Posted on Sep 03, 2015 by George Penny
It was a case of damage limitation at Silverstone on Sunday in the pouring rain. I’ve got to be happy with seventh and it’s 12 points scoring finishes this season. These were the worst possible conditions for me. At Aragon last year in the wet I was five seconds a lap slower than the winner Jorge Lorenzo. This weekend it was down to one second a lap behind Valentino Rossi and I have to take these positives and move on and be happy that I stayed up on two wheels throughout the 20 toughest laps of the season. I gave my absolute all to stay with the second group in order to try to fight for a podium, but at the end of the day they just had a bit more speed than me. So, I aimed to not make any mistakes and be as consistent as possible. I tried to hold off Scott Redding in the final laps, as I really wanted to get the top six, but unfortunately he was too strong for me.
I did drop to sixth in the Championship behind the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso. It’s disappointing but I’m only five points behind him going into the next round at Misano in Italy and I have to deal with it. I have six races to pull those points back and make sure I stay the top Satellite factory and British rider in the Championship.
I thought there was going to be a picture of me leading the British Grand Prix after I made the right call on that final sighting lap. We all went out on slick tyres and the rain started to pour down. I realised I would have to come into the pits, change to my second bike fitted with wet weather tyres which meant I would have had to start the race from pit lane. I remembered the race in Germany last year when exactly the same thing happened and with no grid positions in pit lane who gets to the front of the queue first starts first. I made sure I was that rider. Unfortunately everybody else came in the change bikes and they delayed the start of the race, changed it to a wet race and we all started from our original qualifying positions on the grid. If one rider had gone to the grid at the end of the sighting lap the remainder would have had to start from pit lane. I just wish one had decided to carry on round to get that picture but for safety it was the right decision.
The whole week has been fantastic and to feel the focus of the British fans has been amazing. Right from the Wednesday media day at Tower Bridge in London, the Day of Champions at Silverstone on Thursday that raised well over £100,000 for our Riders For Health charity and then the practice and race days was something I’ve never experienced before. It made me realise what British success means to so many people and makes me even more determined to bring them something to celebrate.
What an amazing display by Valentino Rossi in the rain. That display may have won him the opportunity to win this World title. He rode a phenomenal race and it will be hard to claw back that 12 point advantage he has in the Championship for Jorge.
They were the hardest conditions I’ve ever ridden in and it was a Masterclass by Valentino taking the race by the scruff of the neck in the opening few laps and then opening a gap. It was his pace at the front that forced Marc into a mistake at Copse. What was even more impressive about his performance was despite the complete lack of rain during practice and qualifying both Valentino and his team were able to adapt in the morning warm and the race to produce a race winning combination.
So next stop Misano just a couple of miles from Valentino’s house. He may want it to rain after Silverstone but for me I’m looking forward to some warm Italian sunshine after Sunday.