What does Silverstone tell us about next year?
Last weekend’s Silverstone Motogp was the best in a very long time, slash, ever?
It reaffirmed a lot of stuff we already know – Cal Crutchlow is one tenacious son-of-a-gun, Valentino Rossi won’t give an inch, Marc Marquez is mad and Jorge Lorenzo has seriously lost the plot.
And, as the dust settles on that most momentous of weekends, it will also be sending some strong signals to teams about some seriously good decisions and some seriously not-so-good decisions for 2017.
Maverick Viñales always had potential and Yamaha bet heavily on that potential bearing fruit. That fruit is already tasting pretty sweet. And with Rossi proving he’s on the pace in qualifying and in the dry as well as the wet, it looks like they’ll have two riders capable of fighting for the title Motogp next year.
Ducati, on the other hand, went away from the UK with a mixed view of the future. Any second thoughts they may have been having about letting Andrea Iannone go have surely been dispelled over the last couple of races. After burning his tyres too early in Brno to finish back in eighth and a sadly predictable crash at Silverstone, the Italian firm can bank on saving a stack of cash on their parts bill for 2017. But with Andrea Dovizioso looking solid but not that spectacular and Lorenzo looking like he’d rather be lying on a Spanish beach somewhere far away from rain and pressure and Michelin tyres, it would seem they will have their work cut out to get back to winning ways.
Honda remain with all of their eggs in the Marc Marquez basket, but that’s a pretty impressive basket.
Aprilia and KTM will be fairly unknown quantities although all four riders can deliver. From the weekend, Aprilia will be fairly confident that Sam Lowes and Aleix Espargaro can do better than current incumbents Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista. KTM will be hoping that Bradley Smith can put a miserable season behind him and that Pol Espargaro recovers well.
And Cal Crutchlow? Well, he’s going to win the title isn’t he?