone that he’d had World Superbike curiosity, however the former British Superbike star has no real interest in entertaining that.

Ought to he proceed his strengthening Moto2 kind for the remainder of this season and thru subsequent, an area will open up for the Briton – not least with MotoGP eager to search out methods to have interaction a dwindling UK viewers.

INTERVIEW: Why British MotoGP fans should get behind its newest grand prix winner

“On the finish of the day, my dream is to go to MotoGP and be there,” Dixon mentioned. “However, it must be proper and I must be given the chance. If I get given one alternative to go, I’ll present what I can do. But when I’m to not go there…. I had curiosity in World Superbikes, nevertheless it’s not a factor [for me].

“I’ve executed all of the onerous work right here, to modify championships is mindless. So, if I’m to remain in Moto2 for an additional yr, so be it. It’s not that I don’t wish to try this, however my dream is to be in MotoGP. If I keep in Moto2, I really feel my loyalty is to this workforce. I owe it to them as a result of they gave me the chance not as soon as however twice. That’s huge. If the MotoGP factor doesn’t come off, then we have to intention to be not simply one-time world champion however twice in Moto2.” LD

MotoGP heads on to Austria next in two weeks' time

MotoGP heads on to Austria subsequent in two weeks’ time

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images



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