Brno MotoGP Rider Quotes and Images
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
MotoGP 2017 – Round Ten – Brno

Marc Marquez -P1

“This was a very special Sunday because everyone was racing for Angel Nieto, but it was also a very challenging race. On the grid, I took the risk to use the soft rear tyre because I thought it would give me extra grip for five laps before pitting to change bikes, but it didn’t go like that. I soon started to struggle a lot and lost many positions. When I saw that, I decided to immediately get in and take the risk of the slicks. When I re-joined the race, honestly it was still too damp in some parts and I nearly crashed during the first lap out. When you go out for the flag-to-flag, it’s so difficult to get the feeling with the bike again, but I tried to quickly understand the grip. Honestly, today I took some risks but it was one of those days when you just have to do it. After pulling a great gap, I just tried to manage, to ride well, and to finish the race. I’m really very happy with the result. It’s a track I normally struggle at, one I worry about every year, and getting 25 points was very important. Thanks to the team for another great job! We did the correct strategy during the summer break, coming here to test, and we arrived here prepared. We’re improving step by step. The Championship is still very, very tight; we must be able to be fast in every condition.”

Dani Pedrosa – P2

“This weekend we were competitive in all situations, yesterday in qualifying and today, with this podium. I’m really very happy with the performances and with how I felt on the bike. I’m generally feeling stronger than in the first part of the season. We must improve some details—today it was knowing the right lap to stop on, but we’ll learn from it. Normally, when it’s still a bit wet and you have to switch to slicks you must be super focused and super committed. This is usually a strong point for Marc, as he’s always very good in these conditions; we have to be able to keep the same concentration in the future because these details are very important. Anyway, thanks to the team and to Michelin for the amazing feeling I had on the bike. We lost five points to Marc on top but we recovered some on our other rivals. I think the strategy of the team to come test during the summer break was right, as it was good to have the bike setting, especially at this track. We also improved on some little details of the bike and now I feel more comfortable going into the second part of the season. Now we have to not focus too much on the Championship and just concentrate and perform well at every race.”

Maverick Viñales – P3

“I’m really happy. Honestly, third was the best we could do today. Our target was to be on the podium and we did it. We were struggling during the whole weekend. Finishing third on a tough weekend is a good result. We have to be on the podium, this has to be the norm if we want to win the championship title. I came in a little bit late, I think, but at the same time as Dani Pedrosa and some other riders, so it was good for the overall result. The track was drying out really fast. It might have been better to stop a little bit earlier, but this is the first time I finish a flag-to-flag race on the podium, so it gives me a lot of experience. In Austria it’s going to be really important to have a good feeling and a good weekend, and winning on Sunday will also be really important. I think all the podiums today were dedicated to Ángel Nieto, because he was really important and one of the best.”

Valentino Rossi – P4

“It is always difficult in these conditions in a flag-to-flag. It for sure isn’t our strongest point, this type of racing, but in the end the result is not so bad. We improved a lot from the last flag-to-flag and I finished fourth, but I think that before the end of my career we can defeat this flag-to-flag race situation! Anyway, I think that in a full dry or full wet race I can fight for the podium for sure. It remained a good weekend, because we worked well in the box. I felt good with the bike, that’s important, and I was strong on the wet and on the dry. The race was very hard, I pushed from the beginning to the end. It’s a shame that we could have taken more points and arrived on the podium, but it’s like this and in this condition fourth place is not so bad.”

Cal Crutchlow – P5

“It would have been nice to battle with Pedrosa for the podium. I came in when he came in and he did a better job of passing (Danilo) Petrucci on the restart than me. It was so difficult to pass the Ducati and once he (Pedrosa) got in front he was able to go and it took me ten more laps than him. Once I got past Petrucci I was also able to go harder, but Maverick had already passed me.  I’m pleased with the weekend overall, to finish in the top five in Brno is good. But I did want the podium, I aimed for the podium and I didn’t get it so obviously I’m not best pleased. My team did a great job all weekend, so we have to thank Honda and the LCR team and now we go to Austria next week looking to do a good job.”

Andrea Dovizioso – P6

“Unfortunately it was a complicated race and we were unable to decide the right strategy. For sure I should have come in before and changed to medium slicks like my rivals did. When I returned to the track and realized that I was in sixteenth place it was a bit tough, but I gritted my teeth and pushed hard until the end to bring home at least a sixth place. Even the ten points we scored today could be useful for the championship but to be honest, after the way the weekend had gone up until this morning, we could have got a lot more from this race.”

Danilo Petrucci – P7

“It was a very difficult race. My one regret was that I did not have the courage to enter one or two laps prior to change my bike. We thought the circuit would have dried at a slower rate. I tried to keep up with the leading group and indeed for a couple of laps I was in the podium. I tried to be the first Independent rider and then the first Ducati but I was unable to. It is a shame but I am nevertheless very happy because we had a brillant race. I cannot wait until Austria”.

Aleix Espargaro – P8

“The race was complicated from the start. I did not get off the line very well, but in the early laps I was making up ground. Then the track began to dry out rather quickly. I thought about going in straight away, even though I don’t really like using slicks on a damp track. In any case, I was one of the first to change bikes, but unfortunately, the episode in pit lane involved Iannone. Luckily, there were no physical consequences for him and the guys on his team, but it is not easy to manage such a hectic situation. We will talk about it in Safety Commission. It seems appropriate to think of some change that would make the flag-to-flag situation less chaotic. In the second part of the race, I was unable to be incisive, both because I was using the less updated bike with which I had less feeling and because of the soft tyre choice on the rear that kept me from pushing. We definitely lost out on a good chance for an even better result, but finishing in the top ten in these difficult conditions is still an important confirmation of our level.”

Pol Espargaro – P9

“I am super happy for the team and everyone involved in this MotoGP project. Remember we started our first race in Qatar ten races ago and we finished; then we got points in Argentina and now we get a top ten in August at Brno. It’s real today! After I changed bikes I made a mistake and lost six seconds going through the gravel, but away from that we’ve done a super job this weekend. I’m happy that I rode well this weekend but the team have done such an outstanding job. The bike is so good on the brakes but we’re still missing something on the cornering but here today with what we have after ten races it was working very well. After the recent tests we can all feel the difference and upward direction in the level of the bike. In fact, we thought that after the test Mika (Kallio) had here we thought we would struggle a bit here but with what we did at Aragon it’s meant the bike is so much better already. I’m riding the bike differently and more effectively and that is making the combination a tighter package. Now to Austria: Can’t wait.”

Jonas Folger – P10

“In the end my feeling on the bike was good, but it was a difficult race overall. When we began, it was wet but the track was drying up quickly. I was behind Marquez and I saw that he entered the pits so I decided to follow him in. Unfortunately, there was a mistake and I had to go through the pit lane but I couldn’t change bikes, so I had to pit again on the next lap. I lost some time but overall we found a good solution with the bike because we tried a different setting, which I have never tried before, so we took the risk to use this option in the race and it paid off. I rode some really good lap times, and I think that we could have been very competitive today, but I did a lot of work and overtook many riders. It was a shame about what happened but everyone makes mistakes, and this is racing. We still walked away with some championship points and we will try again in Austria.”

Alex Rins – P11

“It has been a very complicated race because of the weather conditions. When we entered in the pit lane to change motorbikes we were well placed and I felt strong. After changing the bike, in the first few laps, it felt very strange and I couldn’t make sense of it. I could not keep up the rhythm I had and I did not know why. When I returned to the box it was explained to me that Andrea’s bike had hit my bike during the fall, and the handlebars had been damaged. So in spite of everything I am happy with what we have been able to do this weekend. We have taken an important step forward in the set-up and I have been able to enjoy a lot of driving thanks to the team’s work.”

Johann Zarco – P12

“It was a tricky race and I can’t hide my disappointment. We started the GP with rain tyres and I felt good so I hoped that we wouldn’t have to pit and that I could manage the Grand Prix like this, even if it was drying. Yet, the track cleared up very quickly and the strategy was to come into the pit lane to change the bike but I did this one or two laps too late and I lost almost ten seconds. If this didn’t happen then I could have been inside the top six. It’s all about experience and it’s always complicated to analyse and know if it will rain or not. Valentino was in front of me and he pitted, so I thought that maybe if I did one more lap, it could be beneficial. Yet, I lost more time and this a shame, but it was important to finish the race, take some points and learn. I have gained a lot of knowledge this weekend and I need to stay cool so that I can be fast in Austria.”

Karel Abraham – P13

“I think me and my team did a very, very good job all weekend. We made big steps and this morning in the wet I was not so fast but we knew exactly what to do. Before the race I was a little nervous because it started to rain and we had to start on wets but we made a plan and the bike was prepared perfectly. I had to take some risks but I overtook a couple of riders and made up some positions. The team made a great decision on timing the bike change and we came in at the perfect time. We were also fast to change the bike and I was able to push on the slick tyres. Again I was able to make up some positions but unfortunately after three laps I suffered a broken exhaust and the bike was not as good as we need from the bottom and I started to lose touch with Aleix. Then I was passed by some other riders, also in the last corner by Zarco, who was able to overtake me on the exit. It’s a great shame because I believe we could have even finished in front of Aleix but we lost too much power at the bottom end. Anyway, I wanted points here and we got three. The team worked so well, we were just unlucky not to come away with more.”

Jack Miller – P14

“I lost some valuable seconds in the pit stop waiting for my second bike to be ready but still thought I had a chance of a top ten position. But then I found we did not have similar rear grip compared to practice when I could easily do 1’57s on an old tyre but in the race I could not match those times. The front felt really good but I had no rear grip and could not take advantage of my strategy. I tried to ride a smart race but a series of unfortunate issues cost me valuable points today.”

Jorge Lorenzo – P15

“Today’s race was a real shame. The weather was so unpredictable and it stopped raining when I was really fast on the damp track. I felt pretty good and I think we could have been able to fight for the win if the conditions had remained the same. Then we made an error with the bike change, because when the team signalled to me to return to the pits the bike wasn’t ready and we lost a bit of time, which ruined the rest of my race. For sure we’ll learn from this negative experience and won’t repeat the same error, but the positive thing from this weekend is that we were always competitive, both in the wet and the dry. Now we’re going to a circuit, where we should be amongst the favourites and so we’ll do everything possible to demonstrate it in the race.”

Scott Redding – P16

“I feel as if I had a great race. I started really well and made the right decision to enter and change my bike. My pace was great and I felt confident amongst the riders in front. However, I did have an issue with my exhaust. I realised this when I tried to change to Map A in order to have more power. It is a huge shame because I was sure that I could have had a great race. I leave with my head held high this week and I hope to be this competitive in Austria”.

Tito Rabat – P17

“The opening laps on rain tyres I did very well but after the change of bike to slicks I struggled a lot and made some mistakes trying to stay with the group. This track is not easy for me especially when I am riding alone. The main problem is a lack of feeling from the rear. At one point I had the possibility to follow Zarco and Lorenzo but I was too much on the limit to run the same pace. But we are working hard to understand the issue and I will never stop trying and I am now looking forward to the next race in Austria.”

Sam Lowes – P18

“The conditions today were very strange. We started in the wet, but the track dried out incredibly fast. In hindsight, maybe starting directly with slicks would not have been such a risk. In any case, this was my first flag-to-flag and I learned a lot from this new experience. You have to instantly adapt to a very different bike. Unfortunately, the evolutions that Aprilia brought this weekend were installed on the wet bike, so I did not have the same feeling. In any case, it was useful for me to confirm the big step forward with the new package, which certainly has greater potential.”

Andrea Iannone – P19

“I think I’ve made a good start. I’m satisfied with the positions I got back in the first laps. I think we could have had a good race. I entered the pits on the fourth lap, but we encountered the unfortunate situation that as I was entering, Aleix Espargaró was leaving. To avoid each other, I had to break on top of a draining grate; otherwise I would have hit him. In these cases the regulation speaks clearly and the Race Direction has already taken measures. I could not do more than I did. Anyway, even if we had not had this problem, our race would have been compromised because the bike was not ready with the dry setup and this is not a matter of bad luck. I am happy because I see a lot of work from Japan and they try hard to give me a competitive bike. Tomorrow we have a very important test and we will try to understand how we can improve for the future.”

Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Hector Barbera – P20

“It was an up and down weekend. At some stages we seemed to go the right way, but then we got lost again. The race today was really difficult and nothing went as planned. The rain stopped before the start and it was like playing lottery. I decided to swap bikes early as I could see very quickly that the track was ready to go with slick tyres, but when I went out again something was wrong with the bike and I had to stop again. With two pit stops, the race was over for me. We had some positive aspects this weekend, the team is highly motivated and everybody wants to leave this unlucky string of races behind. Next week we have another opportunity and this time, we have to do our best on a track that suits my Ducati very much!”

Álvaro Bautista – DNF

“Everything went badly today. We had a problem with the clutch at the start and I lost a load of positions, then I started to feel good on the wet tyres and the track dried so we had to switch bikes. I don’t know why but the brakes were sticking, it was a very strange feeling. I was close to coming in to the pits but I thought maybe it was a case of them overheating. In the end I went into one turn and lost the front. Now we have to look ahead to the next race, which thankfully is next week. It was difficult to ride with these problems today and even without the crash we probably wouldn’t have scored points.”

Álvaro Bautista
Álvaro Bautista

Bradley Smith – DNF

“These conditions make it very difficult and stressful for the whole team as it doesn’t make it easy with so many different scenarios and so many ways to react. We had a long bike change after lap two but so soon after the start it doesn’t give the crew a lot of time (to change the bike settings) but then later on the race wasn’t going in its best direction only for the bike to have a problem so I decided it was better to save the bike and stop. What I do want to do is to congratulate the whole team on their first top ten; it’s a huge amount of work from everybody. First of all, Pol is riding so he takes the majority of the credit but it’s a huge team effort from not only here at the track but from the test team and everybody back at KTM Motorsport in Austria. So, a frustrating way to end the weekend as there have been many positives in the rain and also in the dry yesterday afternoon but we weren’t quite able to show it today. Having said that, I’m looking forward to a full day of testing tomorrow here at Brno to work on something ready for the team’s home Grand Prix in Austria next weekend.”

Loris Baz – DNF

“It was difficult to make the tyre choice before the start. We always leave the bike with its rain settings when the track is damp and after a few laps we change for the second bike with dry settings. But the problem today was that the track was already dry on the first lap and it was time to pull in and swap the bike, but I had to wait until the bike was ready. I ended up coming in when most of the others did the same and during the change, I tore one of the mechanics to the ground. Leaving the pit lane, I was thinking of what just happened and I almost fell myself. I needed a couple of laps to find back to my concentration, but then I rode on in my normal pace. But this bike is difficult: We can do a single fast lap, but to strong many fast laps together is tough. It’s hard to get the bike to turn, we have a lot of chatter in the front and things get worse as the tyres wear off. I pushed a lot trying to catch Miller and I crashed. It’s a shame, but this is racing!”

Pit Beirer – KTM Motorsport Director

“I’m extremely happy with this special moment because this was a target for us to get into the top ten in the first season and even if it was a big target, it’s now a reality. We’ve felt over the last races that we made steps, and then from the last test we made another step…but you only have it proven in a race, today being the point where you could see we made that step on a very difficult track for us. It’s a two minute track here in Brno, but we knew we were competitive over the whole weekend and we knew we could race some of the top guys, so this is not a lucky punch as we fought hard for it. We made many passes from the start of the race so it’s been a big payback for the team, the engineers and all the staff back at base in Austria. I think this has proven we’re in the right direction but I can promise everyone we cannot and will not stop at his level.”

Mike Leitner – KTM Team Manager MotoGP

“It was our target at the beginning of the year to at one time touch the top ten so to achieve that at the first race after the summer break is such a boost for the team, for the riders and for the belief in the project so it’s unbelievable. I mean I think everybody who works on the MotoGP project is really super happy and it’s really nice to see it working out. Things were very happy today on Pol’s side of the garage while we feel for Bradley’s side as it didn’t work out in the way we expected, but races like today’s usually see one rider in a good position as many things can happen. We now look forward to the home race for the team next weekend at Spielberg where there will be so many KTM staff with their families from the motorsport and production side of this amazing company. It is with their work and support that can enable us to push for results such as this today.”

Michael Bartholemy – MarcVDS Team Principal

“Jack timed his pit stop perfectly making his switch to slick tyres at the same time as Marc Márquez. It was early and the team was not quite ready with the bike, which cost Jack a little bit of time. That was our mistake. But the main issue was the same as the warm-up; we could not create any rear grip, which meant that Jack could not take advantage of his race strategy. Tito stopped later than Jack but then had same issue with lack of rear grip. We need to understand the issue with this lack of grip and why it’s not always consistent.”

Hervé Poncharal – Tech 3 Yamaha Team manager

“Today we have a bad feeling after the MotoGP race. I feel that we worked well throughout the weekend even though our qualifying positions were not ideal. Yet, we knew that the difficult weather and track conditions could benefit us. Jonas was very fast and he showed this in every session, especially at the right moments. Although he didn’t manage to make a fast lap for qualifying, his pace was really exciting and promising. He had an ok start, but the big turn of the race for the Tech3 team was when Jonas pitted and the bike, with the full slick tyres, was not ready so he had to do one more lap, which ended any hope for fighting for a top position. I was even more upset when I saw the times that he was running because his pace was strong and I don’t want to talk about what could have been, but if you look at his laps, then he would have been at the front and it would have been a podium for sure. I am really unhappy about this situation and in this kind of race you either lose it or win it with the strategy, and the bike should have been ready, which is easy to say now, but it needed to be. As for Johann, it was very exciting to see him fighting for the lead in the first part of the GP, but he made a mistake, in my opinion, because he should have pitted when Valentino did who was already late. If he had done this, it would have helped him to get a top five result. This weekend he was not as quick as his teammate because we saw that when Jonas caught and passed him, it helped Johann to up his pace. Anyway, this is a bad result for us today, and it was because we didn’t use our heads. I can only apologise to Jonas and the German fans and for Johann, he should watch what the experienced guys are doing in front of him.”

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki MotoGP Technical Manager

“This weekend was very important as it was the beginning of the second half of the season. The race was again in very difficult conditions, as it was a flag to flag. In these conditions Alex did a very good job. It’s a pity he couldn’t finish in the top ten, just at the end. But he managed to fight in the middle group and for sure this taught him a lot. It is also a good improvement for us and his crew. Andrea did a good job this weekend. With the new solutions we brought from Japan, we would have been able to improve our performance and take a step forward with the bike, but in the end the accident in the pit lane affected the race and removed all his chances, despite his good pace. On the positive side, we feel we increased our capability. We have one day of testing here tomorrow when we will try to finalise these improvements and then go to Austria with renewed enthusiasm.”

Davide Brivio – Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager

“This has been a very unlucky weekend for Andrea. Everything happened. Yesterday he had a problem with the bike in qualifying and today the crash in the pit lane, where he hit leg and head, compromising his race. Moreover, at the race start the spare bike had the same wet setting of the race bike, and when Andrea entered the pit to swap the bike the dry setting was not ready yet and we lost some more time. Also Alex’s race was compromised by this race accident, because during the crash in the pit lane Andrea’s bike hit Alex’s bike, which also fell on the ground and the right handlebar was bent. Alex then had to ride with a machine which was not in its optimal condition. This is why we were affected with both riders by the accident. Not withstanding, we consider ourselves happy for the positive weekend of Alex. I hope it has been an important step in his growth. He gave up tenth position only in the very last lap. He managed the bike swap well and did it at the right time. He kept a consistent pace and yesterday he missed the Q2 by only 0.006s. Let’s hope that this weekend will represent a good starting point for Alex to mature, while with Andrea we will make the most of tomorrow’s test not only for testing new solutions for the bike, but also to cancel out this race and move on.”

Romano Albesiano – Aprilia Racing Manager

“From a technical and competitive point of view, this was a very positive weekend overall. We were fast in all the sessions and in qualifying too. Without the crash, Aleix would have been able to start from the second or third row. The race, as always in these cases, was a lottery, but we did well with our strategy. We are firmly in a good position that it well within the top ten. We are truly pleased with the nice step forward that the RS-GP made in this race. Unfortunately, we were penalised for an episode where the rider was not at fault. And this is also a situation that must be reconsidered. When many riders come into pit lane together to change bikes, chance plays too big a role. With this penalty, Aleix lost not only the positions, but also valuable time and, most importantly, his concentration and the good pace that he had shown up to that moment.”

Fausto Gresini – Aprilia Team Manager

“It was a good race and we are happy with the result. The bike has grown a lot. Aprilia Racing has worked hard and well and today we are even closer to the leaders, even if we have still not fully expressed our potential. A pity about the episode with Iannone where neither rider was at fault. From this point of view, the penalty inflicted on the rider is entirely unfair. A remedy and set rules for this situation will need to be found, but it is clear that the rider was not to blame.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager

“Today was very complicated with the weather, we had so many riders change their choice of wet tyres on the grid and then it started to dry and it was surprising how quickly some came in to change their bikes. The wet tyres worked well right at the start and after the Friday Free Practice in the rain, when we saw some very fast times, we were confident that would be the same today. Marc took an early decision to come in and that certainly paid off for him as he immediately started to set consistently fast times in the drying conditions. We were very happy to see this as it demonstrated the grip levels available on a cool – and in some places – damp track. The performances from the rest of the field with different compounds was also very pleasing and with Maverick setting the fastest time on lap-17 that was also a testament to the durability and showed no drop-off from the tyres. We will now have a one-day test here at Brno before we travel straight to Austria for the next round where we have a completely different challenge, but one we are more than ready for.”

MotoGP 2017 – Round Ten – Brno – MotoGP Race Results
  1. MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 25 Repsol Honda Team Honda 44’15.974
  2. PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 20 Repsol Honda Team Honda 12.438
  3. VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 16 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 18.135
  4. ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 13 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 20.466
  5. CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 11 LCR Honda Honda 20.892
  6. DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 10 Ducati Team Ducati 23.259
  7. PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 9 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 24.079
  8. ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 8 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 30.559
  9. ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 7 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 30.754
  10. FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 6 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 33.236
  11. RINS Alex 42 SPA 5 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 33.290
  12. ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 4 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 34.595
  13. ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 3 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 34.697
  14. MILLER Jack 43 AUS 2 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 38.062
  15. LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 1 Ducati Team Ducati 40.100
  16. REDDING Scott 45 GBR 0 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 44.376
  17. RABAT Tito 53 SPA 0 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 45.454
  18. LOWES Sam 22 GBR 0 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 53.976
  19. IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 0 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1’23.346
  20. BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 0 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1 lap
Images by AJRN and MotoGP Teams