British MotoGP 2013: Top Riders to Watch

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor ISeptember 1, 2013

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31:  Cal Crutchlow of Great Britain and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team in action during free practice prior to qualifying at Silverstone Circuit on August 31, 2013 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The British MotoGP will take place at Silverstone on Sunday afternoon, in what is Round 12 of the 2013 calendar.

With Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo looking to keep pressure on championship leader and compatriot Marc Marquez, all eyes will be on the Spanish trio at the head of the field.

The three riders have shared wins in 10 of the 11 races between themselves thus far this campaign, with Marquez having won the last four races to establish a 26-point lead at the head of the standings.

Can another rider break the Spanish stranglehold? Will anyone prevent a fifth win a row for Marquez? Let's take a look at some of the riders to watch this weekend.

Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)

It is 37 years since a British rider last won the premier class at their home Grand Prix, and Cal Crutchlow will be hoping to put that record straight—although the odds are not in his favour.

Crutchlow has a woeful record at his home race and crashed twice in free practice on Saturday morning—this is the third year in a row that he has had an incident at Silverstone.

He has been given the all-clear to race and will be encouraged by his four podium finishes this season, but he will need to perform drastically better than his best fifth-place finish in the British GP.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)

With seven premier-class MotoGP world championships to his name, Valentino Rossi is one of the most recognisable names in the world of motorsport.

The Italian, whose last world title came in 2009, will be encouraged by a run of six races inside the top-four places and is the only man outside of the three leaders to have won a race this season, at Circuit Assen in the Netherlands.

Rossi was looking good on Saturday and will hope to continue his good form on Sunday. He will know, though, that it will be far from easy to break into the top-three places ahead of his Spanish rivals.

Alvaro Bautista (Honda)

Another Spanish rider, Bautista has been incredibly consistent in his work this season but has yet to earn himself a podium finish. On Saturday, though, his lap times suggested he could at least compete for a podium place.

Bautista finished fourth at Silverstone in 2012, finishing just behind teammate Pedrosa on that occasion. He has shown, though, that he is well suited to the Silverstone track.

A good finish on Sunday and Bautista will find himself moving up the championship standings, having found himself in eighth position following the race in Czech Republic.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)

After a brilliant start to the season, in which he won three of the first seven races, Lorenzo has slipped down the standings to third place, behind his two compatriots.

The 2010 and 2012 British GP winner has an excellent record at Silverstone, though, and will be hopeful of a win this weekend to put his title challenge back on track.

Both seasons in which Lorenzo has won the British race he has gone on to win the title, so the omens would be good should he secure a win.

The quickest rider on Friday, Lorenzo has shown impressive form thus far this weekend and is certainly one to watch.