Moto Media

Marquez beats Pedrosa and Lorenzo at Brno

marquez brno race motogp

On this occasion, the Repsol Honda Team rider came out on top after an immensely close fight with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.

Following the Warm-Up that took place amid distinctly overcast conditions, riders feared for a wet Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. Although spots of rain did briefly fall, prompting the white flags to fly on Lap 14, there proved to be no major changes in the weather. On the front row of the grid, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow started from pole position for the second time this season.

Marquez’s ride was a mixture of patience, aggression and defence. The 20-year-old had been annoyed during qualifying, but ran second behind Lorenzo as the reigning champion scorched off the start line. The pair would proceed to swap places on various occasions, with the final pass coming at Turn 3 with just under four laps to go. Pedrosa also dispatched of Lorenzo, but two final tours was not enough for last year’s winner to hunt down his teammate who won by three tenths of a second.

In fourth place, Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi ultimately came out on top after a race-long duel with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, whereas LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl experienced a quiet ride to sixth spot from Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, locked together once again. The top ten was completed by Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, just one second ahead of CRT rival Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) who had started in front of him.

A second lap collision between Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti saw both riders retire, with the Italian later undergoing an x-ray to his right hand before spending Sunday night in hospital after experiencing concussion.

The other two retirements were Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek - from his home Grand Prix - and Tech3’s Bradley Smith, who were both out of action on the third lap. There was frustration for pole man Crutchlow, who crashed out of fourth place on Lap 8, as well as for Czech Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) who was unable to score points at home. Wildcard Martin Bauer (Remus Racing Team) succeeded in completing the distance.

The final race in the ongoing triple-header will be the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, to which Marquez heads with 213 points, 26 - and more than the equivalent of one race win - ahead of Pedrosa and 44 in front of Lorenzo.

Rider Quotes:

Marc Marquez: "Before we came here I didn't expected win, because Jorge and Valentino had both tested at Brno recently and Dani is always so fast here and won the race last year. It is a completely different track to those at which we have raced before, and these 25 points feel different to Indianapolis. This was a very hard fought win and I enjoyed myself a lot. The battle with Jorge was really good and we are pleased with the victory.”

Dani Pedrosa:  "I am very happy with the result, because after all the problems with my injury and the doubts we've had at the last few races, we took a big step forward with my mental preparation today. Unfortunately, our strategy was not the best. I had problems overtaking throughout the race, because I couldn't brake late and was always the third rider in the trio at the front. I think that I made my final attack one lap too late. We will try again next time.” 

Pedrosa’s second place finish marked his 78th podium in the premier class, equalling four-time 500cc World Champion Eddie Lawson. Only three riders have more podium finishes in the premier class: Rossi (145), Mick Doohan (95) and Giacomo Agostini (88). 

Jorge Lorenzo:  "I think I had my best start in all my career in MotoGP, I took four positions and in the first laps I was really quick. Eventually though I couldn’t keep the same distance to second place so little by little they caught me. Especially under braking and on the straights they were faster than me so I couldn't do much more. The Championship is not lost yet but it’s now getting very difficult. We need just a few tenths to win the race so we have to pray for that at Silverstone.”

Valentino Rossi:  "Today was better than Indy, especially because my gap to the front is half what it was there. The first three guys are impressive, very strong; I want to stay closer to them. Unfortunately I was ten seconds back, another fourth place but I want to be closer so we have to work.”

Cal Crutchlow:  "I was happy with my pace and I felt comfortable but then I made a mistake. I was trying to get myself back in contention for the podium and I lost the front. I am sure I could have finished fourth but I got back on a damaged bike and set a fast and consistent pace. I never gave up. It is not the best preparation for my home race at Silverstone but I go there knowing I have the pace and that I can be challenging at the front."

Bradley Smith: "The race ended far too soon and it is not the way we wanted a positive weekend to end. I don’t feel I did anything different in that corner and I felt comfortable and the bike felt very good. The improvements we made on a full fuel tank made the bike much better in the early part of the race but I got caught out in Turn 9. The data showed I accelerated a fraction earlier and those small margins can make all the difference. At least I don’t have to wait long for Silverstone. I’m disappointed with today but highly motivated to build on the positive points we gained here."

Moto2: Kallio triumphs for first Moto2™ victory

kallio moto2 race brno

Mika Kallio has won in Moto2™ for the first time, celebrating victory at the end of a dramatic and closely-fought bwin Grand Prix České republiky. The Finn shared the podium with Takaaki Nakagami and Tom Luthi, as championship leader Scott Redding limited the points loss by finishing four places behind Pol Espargaro.

Before the start of the 20-lap encounter at Brno the worry was a threat of rain, but the race would eventually not be affected by any showers. Kallio started fourth for Marc VDS Racing Team, as the grid was headed up by Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team). As the former moved up to second at the start, all were away cleanly with the exception of Nakagami’s teammate Julian Simon who crashed at the first corner.

The race would prove to be one of two major focal points. The first was a titanic contest for the lead, which was shared over the distance by Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi and Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol as well as Nakagami and Kallio. The top spot first became Kallio’s on the fourth lap, but perhaps the most crucial moment of all was when he extended the lead to half a second as the chasing group fought furiously on the final tour. This would prove to be Kallio’s first victory since he won the 250 race at Donington Park five years ago.

The other obvious battle of the day was that of the title pretenders, as Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40) and Redding (Kallio’s teammate at Marc VDS Racing Team) duelled with each other on-track, somewhat surprisingly as the Spaniard had started on the front row whereas the Englishman – who was yet to score at Brno in Moto2 - was coming from 13th on the grid after struggling in qualifying. Redding grabbed fifth place from his rival on Lap 9 but, having escaped a tap from Espargaro, would soon feel the wrath of others and ultimately sank to eighth whereas his chief opponent forcefully took fourth from Came Iodaracing Project’s Johann Zarco on the last lap.

As Kallio beat Nakagami to a first Moto2 win and Luthi picked up his second rostrum placing of the season, Espargaro and Zarco completed the top five from Terol, Indianapolis winner Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP 40) and Redding. Eight riders failed to finish, including reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) who - after starting fifth on the grid - suffered a crash at Turn 1 and will now require surgery to attend to a fractured right ulna. With five laps to go, there was a three-way collision at Turn 3 triggered by the out-of-control Mike di Meglio (JiR Moto2), who was collected by Alberto Moncayo (Argiñano & Gines Racing) as Marcel Schrotter (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team) also crashed out of proceedings. It was later confirmed that di Meglio had sustained a fractured sacrum in the lower back and would be out of action for at least one month.

Sunday’s result sees Espargaro close in on championship leader Redding by five points, bringing the leading gap down to 21 with seven races remaining in the 2013 season; winner Kallio jumps up one championship position, to fourth overall.

Moto2™ will continue with the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend.

Moto3:  Patience pays off as Salom wins at Brno

salom race brno moto3

Championship leader Luis Salom has returned to winning ways, picking up his fifth victory of 2013 in Sunday’s bwin Grand Prix České republiky. Having grabbed the lead on the final lap, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was able to open up a small cushion as four rivals squabbled over second place behind him.

Spots of rain were deposited on Brno as the red lights went out, with Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins leading from his third consecutive pole. Maverick Viñales (Team Calvo) was first to steal the top spot before Salom went through at Turn 3; such battles would continue until the final lap, with Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger also very much in the mix.

Heading into the final tour, the pair of Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders were running first and second and on course for a repeat of last weekend’s Indianapolis result. However, having already established a reputation for judging the late stages of races, Salom overhauled the duo at the first and third corners, respectively. It was at this point that Marquez and Rins appeared to begin hurting one another’s races, with Viñales sweeping around the outside of Turn 4 before Folger strode ahead of the dicing duo to snatch the final rostrum placing at the penultimate corner of the race.

Salom - recording the fastest lap on the last lap, despite a fractured heel - collected his fifth victory of 2013 and his first since Assen, crossing the finish line half a second ahead of Viñales to ensure that the latter remains second in the standings despite being the only rider to have finished on the podium at every one of the first ten events in 2013. Folger’s podium finish was his second of the campaign.

Five riders failed to finish what was the final race of the afternoon. Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo was out on the opening lap, with Ongetta-Centre Seta’s Isaac Viñales and CIP Moto3’s Juanfran Guevara soon joining the Finn on the sidelines. The final two retirements were Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3), crashing out on Lap 13.

Moto3™ will continue with the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend, into which Salom heads with a 14-point lead over Viñales with seven races to go.