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5 keys to the British GP... by Chris Vermeulen

Former Grand Prix race winner shares his thoughts after the opening day of track action at Silverstone

After the opening day of track action at the GoPro British Grand Prix, former Grand Prix race winner Chris Vermeulen shares his five key points to look out for across the rest of the weekend.

1. Rain, rain, go away!

The weather is always a talking point in the UK. The forecast doesn’t look great. They’ve had a fantastic summer here, but the forecast has finally changed and not only from a rain point of view, which is potentially coming – we did see it in some of the Friday sessions, especially Moto2™ – but the cooler temperatures. I think that’s going to be difficult to keep the temperature in the tyres, especially at this fast and flowing track, so that’s going to be the main key.

British GP: MotoGP™ Free Practice 2

2. Silverstone’s new asphalt

There’s a new surface as well, that’s another main point. Everybody was very excited about it. It seems like it’s more consistent, it’s one surface around the whole track, but they haven’t really fixed the bump problems. That seems to be a problem here, probably from Formula 1 or fast car testing, but the guys are saying the bumps are still there but the surface has more grip and it is more consistent, so it is better. From that point of view, Michelin have brought an extra compound of front and rear tyre, both on the hard side, but if the temperature is cool it may be difficult for the guys to maintain the heat in those tyres and see how they go.

3. Close racing guaranteed

From a racing point of view, here at Silverstone we always see fantastic races because of the fast, flowing nature. It’s similar to circuits like Phillip Island and Assen that generally create great racing. In the last five years, we’ve had five different winners, so it’s really going to be a close one and a different kind of race. I think we’re going to see a lot of guys at the front and it’s going to be about doing fast, consistent laps and not making mistakes. The bumps in there could make it easy to make little mistakes.

Doviziso and Crutchlow split by just 0.005 at Silverstone!

4. Ducati and Yamaha looking strong

From a Championship point of view, we see Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) very dominant at the moment. The race for second is very close. What is interesting to see is how Marc’s going to defend. I spoke to him over the weekend and he said what he’s learned at Brno is that the best way to defend is to attack. We know the typical Marquez style, it’s all or nothing and he’s going to go 100%, which makes it very exciting. The Ducati guys are getting stronger all the time and it’s going to be fun to watch. I think it’s going to be a better race for Yamaha as well. The track will suit their bike a little bit better; not so much stop start and, hopefully, those guys can challenge again and we’ll see a Yamaha at the front of a Grand Prix soon.

5. Longest circuit = fewest laps

It’s the longest track of the year, so the fewest laps, the fewest times they pass the start finish line, so there are less laps to make the time back if they do make a mistake.

It’ll be an exciting weekend, let’s hope we get dry weather but you never know in the UK.