Marquez has finished on the podium at all but two races. In addition to his three victories, in Argentina, the USA and Germany, he has scored three seconds, three thirds, a fifth, in Austria where he dislocated a shoulder in a practice crash, and a 13th, in France, where he slid off and remounted. This remarkable display of consistency is impressive from a 23-year-old whose previous strategy was always to fight for the win, whatever the risk.
Marquez changed his approach after last season, when his hopes for a third consecutive MotoGP was undone by several tumbles. His new tactic, to always fight hard but don’t risk a DNF, is especially appropriate this season, when major technical changes, most importantly different tyres and same-for-all rider controls, have had a major effect on riding technique.
The twice MotoGP champion has a great record at Silverstone, winning the 125cc race in 2010, a third spot in the 2012 Moto2 race and first place at the 2014 MotoGP event. Last year he crashed out of a rain-lashed race while challenging for the lead.
His team mate Dani Pedrosa arrives at Silverstone to complete two-thirds of the 2016 championship holding fourth place overall. The Spaniard has so far had an up-and-down season as he works to adapt to the championship’s new tyres. When he can get the best from his tyres and his machine he is fully competitive, as he proved with podium performances in the Argentine and Catalan GPs, but he has also found some races challenging.
In the Yamaha camp, Rossi is in a confident mood after securing second place at the last race in Brno. He looks forward to riding the fast sweeping corners of Silverstone, where he rode his YZR-M1 to his first victory at this track last year. He had been successful on British soil at Donington Park in previous years, having secured three modern era premier class wins in 2002, 2004 and 2005, and two 500cc victories in 2000 and 2001.
After a difficult last race, that saw Lorenzo having to come into the pits due to tyre problems, the reigning champion is set on making a strong comeback this weekend at a circuit where the odds are in his favor: he holds the record for the rider with the most MotoGP wins at Silverstone. Over the last six years Lorenzo has secured three premier class victories, in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and is eager add a fourth to his tally this weekend.
Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso has been on the Silverstone podium three times, thanks to two second places obtained in 2010 and 2011 and a third place last year, which he achieved after a superb recovery in a race held on a wet track. Team-mate Andrea Iannone scored his best result at the British circuit with a fourth place in Moto2 in 2012, while last year he finished eighth on the factory Desmosedici GP15. Both Ducati riders come to the UK off the back of last Tuesday’s one-day test at Misano in preparation for the San Marino and the Rimini Riviera GP, which will be held at the Romagna circuit in mid-September.