After the usual Summer break, MotoGP riders were back on track for this year’s edition of the Czech Grand Prix, at Brno. As expected, the race was filed with fantastic moments, but in the end it was all about Ducati stepping up to the top of the podium.
It took nearly five months for Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Factory) to be a race winner again, after he won in Qatar the first race of the MotoGP season. The Italian showed what he was capable of during qualifying when he secured pole position for the Czech GP, in front of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) also managing a front row start on his 100th GP.
In race start it was all about Rossi, with the veteran Yamaha rider making the best start off the line and moving to the front of the pack, closely followed by Dovizioso, Marquez and also Jorge Lorenzo on the second Ducati. But the leading group was big, so position changes happened almost on every corner, and it wasn’t long until Rossi was passed by Dovizioso.
Marquez did the same thing and moved up to second, and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) took the opportunity to move up to third at Rossi’s expenses. The Yamaha rider then started to suffer with front end tyre grip – he was the only rider of the front riders to choose soft front compound – and settled behind Crutchlow with the two fighting for fourth position, because by then Lorenzo was already at the front pushing for the victory with Dovizioso and Marquez.
Lorenzo first passed Marquez on a bold move, and soon after he tried to pass his teammate, but Dovizioso didn’t lose his temper and hold on to the lead. Marquez wasn’t happy with third, and attacked Lorenzo’s second spot. That move, on the final lap, only worked for a couple of corners, with Lorenzo getting back second place from Marquez, but by then Dovizioso was already far away for the Spanish rider to make a move on him, and so Ducati secured a perfect 1-2 finish, with Dovizioso in front of Lorenzo, and Marc Marquez finished in third on his 100th GP in MotoGP.
As for Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech3), the Malaysian had a really good start of race in Brno, making up on a few grid positions. Battling with Franco Morbidelli for the honor of “Best Rookie” in MotoGP, Syahrin showed a great pace until the middle of the race, when his rear tyre started to wear out faster than expected, and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider had to settle for 14th place, saving two precious points for the championship.
Hafizh Syahrin will be present today at the Brno test session, and hopefully will get some new setup for his M1 bike that will make him ever more competitive in the next rounds, starting with Austria, in just 6 days.
MotoGP standings now see Marc Marquez with a bigger advantage in the championship with a total of 181 points, while Valentino Rossi is still second with 132, and Andrea Dovizioso moves up to third with 113 points. Hafizh Syahrin is still the best rookie in 16th position.
In Moto2 the Czech GP was the moment of change in leadership, with Portuguese rising star Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) not only securing the second win of the season, but also climbing up to the championship lead with a two-point advantage over Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Team VR46).
Miguel Oliveira successfully fended off the final attack of pole sitter Luca Marini (Sky Team VR46) on the final corners, and with better drive to the finish line, the KTM rider secured a hard fought win over Marini, and with Bagnaia only managing third final position, the two swapped places in the championship standings.
In Moto3, Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) produced a perfect ride to secure his first Grand Prix win at the Czech GP in a race that saw a lead battle of 22 riders at one point, with the Italian beating Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) to the line as the Spaniard finished second, with pole man and home hero Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrustelGP) claiming a fantastic podium in third.
As for the championship fight, Marco Bezzecchi is still in the lead with 133 points, but Jorge Martin follows with 130 points.