MotoGP 2022
Round 12

Honda Riders Move Forward Into The Points At Silverstone

gb Silverstone Circuit

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) and Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) today fought back from a luckless and complicated Saturday at sun-blessed Silverstone, recovering numerous positions after starting far back on the grid.

Honda Riders Move Forward Into The Points At Silverstone

Yesterday’s qualifying outing didn’t go to plan for the 30-year-old from Chiba and the 31-year-old Spaniard, who lined up 20th and 18th on the grid. But the pair kept their cool and when the lights went out they set about the challenging task of moving forward, at a time when overtaking is very difficult in motorcycling racing’s premier class.

After the first few laps Nakagami and Espargaro were riding with Honda’s top qualifier Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V), moving past the 26-year-old Spaniard to move into the points around halfway through the 20-lap race. At the chequered flag they were 13th and 14th, separated by exactly two tenths of a second, running a race pace around six tenths of a second off the winner.

Nakagami found the race particularly challenging, because he had so many riders in front of him during the crucial early laps. However, he didn’t let that hold him back and he made several excellent overtakes aboard his RC213V.

This was Espargaro’s first race finish since the Catalan Grand Prix in early June, after an injury during the subsequent German GP which forces him to withdraw from that race and miss the following Dutch round of the series. He was much happier with his pace in the latter stages of today’s race and is convinced he will be more competitive at the next race in Austria.

Marquez completed the race in 17th, two positions outside the World Championship points. The former Moto2 and Moto3 World Champion had great hopes of qualifying further up the grid to aid his race performance but slid off during yesterday’s Q1 qualifier. Today he was held up by an error in electronics set-up, which caused him rear-grip problems, especially in the later stages when he was unable to go with Nakagami and Espargaro.

Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) qualified 18th but was given a three-place grid penalty for riding slowly on the racing line during Q1. Starting from 21st made the race especially difficult for Honda’s official MotoGP test rider, who is riding in place of six-times MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V), who is recovering from surgery to the upper right arm that he fractured in July 2020.

During the race Bradl ran off the track while fighting with a rival, which got him another penalty, which dropped him further back. The 32-year-old German finished the race in 19th position, less than a second behind Marquez.

Today’s British Grand Prix was the 12th of this year’s 20-race championship and the start of the second part of the season, following a five-week summer break. The MotoGP paddock now heads back to the Continent to the town of Spielberg for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on 21 August. The 2022 MotoGP season concludes at Valencia, Spain, on 6 November.

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami 30
Today’s race was tough and very long. I started from P20 which is very difficult, especially after the start when it was so difficult to find the best line, with 19 or 20 riders in front of me. I gave my best and although my race pace wasn’t fantastic it was consistent and I made some overtakes, so we started from P20 and we finished top Honda in P13. This is not the best result but I gave my best, so I hope we can have another step forward at the next race in Austria with the new layout. I am really looking forward to that race. I’d also like to say a big thanks to all my team – they work really hard, so let’s keep pushing.

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
The summary is that we have had a complicated weekend. We really struggled in the first laps and that’s where we lost contact because at the end of the race our speed was not so bad. The pace was decent but I was 21st on the first lap and I made my way up into the points. You can’t expect much more when you start so far back. It was good to complete a race after missing two [Sachsenring and Assen] and the summer break. In Austria I will be stronger and we will be aiming for a higher finish.

Alex Márquez
Alex Márquez 73
It was frustrating today, as a team we made a mistake in the electronic set-up and I was losing a lot of time and power from the bike. I gave 100% and was trying to finish as top Honda throughout the race. I was not bad on race pace, but towards the end – related to the electronic issue – I started to lose a lot of grip, so it was difficult to ride the bike at that point. I will try to keep going and I am passing to Honda some helpful information as I think we can have a better package.

Stefan Bradl
Stefan Bradl 6
Repsol Honda Team
We have been unlucky this whole weekend, we had the penalty yesterday which made the race difficult. I was fighting with [Andrea] Dovizioso and I had to take the shortcut as we were fighting, then I tried to overtake but there was a yellow flag. I got another penalty for the shortcut which dropped us back more. We made a bit of a risk with the tyre choice which I think could have helped us without the bad luck. The positive point is that we have shown speed during the weekend as my pace is improving, it’s motivating for the next race.

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