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MotoGP Round 12 Preview: The Homecoming

Italy is the church of motorsport, and Spain is a hotbed, but the true holy land of motorcycle racing is the UK, and this weekend, the 2015 championship takes its pilgrimage to Silverstone.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

The British Grand Prix is a bittersweet weekend for me. I've only ever been to one (2008, with a beauty of a wet race at Donington Park still living long in the memory) and while it was probably the best racing meet I've ever been to, the races at Silverstone just don't have the same appeal for me.

This might be because of my loathing of what is now a very average Silverstone. The once-great circuit has been neutered for the F1 audience. It's also not helped by the fact that this race should be taking place in Wales. The Circuit of Wales won the rights to the race between 2015-19, but as it isn't built yet, or even has planning permission, this year and next will take place at Silverstone.

So what of it?

One thing the MotoGP Silverstone race has over the F1 equivalent is using the old pit straight, meaning we don't have to spend all race looking at that infernal new "wing" pit building. Also, Maggots is pretty early in the lap, and at pretty high speed, which makes for a lot of fun. It's not all doom and gloom at Silverstone.

In The News

Contracts signed since Brno:
- Bradley Smith STAYS with Tech 3
- Cal Crutchlow STAYS with LCR Honda

There's been no update on the offer to Danny Kent from Pramac, with a three-year deal on the table for the leader of the Moto3 championship. If he takes it, Yonny Hernandez is expected to move to the Avintia Ducati team. Sam Lowes is still being heavily rumoured with a move to Aprilia, while Jack Miller and Tito Rabat are being linked with a move to the Aspar Hondas. The big moving news, though, are the two non-movers, with Smith getting what he wanted from Tech 3 and Crutchlow seeming happy to stay with the same team, for once.

Get a load of this photo op:

Why they chose Jorge Lorenzo over Eugene Laverty and John McPhee I'm not sure, but he looks happy to be in the nation's capital - and probably looks more happy about the whole situation than Scott Redding.

Prior to the weekend commencing, Silverstone hosts the Day Of Champions, an opportunity for the fans to meet the riders, and lots of events happening in aid of the charity Riders For Health.

Head to for the facts roundup and whatnot. Personally the big news of the weekend could come Sunday, with two Brits in serious contention for race wins.

Last Time Out

The underclasses were again the highlight of the weekend in Brno - except for the news that we get another five years of the famous circuit. Have a read of my recap here.

MotoGP Moto2 Moto3
1st Jorge Lorenzo Johann Zarco Niccolo Antonelli
2nd Marc Marquez Tito Rabat Enea Bastianini
3rd Valentino Rossi Alex Rins Brad Binder
Championship Leader Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo (211) Johann Zarco (224) Danny Kent (198)


Another 1/3 performance for me at Brno, Jorge Lorenzo saving me some valuable brownie points.

This time out:

MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo
Moto2: Sam Lowes
Moto3: Danny Kent

Yes, I am being patriotic, but unless Bradley Smith finds a second of pace from somewhere, we won't have three British winners.

Race Times

A bit of a changearound this weekend, as we start over here at a respectable humane time so people can get out of bed and watch the action without having to set an alarm.

All Times Given As BST - -5 Hours For EDT
Saturday Qualifying Sunday Race
MotoGP Q1 - 14:10-14:25 Q2 - 14:35-14:50 13:00
Moto2 15:05-15:50 11:20
Moto3 12:35-13:15 **14:30**