Classy Pedrosa victory ends Marquez winning streak | Brno MotoGP 2014

Dani Pedrosa
In the Brno MotoGP race Dani Pedrosa won for the first time since Malaysia last year as he ended the winning streak of Marc Marquez, with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi second and third, whilst Marquez came home just off the podium.

From fifth on the grid Pedrosa returned to his best form to blast through the pack and eventually take Brno MotoGP victory by 0.410s from Lorenzo in front of more than 138,000 fans. For Lorenzo it was his third successive podium result and he also produced a great ride, having started in sixth on the grid.

Rossi got his seventh rostrum result of 2014 in his 245th premier class race as he equaled the all time appearance record in the top class, pulling level with Alex Barros on that front.

With Marquez finishing fourth it is the first time this year that he did not win the race and this is the first time he has finished a MotoGP™ race off the podium. Marquez is of course still in a commanding position in the standings with a 77 point lead.

Marquez lost out in a midrace battle for third with Rossi, having earlier had a close fight with Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) in the opening laps – with the two former Moto2™ rivals clashing on two occasions.

Iannone would later get the better of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) for fifth in the final stages.

The top ten was completed by Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini).

Home rider Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) scored points in 14th, with substitute rider Leon Camier (Drive M7 Aspar) scoring his first ever MotoGP point in 15th.

A crash and subsequent retirement saw Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) end his race early. Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Michael Laverty (Paul Bird Motorsport) both crashed out, whilst Danilo Petrucci (Octo IodaRacing Project) and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) both retired from the Brno MotoGP with technical issues.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: race winner – “I am very happy to have won this race! This year it has been a tough road to victory, but today everybody in the team is very happy. Seeing their smiling faces makes me happy as well, because you always try to get the best results but don’t always manage to do so. This year we have an amazing rival in Marc, who has had great performances at every round so far. Maybe today wasn’t his best day, but I think that we also worked very well this weekend. Bringing home the win for the team feels fantastic.”

Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd / +0.410 – “Finally we beat Marc, but unfortunately it was not me who got the victory this time. I had a chance to get the win because I was feeling good during the warm up and also on the first laps of the race. The only problem was that the feeling of the bike changed after a few laps and Dani caught me. I need to be more aggressive, because he managed to get away. The bike was not so bad at the end of race but I was on the limit to catch him. If there would have been one more lap I would have been able to try and beat him, but it was too late. I wanted to try and fight for the win, but Dani rode a really good race. It was a good opportunity for us to win because Marc was not fit enough, but we didn’t plan the race perfectly so we have to learn from this experience in the future. I’m very happy with Yamaha’s work and how they have improved the bike these last few races. I think it will also be a big improvement for other tracks. I also feel very strong physically so if it goes well we can fight for the victory.”

Valentino Rossi – 3rd / +5.259 – “I’m very happy about this result, because it was a difficult weekend. Yesterday I crashed and injured my finger. This morning it was very bad when checking the setting also with pain making it difficult to ride. This afternoon I visited the Clinica Mobile for my finger to prepare it for the race. With Silvano (Galbusera) and the whole team we were able to set up the bike and we were able to have a good race. I’m happy. We had a good pace and got another podium. Unfortunately I lost a bit of time on the first laps because I wasn’t sure, but after I found the rhythm and then it was a great pleasure to beat Marc. He was sliding and had a problem so he wasn’t fast enough. Of course we tried to arrive more in front but the third place was not so bad in Brno because Dani and Jorge rode a very strong race.”

Marc Marquez – 4th / +10.454  – “Today was one of those Sundays in which I neither felt completely comfortable, nor had found the best set-up for the bike. It wasn’t down to a mistake by me or by the team, it was simply that we didn’t have the same feeling as on other Sundays. In a way it’s taken a weight off my shoulders, as now people won’t be asking me if I can win every race any more. It was also important that we were able to focus on staying in fourth, even though it was tough not to be fighting for the win. We took 13 points that are important for the World Championship and we still have a big advantage. What matters is who wins the title, not who wins the most races.”

Australia’s only entrant in the MotoGP class, Broc Parkes finished the race in 19th place – “I struggled all weekend with front end problems and could not get it fixed for the race, we tried so many different things to fix it but it didn’t change. We need to find the problem if I’m going to get some better results for our team’s home race in Silverstone.”

MotoGP Podium Brno MotoGP 2014
In the Brno MotoGP race Dani Pedrosa won for the first time since Malaysia last year as he ended the winning streak of Marc Marquez, with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi second and third, whilst Marquez came home just off the podium.

MotoGP™ Race Classification

MotoGP™ Race Classification
MotoGP™ Race Classification
MotoGP Championship Points Standings
MotoGP Championship Points Standings
Jorge Lorenzo Brno MotoGP 2014
Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd / +0.410 – “Finally we beat Marc, but unfortunately it was not me who got the victory this time. I had a chance to get the win because I was feeling good during the warm up and also on the first laps of the race. The only problem was that the feeling of the bike changed after a few laps and Dani caught me. I need to be more aggressive, because he managed to get away. The bike was not so bad at the end of race but I was on the limit to catch him. If there would have been one more lap I would have been able to try and beat him, but it was too late. I wanted to try and fight for the win, but Dani rode a really good race. It was a good opportunity for us to win because Marc was not fit enough, but we didn’t plan the race perfectly so we have to learn from this experience in the future. I’m very happy with Yamaha’s work and how they have improved the bike these last few races. I think it will also be a big improvement for other tracks. I also feel very strong physically so if it goes well we can fight for the victory.”
Valentino Rossi Brno MotoGP 2014
Valentino Rossi – 3rd / +5.259 – “I’m very happy about this result, because it was a difficult weekend. Yesterday I crashed and injured my finger. This morning it was very bad when checking the setting also with pain making it difficult to ride. This afternoon I visited the Clinica Mobile for my finger to prepare it for the race. With Silvano (Galbusera) and the whole team we were able to set up the bike and we were able to have a good race. I’m happy. We had a good pace and got another podium. Unfortunately I lost a bit of time on the first laps because I wasn’t sure, but after I found the rhythm and then it was a great pleasure to beat Marc. He was sliding and had a problem so he wasn’t fast enough. Of course we tried to arrive more in front but the third place was not so bad in Brno because Dani and Jorge rode a very strong race.”

Moto2: Rabat takes charge of title race with flying Czech win

Tito Rabat
Moto2 World Championship leader Tito Rabat scored a dominant win at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky, with Mika Kallio and Sandro Cortese joining him on the podium.

Starting on pole for the seventh time in 2014 Rabat stormed away from the line, leading from start to finish and opening up a clear gap at the front. The Spaniard crossed the line three seconds ahead of Marc VDS Racing Team colleague Kallio to increase his championship lead to 12 points.

A first Moto2 podium for Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) was secured by a two second gap from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2). Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) crossed the line just behind Luthi in fifth, with Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) nearby in sixth.

The top ten was completed by Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team), Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) and Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3).

Wild card Miroslav Popov (Montaze Broz Racing Team) crashed out midrace, taking Robin Mulhauser (Technomag carXpert) with him. Sam Lowes (Speed Up) crashed and was forced to retire, with Luis Salom (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) also suffering a spill, which led to a DNF for him too.

Tito Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team: race winner – “I’m very happy to be back on the top step of the podium here in Brno. I think together me and the team have done a good job, finding a solution to every problem encountered and improving the bike in every session. The win today was also an important one for me, as the last three races didn’t really go in my favour, so it’s good to get back to winning again. Now I will enjoy today, but tomorrow we start to work again so that we’re ready for the next race at Silverstone.”

Mika Kallio, Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd – “The day didn’t start so well with the crash in warm-up, but we then decided to gamble on going back to last year’s settings on the front, which is something we hadn’t tried this weekend. I could tell immediately on the warm-up lap that it was the right decision, as the feeling with the front that is so important for me was much better. I knew Tito was going to attack from the start, so I pushed hard to get into a position to chase him, but he’d already pulled out a gap at the front by the time I was through into second. I tried to close the gap but it was pretty obvious that, barring a mistake, I wasn’t going to catch him. At half race distance I decided to play it safe and take the all-important points for second and, given the issues this weekend, I think we can be satisfied with that.”

Sandro Cortese, Dynavolt Intact GP: 3rd – “I cannot describe the feeling. After such a long time to be back on the podium, that is just great; especially after the difficult period that lies behind us – after the heavy crash in Qatar. This weekend and also over the summer break and in Indy we have worked very hard. A big thanks to the team, they really had a lot of patience. We got through the whole thing and the podium is ours together. It’s impossible to describe how relieved I am. The race was extremely hard work. I was riding alone the whole time, with no time to rest. In the group, the race passes by much faster. But we worked for it and we had a good basic set-up. It was fun!

Moto2 Podium Brno 2014
Moto2 World Championship leader Tito Rabat scored a dominant win at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky, with Mika Kallio and Sandro Cortese joining him on the podium.

Moto2™ Race Classification

Moto2 Race Results Brno 2014
Moto2 Race Results Brno 2014
Moto2 Championship Standings Brno 2014
Moto2 Championship Standings Brno 2014

Moto3: First career victory for Masbou in hard fought Brno contest

Alexis Masbou
Another superb Moto3™ race at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky saw Alexis Masbou secure victory after a long battle featuring a huge leading group, with Enea Bastianini and Danny Kent joining him on the podium.

A deserved win for Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) in his 133rd Grand Prix race came by just a 0.157s margin from Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3), who rode bravely with a broken heel. The win for experienced Frenchman Masbou makes him the rider to have competed in most Grands Prix before tasting victory.

Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) returned to the podium in third, with 15 riders crossing the line tightly packed in a front running group.

Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) just missed the podium in fourth having led on several laps, whilst his teammate Alex Rins finished ninth, having remarkably celebrated a lap early, thinking he had won the race.

A fifth placed finish for Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was enough to increase his championship advantage to 23 points.

The top ten was completed by Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing), Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG), Rins and Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team).

With local rider Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finishing just 1.838s behind winner Masbou but back in 15th place, the race produced the closest ever top 15 in the history of the World Championship.

Jorge Navarro (Marc VDS Racing Team) and John Mcphee (SAXOPRINT RTG) crashed out on the first lap, with wild card Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) and Luca Grünwald (Kiefer Racing) also suffering crashes. None were seriously injured. Ana Carrasco (RW Racing GP) retired with a technical problem.

Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: race winner – “I felt very good on the bike in today’s race. We had a problem with the front end during the early part of the weekend but we worked hard and improved that a lot. The main thing is that we were always fast on every day. In the race my bike was very fast so I could pass riders on the straight and I was also very strong on the brakes – this is a good way to fight at the front!”

Moto3 Podium Brno 2014
Another superb Moto3™ race at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky saw Alexis Masbou secure victory after a long battle featuring a huge leading group, with Enea Bastianini and Danny Kent joining him on the podium.

Moto3 Race Classification

Moto3 Race Results Brno 2014
Moto3 Race Results Brno 2014
Moto3 Championship Standings Brno 2014
Moto3 Championship Standings Brno 2014

Yamaha Report

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo fought hard today to take second for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic with teammate Valentino Rossi finishing in third for the second consecutive Yamaha double podium finish.

Lorenzo started in his traditional style, pushing hard at the start of the race. The Spaniard had a good start from sixth on the grid and soon passed Bradley Smith and Marc Marquez before plunging down the hill, with teammate Rossi following close behind. What followed next was a flurry of overtaking maneuvers between the top six riders, Lorenzo managing to overtake Dani Pedrosa to start the second lap in third place.

Lorenzo kept riding aggressively, overtaking the two Ducati’s of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso in corner three on the second lap to lead the race and simultaneously brake the circuit record with a 1’56.066 lap. Pedrosa managed to close the gap and, though Lorenzo put up a fight, he was unable to hold off his rival. Lorenzo kept his head down and the pressure on. The last lap saw him inch closer but he came short by just 0.410 of a second at the line.

Teammate Rossi repeated his achievement from Indianapolis last weekend. The nine-time World Champion started his 245th Grand Prix with a bang as he launched his Yamaha from seventh on the grid along the outside of the race track to close right up with the riders starting from the second row of the grid. The Italian soon overtook Bradley Smith and had his eyes on Marc Marquez. He overtook his rival in turn four when the young Spaniard was forced to sit up. Marquez regained a place from Rossi, but was unable to pull away, the two staying close as they passed Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.

The Doctor closed back in on lap 12 and made a pass stick on 13. It was now Rossi’s turn to take off, creating a distance between himself and the young Spaniard too big for the championship leader to bridge, giving Rossi his seventh podium finish of the season in third.

Lorenzo’s second place keeps him in fourth position in the world standings with 137 points, 36 points behind teammate Rossi with 173 points who stays third with a 13 points gap to his closest rival.

Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd / +0.410 / 22 laps – “Finally we beat Marc, but unfortunately it was not me who got the victory this time. I had a chance to get the win because I was feeling good during the warm up and also on the first laps of the race. The only problem was that the feeling of the bike changed after a few laps and Dani caught me. I need to be more aggressive, because he managed to get away. The bike was not so bad at the end of race but I was on the limit to catch him. If there would have been one more lap I would have been able to try and beat him, but it was too late. I wanted to try and fight for the win, but Dani rode a really good race. It was a good opportunity for us to win because Marc was not fit enough, but we didn’t plan the race perfectly so we have to learn from this experience in the future. I’m very happy with Yamaha’s work and how they have improved the bike these last few races. I think it will also be a big improvement for other tracks. I also feel very strong physically so if it goes well we can fight for the victory.”

Valentino Rossi – 3rd / +5.259 / 22 laps – “I’m very happy about this result, because it was a difficult weekend. Yesterday I crashed and injured my finger. This morning it was very bad when checking the setting also with pain making it difficult to ride. This afternoon I visited the Clinica Mobile for my finger to prepare it for the race. With Silvano (Galbusera) and the whole team we were able to set up the bike and we were able to have a good race. I’m happy. We had a good pace and got another podium. Unfortunately I lost a bit of time on the first laps because I wasn’t sure, but after I found the rhythm and then it was a great pleasure to beat Marc. He was sliding and had a problem so he wasn’t fast enough. Of course we tried to arrive more in front but the third place was not so bad in Brno because Dani and Jorge rode a very strong race.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “We are very happy to see our performance continue straight on from Indianapolis and again score a double podium for Movistar Yamaha. The result is very much deserved after a weekend of hard work by both Jorge and Vale and the team. It’s refreshing to see a different race winner today, a shame it wasn’t us but I believe with our current performance our time is coming again. We will now stay here to work tomorrow. We will have two major items to test. We have the 2015 prototype machine that we will see for the first time. In the morning Jorge will test it and then Vale will ride it in the afternoon. On the current 2014 bikes, we’ll also test the 2015 prototype engine as we have one for each rider. I look forward to leaving Brno tomorrow evening with very clear ideas about the direction of the 2015 development.”

Smith powers through to seize 9th in tricky Brno race

Bradley Smith completed the eleventh round of the 2014 World Championship with a hard fought race to ninth position in the Czech Republic after giving his all despite being hindered by traction issues. The British rider began the 22 lap sprint from fourth on the grid after an impressive display yesterday in qualifying which saw him only 0.004 from the front row. As the race began with 138,000 ecstatic fans trackside to view the spectacle, the British star slipped back to ninth at the end of the first lap but remained determined, quickly setting his fastest lap of the race on the lap five. As the race progressed, he endured a lack of rear traction but persevered to attempt to claw back the deficit to the position in front. He closed in on eighth place right down to the finish line but met the end of the race in ninth with his resolute performance gifting him further valuable World Championship points to add to his 2014 campaign.

Meanwhile, it was an unfortunate end to a promising weekend for the reigning Moto2 world Champion, Pol Espargaro, as he fell whilst trying to close the gap to the leading bikes at the bwin Grand Prix Ceske republiky. The rookie began his race from ninth on the grid and proceeded to ride rapidly as soon as the race began, running right behind the leading pack by the end of the first lap in seventh. The 23-year-old Spaniard set into a solid rhythm as he plugged away at obtaining a top five result at the undulating 5403 meter circuit. However, his pursuit was halted on the seventh lap when he unfortunately crashed out, uninjured, whilst in eighth position.

Bradley Smith – 9th / +30.364 / 22 laps – “It goes without saying that the result today was much lower than I had anticipated after such a strong qualifying and I was sure that I could ride much closer to the leading bikes. It is a mystery as to why but I had less rear grip compared to this morning and yesterday afternoon. My traction control system needed to work considerably more during the race and I lost a lot of time exiting the corners, plus even when I was coming down the straight the rear was spinning. This is a frustrating end to the weekend as I know I have a much better pace than what I showed today. I feel we should be in the top six and challenging the factory boys but these things happen sometimes, so now we need to find out why and then get ready as I head to my home Grand Prix where I am convinced I can have a great race in front of my home fans.”

Pol Espargaro – DNF – “I can’t hide that I’m disappointed as a crash is never how a rider wants to end a GP, but I still think we did a good job throughout the weekend. Our race pace seemed to be really promising and my start was not too bad as I managed to recover a couple of positions, but the front of the bike felt really nervous and I made a small mistake going straight so I lost some ground on Valentino and couldn’t follow the group anymore. Afterwards Bradl passed me and at this stage I started to feel a bit more comfortable whilst finding a better rhythm, but when I realised that he was opening a small gap I pushed harder and lost the front without any warning. It’s a real pity as it certainly wasn’t how I wanted to finish the weekend, but now I have to think about our test day tomorrow as we have a lot of work to prepare and we will try to improve the biggest piece of the package, which is me.”

Well deserved 8th place for Aleix Espargaro, first open at Brno

The GP of Czech Republic saw the NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro as first open bike and in eighth position at the finish line.

In front of 138,000 spectators (more than 240,000 in the weekend) the NGM Forward Racing rider gave the maximum on the fast and demanding Brno racetrack. Espargaro fought hard with Bradley Smith and his brother Pol, maintaining a good rhythm despite struggling with the front. With today’s result, Espargaro is back in sixth position in the Championship with 85 points.

It was a good debut also for his teammate Alex De Angelis, who recovered some positions and finally finished in 16th place. Alex was quiet satisfied with his result and he looks forward to tomorrow’s planned test day for the MotoGP teams so he can improve his confidence with the new machine.

Aleix Espargaro – 8th / +29.621 / 22 laps – “We are the first open bike and I’m satisfied with todays’ result as we did the maximum we could. It was a difficult weekend and the team did an excellent job. We worked a lot on the set up, changing many things and this morning we tested some other solutions. Brno is a very fast track and we knew that we were going to suffer. Moreover, as in Indy, I was struggling with the front, so I’m happy that we could fight with Bradley and my brother Pol. I did the maximum and we got some good points for the championship.”

Alex De Angelis – 16th / +1’20.666 / 22 laps – “It’s exciting to be back in MotoGP, this was my first race in the premiere class this year. We improved session after session and tomorrow we will have a day of testing to gain more confidence with this new bike. Regarding the race, I stayed with the group for four-five laps. It was a good start and I aim at improving race after race. I want to thank the whole team, they have done a great job in allowing me to start getting to know this bike.”

HRC Report

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) rode a superbly judged race at Brno to score his first victory of the season and thereby end the winning streak of team-mate Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) who came home fourth this afternoon.

Pedrosa’s 26th MotoGP victory strengthened his second place in the World Championship standings and moved him to within 77 points of Marquez with seven races remaining.

Pedrosa – who had already won here in MotoGP, 250s and 125s – started well from the second row of the grid and steadily worked his way to the front, setting a new lap record and then grabbing the lead from Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) at Turn Three on lap six. Although Lorenzo tried everything in his power to stay with the Honda he couldn’t quite manage it around the fast, majestic Brno circuit. At one point Pedrosa built a 1.7 second advantage over his closest rival, finally crossing the line 0.410 seconds ahead as he battled some front-end chatter issues during the final laps. After the race he strongly congratulated his team for his first win since Sepang 2013.

Marquez had won the previous ten races and looked likely to continue his winning streak after yesterday taking his ninth pole position of the year, but it was not to be. After passing Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) in the early stages it seemed that he would attempt to attack Lorenzo and Pedrosa and take the lead. But this time he didn’t quite have the set-up to challenge at the front. He was losing a fraction of second as he accelerated out of every corner due to a slight lack of rear grip. Initially he attempted to make up for the handicap by braking later into corners, but that only overheated the front tyre.

As intelligent as he is fast, Marquez realised it would be impossible to win the race and eventually lost the battle for third with Rossi. He was not disheartened though. He always knew he would get beaten one day and even announced that he now feels more relaxed because he no longer has to bear the pressure of trying to win every race. With 11 rounds done and seven to go, the 21-year-old reigning champion is still favourite to retain his title.

After crashing out at Indy last weekend, Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) was happy to score more points today, taking seventh place despite taking a wrong turn during practice which lost him time in trying to find the perfect set-up for today’s race. The German did his best to catch Ducati duo Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso but in the later stages he struggled with front-end grip.

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) finished the race all alone in tenth position after a difficult weekend, once again lacking the kind of rear grip he needs to perform at his best.

Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) had another brilliant ride on his Open-spec, beating Michele Pirro on a factory Ducati and gathering a useful five championship points. Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) finished just behind Pirro while local star Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) won a long duel for 14th place with Leon Camier (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R), deputising for Nicky Hayden who is recovering from wrist injury.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: race winner – “I am very happy to have won this race! This year it has been a tough road to victory, but today everybody in the team is very happy. Seeing their smiling faces makes me happy as well, because you always try to get the best results but don’t always manage to do so. This year we have an amazing rival in Marc, who has had great performances at every round so far. Maybe today wasn’t his best day, but I think that we also worked very well this weekend. Bringing home the win for the team feels fantastic.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 4th – “Today was one of those Sundays in which I neither felt completely comfortable, nor had found the best set-up for the bike. It wasn’t down to a mistake by me or by the team, it was simply that we didn’t have the same feeling as on other Sundays. In a way it’s taken a weight off my shoulders, as now people won’t be asking me if I can win every race any more. It was also important that we were able to focus on staying in fourth, even though it was tough not to be fighting for the win. We took 13 points that are important for the World Championship and we still have a big advantage. What matters is who wins the title, not who wins the most races.”

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 7th – “After the last difficult weekends we had recently we can be quite happy with this result. Anyway it was a hard weekend for us because we lost our way a little bit on Saturday morning and we had to go through Q1 working hard to be back to our standard shape. I did not take a perfect start because we lost some acceleration due to some wheelie. I tried to catch the guys in front of me, Dovi and Iannone, but for some reasons I could not go the same speed as I was struggling with my front tyre as soon as the rear started to drop. The seventh place is quite good but it would’ve been even better to beat the Ducati guys.”

Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 10th – “During the race I was able to recover some positions, but I’m not happy with the feeling I had with the bike. I struggled with the same problems we had during the whole weekend – I can’t actually feel the contact between the rear wheel and the asphalt and in these conditions it was difficult to ride. I made a good start, but soon after some riders passed me because they could get into the corner more quickly, while I was not able to do it due to lack of rear grip. Then I recovered those positions, but I couldn’t do much more. Too bad, unfortunately at the moment we can no longer find the good feeling we had at the first races of the season. We need to work hard in the next few races to find something that can allow us to get more grip.”

Scott Redding, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 11th – “Overall I’m happy with the race, even though it was difficult. I had a small crash this morning in warm-up and I didn’t have confidence with the cold temperatures, but in the race my feeling started to come back, even if it took some laps. I was just stuck behind Pirro for almost all the race. I had a few tenths in my pocket but I couldn’t use it, and this allowed Aoyama to almost catch us. So in the final stages I decided to make a move on Pirro, because I knew that I could stay in front of him. As I said, I’m happy with the result, but it would have been nice to stay closer to the other riders in front of me.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 13th – “Today we started from sixteenth on the grid and finished thirteenth, so we are fairly satisfied with the result. At the start of the race I lost a few places, but around the midway point I recovered and was able to make back some positions. I felt strong from the beginning and was comfortable on the bike, with a pace similar to that of the practice sessions. Pirro and Redding were fighting amongst themselves, which allowed me to close them down. I intended to latch onto them at the end to try and pass, but Redding escaped slightly and Pirro also closed the door well on the last lap. The race was pretty exciting for me, so I am happy and confident about Silverstone.”

Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing: 14th – “Well, I had a good battle with Leon and it was nice to finally beat him for 14th place in my home GP. We have worked all weekend trying to get a good balance between rear grip and front stability and finally things weren’t too bad in the race. My thanks to all the fans who turned out today – they were a big help. Now we look forward to the next race at Silverstone.”

Leon Camier, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 15th – “Today I felt much more comfortable than last week in Indianapolis; we had more data and more hours of riding under our belts, and that allowed us to be more consistent. I am happy because we have improved a lot in a short time, but as I said, we need more time to fully understand the bike. Completing an entire race has helped me to understand the behaviour of the bike and the tyre wear, which are completely different to what I am used to with other bikes. Taking a further step in the learning process has helped me to gain confidence. Although I hope Nicky recovers as soon as possible, if I had the opportunity to also ride for the Drive M7 team at Silverstone it would be like a dream come true. It’s a circuit I love, I know it well, and I am convinced that I could take another big step forward there.”

Ducati Report

Andrea Dovizioso finished the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno in sixth place after a battle with his fellow Ducati rider Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing Team). After crossing the line in second place at the end of lap 1, Dovizioso then dropped a few places in the next few laps to find himself in sixth position, behind Iannone. On lap 16 Dovi managed to get past the Pramac man, but three laps later was repassed by Iannone and he finished the race in sixth place, 17 seconds down on winner Pedrosa.

It was an unlucky race for Cal Crutchlow, who crashed in the run-off area on lap 2. The British rider managed to rejoin but returned to the pits on lap 8 to retire for good.

Michele Pirro, racing as a wild-card for the Ducati Test Team, moved into eleventh place on lap 7 and kept that position until the final stages, but he was passed by Redding with three laps to go and he took the chequered flag in twelfth place.

Tomorrow Pirro will again be in action at the Brno circuit with the development team’s GP14, while the two Ducati Team riders will be next out on track on August 25-26 at Misano Adriatico for private testing, before leaving for Silverstone where the British GP takes place on Sunday August 31.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th – “We have to be satisfied with the race today because we again reduced our gap from the guys at the front. Both Iannone and myself could maybe have lapped even quicker, but we never pushed 100% for the whole race because we were too far from the leading group and there was no one behind who could threaten our position. We both started on the soft tyre and tried not to ruin it too much: maybe the harder option was a better choice but in any case our final positions would not have changed. Unfortunately I was not able to fight with Iannone in the last few laps because my engine had a bit of a drop in performance during the race and as a result I was unable to stay in his slipstream.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – DNF – “It was obviously a disappointing race to go out on lap 2. I made a mistake in the braking in turn 3, had to avoid Aleix Espargarò in front of me and swerved off the track. I was disappointed for that because I was quite confident we could have had a not-so-bad battle today. But when I reentered the track I had a sore shoulder from going through the gravel and holding onto the bike before it tipped over so there was no point carrying on with the pain and I preferred to save myself for Silverstone.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 12th – “Today’s result was a bit below par because I thought I had better pace, but I struggled a lot in the race. My arms were also suffering, seeing as I haven’t raced for almost two months. In any case I tried to keep the pace to gather data and indications for my engineers. Tomorrow, during the test, we’ll continue development work because we still have a few things to check and try out.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) – “At Brno we again demonstrated that we have made the Desmosedici GP14 a bit more competitive. For sure it was a great satisfaction to see two Ducati bikes on the front row after a gap of eight years, but we know we still have to improve our race performance. In any case Dovizioso’s sixth place, and fifth for Iannone, are results we must view as positive especially because they show we have further reduced the gap from the leaders. Now we will be continuing the development work in tomorrow’s test at Brno with Pirro and next week at Misano Adriatico with our factory riders, before going to Silverstone for the British GP at the end of August.”

PBM Motorsport Report

Following on from their historic double points scoring efforts at Indianapolis just one week earlier, it was back down to earth with a bump for both the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP team and riders Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes.

Going into the 11th round of the MotoGP World Championship, hopes were high for Paul Bird’s team to continue their good form at the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky at Brno this weekend but it turned into one of frustration with neither rider able to add to their points tally.

Neither Ulsterman Laverty, on the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM, nor Australian team-mate Parkes, on the Silkolene-backed PBM, could find a good setting to hoist them up the grid and they qualified towards the back for today’s race.

At the start, former British Supersport Champion Laverty struggled to get his machine off the line due to a malfunction with the launch control as Parkes, twice runner-up in the World Supersport Championship, made the better of the two starts.

On lap seven, just as he was making inroads to the riders in front, Laverty crashed out and whereas Parkes gamely battled to a 19th place finish, he was far from happy with the result after struggling all weekend.

Despite the result, Parkes maintains his 20th position overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table, eighth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. Following only his second DNF of the year, Laverty still occupies 23rd place and 11th in the Open class. Importantly for the PBM team, they hold fifth place in the manufacturer’s table and 11th in the team’s standings.

The PBM MotoGP team is next in action at the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone in two weeks time where they hope for better fortunes.

Michael Laverty:  “I am disappointed to crash out of the race today, I was pushing hard to get back onto the group following a terrible start due to a launch control problem. I had just got to the group and pushed the front tyre that 1% too hard, bottomed the forks out and down I went. We worked hard during the weekend and had a good setting for the race, sorry to the team but these things happen. We will regroup for our home race at Silverstone in two weeks time.”

Broc Parkes:  “I struggled all weekend with front end problems and could not get it fixed for the race, we tried so many different things to fix it but it didn’t change. We need to find the problem if I’m going to get some better results for our team’s home race in Silverstone.”

Phil Borley, Technical Director:  “The Brno round has probably been our most frustrating weekend of the year, as we have had a number of small problems, we struggled for pace in some of the sessions and for Broc also in the race as well. Michael had an electronics problem which lost him some time at the start, but during the race, his pace was good and he had closed the gap to some of our competitors. Unfortunately he then crashed, so we do not know what he could have achieved if he had finished. Broc has had problems with his setting for most of the weekend and has only been comfortable in the morning warm-up session. The same setting did not work for him in the race, so we will have to try some other solutions at our next race in Silverstone.”

Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 17-17°C; Track 27-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa set a scorching pace to take his first win of the MotoGP™ season ahead of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi who finished in second and third place respectively.

On his way to victory, Pedrosa set a new Circuit Record Lap of 1’56.027 and kept a fast pace throughout the twenty-two laps of the Brno circuit, and despite a late push from Lorenzo, managed to cross the finish line 0.410 seconds ahead of his Spanish rival. Rossi enjoyed an entertaining battle with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez during the middle stages of the race, before breaking away and comfortably claiming the final podium position. Today’s Czech Republic Grand Prix was the fastest ever race to take part at the Automotodrom Brno, with Pedrosa’s total race time being three seconds quicker than the existing record time set at last year’s Czech Republic Grand Prix.

In what has almost become a tradition on race day, drops of rain fell and dark clouds loomed as the riders set out on the formation lap, but the rain didn’t eventuate allowing the twenty-two laps of the race to be run in dry conditions. The peak track temperature during the race was 29°C which was 7°C down on the highest reading yesterday. The cooler temperatures and threat of rain resulted in four of the twenty-four starters selecting the soft compound front slick, with the other twenty riders opting for the medium compound front slick. Rear tyre choice saw every rider except one select the softest rear slick option available to them; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha, and soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders.

Although he finished off the podium for the first time this season, Marquez still holds a massive 77 point lead in the standings over his teammate Pedrosa, while Rossi is a further 13 points back and sits in third position overall on the championship points table.

Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department – “We enjoyed another exciting race at the Brno circuit and it was pleasing to see Dani win his first race of the season in such convincing style, so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda, and also to the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team on another fine double-podium. Another large crowd was on hand to witness today’s races and with so many exciting battles throughout the field, I am sure they will go home happy. We saw yet another Circuit Record Lap and total race time record set today, which is just the latest example of our tyre development keeping pace with the latest evolutions of MotoGP racing machines.”

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department – “Today for the race the track temperature was a bit cooler which resulted in some riders switching to softer slick options but overall, the riders chose the tyre combinations that they evaluated during yesterday’s race simulations. Both the soft and medium compound front and rear slicks worked well today with the different riding styles and setups utilised during the race. I am really happy with how our tyres performed at this demanding circuit as not only was there a new Circuit Record Lap set and overall race time record, both Dani and Jorge were able to lap within the 1’56 range for the entire race which shows the very consistent performance of our tyres. After another positive weekend, our technical staff will now shift their focus to tomorrow’s MotoGP group test, the data from which will help steer development of our race tyres for the remainder of this season and the next.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – Race Winner – “The race didn’t happen as I originally planned, Jorge was so strong in the opening laps and he immediately opened a gap, so I had to change my strategy and push to the limit. In the opening laps I could feel my bike was working well and I was able to keep a good rhythm until the end. Only in the final stages I felt I was losing a bit of rear grip and suffered a little on corner exit, but I could manage the gap and win the race. It was a special day for me and my team as we’ve had some tough races so far this year.”