CHAS­ING GLORY

Can the Mo­togp aliens de­liver a sub two-minute lap?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - 2016 Motorgp Silverstone Preview -

This year’s OCTO Bri­tish Grand Prix on Septem­ber 1-4 at Sil­ver­stone could wit­ness the first ever sub two-minute lap of the 3.67-mile Northamp­ton­shire cir­cuit by a Mo­togp ma­chine. Four-times cham­pion Marc Mar­quez has recorded the fastest lap so far, a 2m 00.234s on his way to pole po­si­tion last year at Sil­ver­stone.

For­mer 500cc Grand Prix star Niall Macken­zie be­lieves the sub two-minute lap could well be achieved this year, he said: “I think this year’s Yamaha has improved top speed, which is ob­vi­ously im­por­tant at Sil­ver­stone, and they’ve got the best out of the Miche­lins so far.

“Honda seemed to strug­gle ear­lier in the sea­son with cor­ner en­try and front feel but this has since improved. And I al­ways think Dani Pe­drosa is the true level of the Honda as Marc Mar­quez’s ex­cep­tional tal­ent can some­times mask ma­chine or set-up is­sues. As a re­sult of that you never know what Marc can achieve over a sin­gle lap.

“Cor­ner ex­its onto the fast straights are im­por­tant. Ma­chine set-up needs to fo­cus on mid cor­ner and exit grip so good elec­tron­ics and chas­sis set­tings are cru­cial,” says Macken­zie.

“Turn one at Copse is im­por­tant as it builds to­wards the very fast left and rights of Mag­gotts and Becketts. Good mo­men­tum out of Chapel and onto the Hangar Straight is re­quired then the next de­cent chunk of time can be gained by get­ting the per­fect run through the kink and onto Welling­ton Straight.

“In the fi­nal cor­ner at Wood­cote you need sta­bil­ity, good grip and to hold a per­fect line to the fin­ish of the lap. And if Lorenzo is on form I reckon he’ll be the man for the first 1m 59s lap.”

Of the top rid­ers’ best laps of Sil­ver­stone, Lorenzo is the clos­est Mar­quez. See right for the best lap times and those of the Bri­tish rid­ers.

Crosby will be back in ac­tion on his XR35

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