Official Silverstone MotoGP records:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 58.168s (2019)
Fastest race lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 59.936s (2019)
Johann Zarco returned to the top during Free Practice 4 for the British MotoGP at Silverstone, which saw title contender Aleix Espargaro taken away on a stretcher after a massive early highside through the fast Farm curve.
The Aprilia rider, fastest heading into the session, was thrown off at 100 mph (160km/h) in the opening minutes while trying the hard rear tyre. After being carried to the side of the track, the Spaniard was fortunately seen back on his feet, albeit with a marshal on either side to hold him up.
Espargaro was still clearly in pain as he was helped by two Aprilia team members into the Silverstone Medical Centre. Fortunately, the team reported that X-rays found no fractures and – having been declared ‘fit’ – Espargaro limped out to a team scooter to prepare for qualifying.
He’s off the stretcher and off to the medical centre
— MotoGP (@MotoGP) August 6, 2022
Takaaki Nakagami fell at a similar place (a lowside) midway through the half-hour FP4 session, the LCR rider walking away unharmed.
Meanwhile, Jack Miller led most of the session on the soft front and medium rear tyres, and new ‘pokemon’ rear wings.
Espargaro’s team-mate Maverick Vinales then put the lone remaining RS-GP briefly on top, before Johann Zarco edged 0.050s under.
Miguel Oliveira completed a promising session in fourth for Red Bull KTM, having been second to Miller much of the time, with world champion Fabio Quartararo and Zarco’s Pramac team-mate Jorge Martin completing the top six.
Raul Fernandez pulled off track with clouds of smoke coming from the back of his Tech3 KTM in the opening minutes of the session.
Medium tyres, front and rear, were the preferred choice, with a scattering of soft fronts and hard rears. The likes of Nakagami and LCR team-mate Alex Marquez also tried the soft rear.
Qualifying 1, for those outside the top ten after third free practice, will now get underway.
Fabio Quartararo starts the British MotoGP, the first event after the summer break, with a reduced 21-point lead over Aleix Espargaro after suffering a first DNF of the season at Assen.
Crucially, the French star will also need to serve a Long Lap penalty in Sunday’s Silverstone race as punishment for forcing Espargaro off-track during the misjudged pass, which ended with the Yamaha rider on the ground before a second accident ended his Dutch drama.
Both Quartararo and Espargaro have good memories of Silverstone from last year, when Quartararo won from the Suzuki of Alex Rins and Espargaro held off the Ducati of Jack Miller to claim the RS-GP’s first-ever MotoGP podium.
Espargaro and Aprilia’s spectacular season means, despite the Assen incident and handing away another near-certain rostrum in Barcelona, the Spaniard arrives in the UK seeking a sixth podium and second win of the year.
Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco is best of the rest in third, albeit 58 points from Quartararo and still seeking a long overdue premier-class win, with Factory Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia eight points behind after taking three wins and three DNFs in the last six races.
Silverstone will be Bagnaia’s first MotoGP event since his drink-driving incident in Ibiza.
Enea Bastianini (Gresini Ducati) and Jorge Martin (Pramac) remain locked in battle to be Bagnaia’s 2023 team-mate, with Silverstone likely to be their last chance to impress before an end-of-August decision is made.
Triple race winner Bastianini has slipped to fifth in the standings after his early season heroics, with 2021 winner Martin currently eleventh with two second-places.
Just two points separate Brad Binder and future KTM team-mate Miller in the fight for sixth in the championship, with the same slim margin splitting Joan Mir and Alex Rins in their last season as Suzuki team-mates.
While Rins officially confirmed a switch to LCR Honda during the summer break, Mir’s expected move to Repsol Honda in place of Pol Espargaro is still to be confirmed.
With Marc Marquez still recovering from his latest arm surgery, Espargaro – tipped to make a return to KTM and Tech3 next season – is again partnered by HRC test rider Stefan Bradl this weekend.
2022 British MotoGP, Silverstone – Race weekend schedule (UK time)
Friday August 5
9am – Moto3 Free Practice 1
9.55am – MotoGP Free Practice 1
10.55am – Moto2 Free Practice 1
1.15pm – Moto3 Free Practice 2
2.10pm – MotoGP Free Practice 2
3.10pm – Moto2 Free Practice 2
Saturday August 6
9am – Moto3 Free Practice 3
9.55am – MotoGP Free Practice 3
10.55am – Moto2 Free Practice 2
12.35pm – Moto3 Qualifying 1
1pm – Moto3 Qualifying 2
1.30pm – MotoGP Free Practice 4
2.10pm – MotoGP Qualifying 1
2.35pm – MotoGP Qualifying 2
3.10pm – Moto2 Qualifying 1
3.35pm – Moto2 Qualifying 2
Sunday August 7
9.20am – Moto3 warm-up
9.40am – MotoGP warm-up
10.10am – Moto2 warm-up
11.20am – Moto3 race
1pm – MotoGP race
2.30pm – Moto2 race
|Assen: MotoGP World Championship standings|
|1||=||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||172|
|2||=||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||151||(-21)|
|3||=||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||114||(-58)|
|4||^2||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||106||(-66)|
|5||˅1||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)||105||(-67)|
|6||˅1||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||93||(-79)|
|7||=||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||91||(-81)|
|8||^1||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||77||(-95)|
|9||˅1||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||75||(-97)|
|10||=||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||71||(-101)|
|11||=||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||70||(-102)|
|12||^2||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||62||(-110)|
|13||˅1||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||60||(-112)|
|14||^3||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*||55||(-117)|
|15||˅2||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||52||(-120)|
|16||=||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||42||(-130)|
|17||˅2||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||40||(-132)|
|18||=||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||27||(-145)|
|19||=||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||25||(-147)|
|20||=||Fabio di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)*||18||(-154)|
|21||=||Darryn Binder||RSA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*||10||(-162)|
|22||=||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||10||(-162)|
|23||=||Remy Gardner||AUS||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||9||(-163)|
|24||=||Raul Fernandez||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||5||(-167)|