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The history of Grand Prix racing at Silverstone

The history of Grand Prix racing at Silverstone

This is the fifth year that Silverstone has hosted a Grand Prix since World Championship racing returned to the circuit in 2010 after a gap of 23 years.

The first motorcycle Grand Prix to be held at Silverstone was in 1977 and below are some facts and statistics from Grand Prix events held at the circuit:

- The Silverstone event in 1977 was the first motorcycle Grand Prix to be held on the British mainland, as prior to 1977 the British round of the World Championship had been held since 1949 on the 37.73 mile-long Isle of Man TT circuit. The move from the Isle of Man was made mainly for reasons of rider safety

- The winners at that first Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1977 were: 500cc - Pat Hennen (Suzuki), 350cc & 250cc - Kork Ballington (Yamaha), 125cc - Pierluigi Conforti (Morbidelli)

- The original circuit layout used for the Grand Prix between 1977 and 1986 was 2.93 miles-long (4.71 km) and the fastest lap at the circuit during this time was set by Kenny Roberts riding a Yamaha in 1983 at an average speed of 119.5 mph (192.2 km/h)

- The British Grand Prix was held for ten successive years at the Silverstone circuit, before the event moved to Donington Park in 1987.

- The British GP returned to Silverstone in 2010 with a revised circuit layout measuring 5.9 km

- Kork Ballington and Angel Nieto are the two riders with most GP victories at Silverstone, each having won there on six occasions

- The only rider who has had more than a single victory at Silverstone since GP racing returned to the circuit in 2010 is Jorge Lorenzo, who has won the MotoGP™ race there three times: 2010, 2012 and 2013

- In total 12 British riders have finished on the podium across all the solo classes of Grand Prix racing at Silverstone:

John Williams (1977/350cc/3rd)

Barry Sheene (1978/500cc/3rd, 1979/500cc/2nd)

Tom Herron (1978/250cc/2nd, 1978/350cc/2nd)

Steve Manship (1978/500cc/2nd)

Mick Grant (1978/350cc/3rd)

Clive Horton (1978/125cc/2nd)

Keith Huewen (1981/350cc/2nd)

Andy Watts (1984/250cc/2nd)

Ron Haslam (1984/500cc/3rd)

Ian McConnachie (1986/80cc/1st)

Bradley Smith (2010/125cc/3rd, 2011/Moto2™/2nd)

Scott Redding (2012/Moto2/2nd, 2013/Moto2/1st)

- The only British rider to have started from pole at Silverstone, across all solo GP classes, is Barry Sheene - in the 500cc race in 1977


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