London: After claiming victory in Austria, Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati will try to further close the gap on runaway championship leader Marc Marquez at the British MotoGP at Silverstone on Sunday.
Last year’s race was cancelled due to standing water on the track but the weekend forecast looks to be fine for an event that has been dominated by Ducati and Yamaha in recent years.
Five-time world champion Marquez and Honda will be looking to exact revenge after Dovizioso denied him a win in the close-run Austrian Grand Prix on August 11. Dovizioso is now 58 points behind Marquez with eight races left.
Marquez won at Silverstone in 2014 and Dovizioso took the chequered flag there in 2017.
Dovizioso said: “Even though the characteristics of the British track are not as favourable to us as Brno and Spielberg, we have already shown that we can also be quick at Silverstone, like in 2017 when we won the race.”
But Marquez’s hot form in 2019 makes him the favourite, having finished second or better in 10 of the 11 races so far, including six victories.
The other big news for Honda is the return of Marquez’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
The three-time MotoGP world champion has been sidelined since breaking his back at round eight in the Netherlands.
“It’s very good to be back, it has been a long time since Assen. I would have liked to have been back sooner, but the nature of the injury meant I had to take my time,” said Lorenzo who has won at the circuit in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and was on pole position last year before the race was cancelled.
Another man to watch is Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, who recorded the first victory of his career at Silverstone in 2016.
He is confident that the new Silverstone surface, laid this year, will benefit his team.
“In Silverstone I got my first victory in MotoGP, so I have good memories there. I think it’s a track that can be very favourable to our bike, and we can be competitive also because of the new asphalt,” Vinales said on the Yamaha website.