Moto2 & Moto3 InFocus: Moto2 and Moto3 set for gripping battles amid Silverstone’s unpredictable weather
The FIM Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championships head to Silverstone, Northamptonshire for round 12, which takes place over the weekend of 26 & 27 August. The former wartime airfield hosted the very first motorcycle GP on the British mainland in 1977, and is one of the fastest on the schedule, but also one of the most challenging due to its unpredictable weather conditions.
This poses a challenge for both riders and teams in terms of bike set-up and rider styles, but the wide operating window of Dunlop’s Moto2 and Moto3 tyres, means no such issue for the experienced Dunlop technicians. The cooler and normally windy conditions at Silverstone have prompted the use of the harder rear tyre options across both championships, which last year offered excellent performance in the races. While the single option Moto2-2 front, with its operating window of around 10-35 degrees ambient, is designed to cover all outcomes.
Heading into the Silverstone weekend, Franco Morbidelli has taken seven wins thus far, and tops the Moto2 tables ahead of last year’s winner Thomas Luthi, who incidentally beat the Italian to the top step of the podium. In Moto3 Joan Mir is in equally dominant form, also with seven wins this year, he holds a commanding lead over Romano Fenati.
August Recap – Brno & Red Bull Ring
A wet Brno greeted the MotoGP circus as it entered the second half of the season, with conditions improving sufficiently in time for qualifying on Saturday. Mattia Pasini secured his first Moto2 pole of 2017, but was unable to convert that into victory in the red-flagged race. Stopped after seven laps when torrential rain fell, Thomas Luthi stormed from 12th to his first win of the year, five seconds clear of Alex Marquez, to consolidate his second place in the standings. Top spot in Moto3 qualifying went to Gabriel Rodrigo, his first ever pole position, while Joan Mir continued his winning ways in a race that started wet, and dried at mid-distance. The six-time winner was followed home by Romano Fenati, 0.350secs adrift, and Aron Canet.
A week later the teams headed to the Red Bull Ring, Austria for round 11, with cool, wet conditions across much of practice. The improved ambient and track conditions for qualifying suited the Brno pole-sitters in Austria too, Pasini and Rodrigo both taking back-to-back top spot in Moto2 and Moto3 respectively. Race day dawned overcast but offered up ideal conditions for Morbidelli and Mir to take their seventh win apiece, in a race where tyre performance, durability and consistency was excellent, and with no drop in lap times across either race.
Dunlop celebrates Le Mans 24h success at MotoGP
In longer distance races, it has been a successful season for Dunlop. In the Endurance World Championship, GMT94 Yamaha won the title on Dunlop’s endurance tyres, whilst in car racing, Aston Martin chose Dunlop to win the Le Mans 24h GTE category. Guest of honour at Silverstone will be Aston Martin driver Jonny Adam, who secured the Le Mans win in a thrilling last minute battle.
In the Dunlop #ForeverForward Award, Andrea Migno (Moto3) continues to top the leader board, but his advantage has been reduced to just six points after the latest round in Austria. Rewarding riders for their determination and fightback from adversity, the #ForeverForward top 13 are covered by just 20 points, with Moto2 rider Joe Roberts making up the most places at the Red Bull Ring, coming through from 31st to 10th. Top Moto3 mover was Albert Arenas, with a 20-place improvement into 12th place. Top movers in Brno were wet-weather expert Khairul Idham Pawi, gaining 14 places in the rain-shortened race, and Moto3 runner Kaito Toba with 12 places gained.
#ForeverForward Award after round 11:
The full #ForeverForward table can be seen here.
Round 12: Silverstone, Great Britain – 27 August 2017
Silverstone Track Facts:
- Length: 5.9km
- Left Turns: 8
- Right Turns: 10
- Energy level: Low/Mid
- Left:right bias: 45%/55%
Silverstone Tyre Allocation:
Front: Medium '2' (black on yellow)
Rear: Medium ’3’ (fluorescent yellow on black) / Hard ’4’ (fluorescent white on black)
Front: Soft ‘S’ (black on yellow) / Medium ‘M’ (black on silver)
Rear: Medium 'M1' (black on silver) / Hard ’H3’ (fluorescent yellow on black)
Silverstone 2016 Highlights
- The unpredictable British weather meant cool and wet conditions for qualifying across both Moto2 and Moto3
- Francesco Bagnaia took his first Moto3 pole of the season with a lap of 2`33.642, some 20 seconds slower than the previous year’s pole time
- Stefano Manzi charged through from 34th in the Moto3 race, narrowly missing a podium spot
- Brad Binder took his fourth Moto3 win of the year, on his way to the title
- Bo Bendsneyder put his medium front and rear tyres to good use to take his first Moto3 podium
- Local hero Sam Lowes dominated practice and qualifying, securing Moto2 pole, his third of the season, but was eliminated in a race-ending incident.
2017 Tyre Specifications
The 2017 specification tyres remain similar to last season, utilising the No.2 fronts in Moto2, and with several options for the rears, each carefully selected by the experienced Dunlop engineers to cater for the demands of the different tracks and surfaces. Moto3 equally will feature the same tyres that were successfully used last year, all of which offer increased durability for the ultra-competitive lightweight class.
|MS0 Supersoft (blank)||Soft ‘S’/’S1’ (black on yellow)|
|Soft ’1’ (fluorescent green on black)||Medium ‘M’/’M1’ (black on silver)|
|Medium ’2’ (black on yellow) (front only)||Hard ’H3’ (fluorescent yellow on black)|
|Medium ’3’ (fluorescent yellow on black)|
|Hard ’4’ (fluorescent white on black)|
|Special Hard ‘S1’ (blank)|
|Special Hard ‘S2’ (grey on black)|
James BaileyEMEAUnited Kingdomjames@clivereeves.com44 790 4114 414