For die-hard Marc Marquez fans, the last MotoGP meet in Silverstone, UK was a disaster but how does this affect his quest for the championship? Marquez retired from the race with smoke billowing from his Honda towards the end of the Hangar straight. The disaster struck while the reigning was running third in hot pursuit of the legend Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso, who eventually won the race.
Marquez’s disaster also cost Maverick Vinales, another favorite contender for the championship, precious time as he struggled to circumvent the mess ahead. Viñales was hot on Marquez’s heels when the champ’s engine let go. He said that breaking point lost him more compared to Valentino and Dovi. Marquez’s failure cost him in his bid to win the race in which finished second, at just 0.114 seconds behind the winner Andrea Dovi.
MotoGP meet in Silverstone – How Did Silverstone Affect the Championship Standings?
The British MotoGP was indeed a game changer in the MotoGP championship. MotoGP races, in general, are never as predictable as we would want them to be, no matter who we support. Silverstone was no exception. It was the typical case of changing fortunes along the way when championship leaders struggle with tire problems or crash due to bike problems leaving the race open to any of the top 5 contenders.
Why do I say this? Ducati team’s Andrea Dovizioso rode to victory replacing Marc Marquez at the top of the championship table. This is his fourth win so far in 2017. He is currently ahead of Marc Marquez in the championship by nine points after Marquez’s bike broke down with seven laps to go. Looking back a few months ago, you’d agree that Dovi is one of those colorless riders who has rather suddenly blossomed into a major contender for the championship. His performance in the last few races is enough reason to take him seriously.
Dovi’s Rising Star
Andrea Dovizioso, the current championship leader, says that his closest rivals doubted his and Ducati’s ability take the British Grand Prix prior to the race. The Italian actually proved his doubters wrong by working his way from the sixth position on the Silverstone grid to bag his fourth win of the 2017 season.
I believe he capitalized on Marquez’s engine disaster to retake the championship lead with just six more races to go. However, I just have to give it to Dovi for finally entering the circle of serious championship contenders. In his words, Dovi says, “I’ve always been a part of it but with the doubt that I may sooner or later drop back.”
Dovi’s rising star has not escaped Valentino Rossi’s eye. The 7-time premier class champ Rossi also believes that Dovi has matured into a genuine title contender this season. Rossi calls Dovi a fair aggressive rider and a “worthy adversary.”
Maverick Viñales and Rossi
After the British Grand Prix, Italian Dovizioso of the Ducati team leads the pack with 183 points followed by the reigning champ Spaniard Marc Marquez of the Honda team with 174 points and fellow Spaniard Maverick Viñales of the Yamaha team at third position with 170 points.
Italian legend Valentino Rossi of the Yamaha team is in 4th position with 157 points. Jorge Lorenzo of the Ducati team is currently ranked 7th with 90 points. Following behind on 8th position is British favorite Cal Crutchlow on the Honda team with 89 points. Cal, in my opinion, failed to live up to the expectations of the home crowd in the British Grand Prix but still finished 4th behind Rossi.
Third placed Maverick Viñales is still a major contender for the championship especially after finishing second in Silverstone ahead of seven-time premier class champion Valentino Rossi. One promising thing about Viñales is his consistent performance in the last few races. Like I’ve said before, Maverick Viñales is still a man to watch out for.
How about Rossi? You can’t write off the long-time hero from the championship yet. Keep in mind, last Sunday was his 300th race which would have become his 90th win if things had turned to his favor. You can’t write off such statistics although history doesn’t win championships in MotoGP. Nevertheless, Rossi still says that he rode a great race in Silverstone.
Marquez’s Chances Still High
With six races to go, I still have my sights on Marc Marquez despite last weekend’s set back. The champ has admitted that the engine failure may have caused a severe blow to his title hopes in 2017 but he still has hopes of bouncing back into the lead again. We look forward to seeing Marquez regain his magical touch in the next race in Misano, Italy.