Strong start to first BritishGP in two years for Rossi
Free Practice at fan-packed Silverstone ends with Valentino Rossi tenth and Jake Dixon 21st on his MotoGP debut
For the first time since 2019 MotoGP action returned to Silverstone today, where PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Valentino Rossi ended the day tenth, while Jake Dixon, making his MotoGP debut at the BritishGP as stand-in for Franco Morbidelli, was 21st.
The start of FP1 saw Rossi post a 2mins 2.334secs time, which put him third momentarily and saw him stay inside the top-ten for a while. A red flag at the end of the session meant that he was not able to improve upon this and he ended FP1 16th. The afternoon’s FP2 session got off to a steadier start for the Italian, but a series of strong laps towards the end of the 45 minutes saw him sit as high as seventh. With a fastest lap of 2mins 0.400secs Valentino ended the day tenth.
Dixon made consistent progress throughout FP1, his first session aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1, and steadily improved his times. Using the 45 minutes to adjust to the premier class machine, he ended FP1 21st – 2mins 3.939secs. The Brit continued to make further improvements in front of his home fans in FP2: increasing his experience and bettering his morning time by 1.3secs. At the end of the BritishGP opening day Jake was 21st with a 2mins 2.601secs lap time.
Rossi and Dixon will be back out on track tomorrow at 9.55am local time (4.55pm MYT) for FP3, ahead of the two MotoGP Qualifying sessions that get underway at 2.10pm local time (9.10pm MYT).
“Today was a good day for me, especially to be within the top-ten at the end of the day. This was important to do. Although if tomorrow morning is dry, then that will be the practice that decides the Q2 places. I have a good feeling with the bike, although I was not able to give my maximum in FP1 because of the red flag, but my pace was not so bad. In the afternoon I tried the hard tyre, but it was not the best in those conditions.
At the end of the session, with the soft tyre, I did a good lap though. It’s always a great pleasure to ride at Silverstone because it is a fast, technical circuit with a lot of corners. The new asphalt also provides a lot of grip and they have done a very good job with the layout.” – Valentino Rossi, 10th (2’00.400)
“It’s been an incredible day and experience, especially in FP1 because there was a lot to take in and a lot of things going on. I was so slow on the first lap because of this. All my timings for braking and accelerating were out because it’s just so different on the MotoGP bike. The afternoon was a lot more enjoyable because I was able to enjoy the speed of the bike and I was more in control of everything.
So many things impressed me, like the speed and how much lean angle you can get because of the grip the tyres give. The team has been incredible, it was a really special day for me and I can’t wait for tomorrow. I want to keep improving every session, which I did this afternoon by 1.3 seconds on the same tyre, so if we keep doing this we’re good.” – Jake Dixon, 21st (2’02.601)