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Four in a row for Marquez and Pedrosa makes it a fourth 1-2 for Repsol Honda
Today in the GP of the Czech Republic, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa recorded Repsol Honda's fourth 1-2 finish of 2013, with Marc taking his fourth win in a row - fifth of the year - something no premier class rookie has achieved in the 65-year history of Grand Prix racing.
It was a spectacular race which saw Jorge Lorenzo steal the lead from the start as Marc and Dani both progressed a position to slot in behind him in 2nd and 3rd. Once again the three Spanish riders rode in perfect formation with barely any time separating them, Marc setting a new fastest race lap on lap 3 with 1'56.135.
On lap 13, marshals displayed a white flag signalling there may be some rain. Thankfully the threat didn't materialise and the three riders continued to push. Then on lap 16, Marc attacked Lorenzo passing him briefly before being passed back. A few corner s later, Marc attempted a move agin and this time made it stick. Lorenzo didn't give up and on lap 18 he passed Marc again to retake the lead and on lap 19 Marc took the position back with just a few laps remaining. Dani never lost touch to Marc and Lorenzo during this battle and on lap 20 he also passed Lorenzo to secure 2nd position and a fantastic 1-2 for the Repsol Honda Team.
With Marc's victory in Brno, he has become the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2008 to win four or more successive races in the premier class and also the youngest rider to have won four successive premier class Grand Prix races. He has also equalled the most podiums scored by a rider in his rookie season, matching Valentino Rossi, who finished on the podium ten times in 2000.
Dani's 2nd place finish marks his 78th podium finish in the premier class, equalling four-time 500cc World Champion Eddie Lawson. Only three riders have more podium finishes in the premier class: Valen tino Rossi (145), Mick Doohan (95) and Giacomo Agostini (88).
Marc has now stretched his lead to 213 points with Dani on 187 and Lorenzo on 169. Honda also lead the Constructors Championship and the Repsol Honda Team lead the Team Championship.
Marc Marquez 1st Championship Standing: 1st - 213 points
"I'm so happy! 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. Thanks to all the team!"
Dani Pedrosa 2nd Championship Standing: 2nd - 187 points
"I am very happy with the result, generally speaking, 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. We were more ready to win here, despite not being 100%. 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. If I had passed Jorge one lap earlier, maybe I would have been in with a chance of the victory. In any case, we had the right attitude of attacking until the end and gaining ground on Marc. I just needed another lap in order to catch him! We will try again next time. I want to thank the team for the great job that they did this weekend"
Lorenzo Battles for Brno Podium
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo fought hard today to take third on the podium for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic with teammate Valentino Rossi taking fourth.
Reigning world champion Lorenzo made an incredible start from fifth on the grid, out dragging the entire front row to take the hole-shot into turn one. Although initially able to build a gap of just over a second, he soon had rivals Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa close behind in pursuit. Lorenzo was able to hold off the attack and continue leading the race until just seven laps remained. Marquez's first pass proved a failure with Lorenzo able to get back round the outside of the attacker and regain the front heading up the hill. The next attack came in the last corner with just four laps remaining, Marquez squeezing through for the lead. A lap later Pedrosa was to follow, Lorenzo then tucking in behind the two to secure third on the podium, just 2.2 seconds from winner Marquez.
Rossi's race proved to be a very similar experience to Indianapolis last weekend. Holding seventh from the line he was fairly quickly able to pass Bradley Smith for sixth as the first laps passed. Satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow was soon to fall in front, promoting Rossi to fifth as he began a race long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The nine-time world champion would prove to be the victor, making the crucial pass stick as the last lap wound down, taking fourth position at the line.
Lorenzo's podium finish keeps him in third position in the world standings, 18 points behind Pedrosa in second. Teammate Rossi stays in fourth in standings on 143 points, six behind his teammate. The team now move straight to the Silverstone in the UK for the third of the back-to-back races, The British Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo 3rd
"I think I did my best start in all my career in MotoGP, I took four positions and in the first laps I was really quick. Finally 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. I was a little nervous when the white flag came out because it's really dangerous to race with slick tyres on little spots of rain but luckily it didn't come so we could finish in dry conditions. Finally when Dani overtook me it was too far to fight back, I didn't have the rear tyre or physical condition after pushing a lot all the race. The Championship is not lost yet but it's very difficult now. We need just a few tenths to win the race so we have to pray for that at Silverstone!"
Valentino Rossi 4th
"Today was better than Indy, especially because my disadvantage to the top is half. I wanted to do better; we have to try to do better. 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. We tried to improve this type of setting in the last two races but it looks like it's not fantastic. Also today I suffered a bit too much at the beginning of the race. We won't give up and we will try next week to make a better job."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
"A very strong race from all three at the front. Of course disappointing about the result but I think the whole team can be proud of what we showed today because we had a fantastic pace in the first sixteen or so laps. They had to fight hard to get back to Jorge's wheel. It's a pity we didn't have anything leftover for the last three laps. We have to stay strong and keep the pressure on the other two boys because finally we are now fit again and we can push them, we couldn't a couple of races go. As long as we can push them its possible they can make a mistake."
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
"Finally the weekend ended below our expectations, however we were the protagonists in Brno, and led the race for the most laps. Unfortunately at the end we were not able to contain the Hondas. The overall ranking is complicated but our goal doesn't change. Tomorrow we will stay in Brno for a day of testing, we hope the weather is good so we can solve the problems we had this weekend and improve our bike. Silverstone will be another race and we will do our best to win."
Crutchlow and Smith leave Brno empty handed
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith's Czech Republic MotoGP race didn't live up to expectations after both fell out of top six contention in cool and cloudy conditions at the Brno track this afternoon.
Confident he could battle for a fifth podium of 2013 after a memorable qualifying performance put Crutchlow in pole position for the second time in his MotoGP career, the 27-year-old was locked in an exciting battle with Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista in the early laps.
The three-way fight was a repeat of a similar exciting tussle one week ago at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a determined Crutchlow led the way until he tumbled out of fourth position on lap eight.
The British rider was able to rejoin the 22-lap race and demonstrating the never-give-up attitude that has become his trademark in MotoGP, he fought through from the back of the field to take 17th at the chequered flag.
Smith was also optimistic that he could battle for a top six result after he too impressed with an outstanding qualifying performance yesterday. The rookie equalled his best grid position in sixth and he was running a strong pace right behind nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi in front of a massive crowd of just over 142,000 fans.
Feeling comfortable and confident after improving his pace on a full fuel tank in practice, Smith's challenge was ended prematurely when he crashed at Turn 9 while occupying seventh.
Today's race might not have had the outcome Crutchlow and Smith had hoped for, but both have once again demonstrated their high potential in Brno and the British pair are now eagerly anticipating a return to form in front of their home fans at Silverstone next Sunday.
Cal Crutchlow 17th
"Obviously I am disappointed after qualifying in pole position but I had to push really hard to try and get away from Bautista and Rossi. Lorenzo made an incredible start and his first lap was really strong and that put us all under pressure. 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 and 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. I am really excited for Silverstone and I know the support from the British fans will be incredible, so hopefully I can give them something to cheer about."
Bradley Smith DNF
"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. Unfortunately the handlebar was broken so I couldn't get back in the race. But in my rookie season this can happen when you are pushing to try and learn and build experience. 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. Racing at home is always special but this will be my first MotoGP race at Silverstone and I can't wait."
Andrea Iannone rewarded by consistency, perseverance
Andrea Iannone earned a top-ten result in today's Czech Republic Grand Prix, hosted at the Brno circuit, where the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team rider posted a ninth-place finish that put him third best among the Ducati riders.
The eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship was held under a cloudy and threatening sky, and with nine laps remaining, a hint of rain led the race stewards to wave the white flag, indicating that the race was declared wet and that riders and teams were allowed to change bikes. No one took the option, however, as the precipitation held off through the remainder of the twenty-two-lap race.
Iannone and his team are now preparing for the final event in this tripleheader, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 1 September.
Andrea Iannone - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
"I'm happy. The race started well, and for the first few laps, my pace was very close to Nicky and Dovi, and I also managed to be consistent. This means that we're improving, learning, and working well. I started to get tired after ten laps; I had no strength for braking and acceleration, and I couldn't stay on the bike. All in all, this weekend was positive. After the two falls and two hard days that I had to deal with, and which weren't helped by my injury, we ended up having a good race. Of course it would be better for me if we could have next week off, as flying directly to Silverstone to compete in another race next week doesn't help. I just hope it doesn't get worse because at least I know what to expect. We'll see."
BRADL ENDS IN 6th HIS COMPLEX CZECH GRAND PRIX
Brno, 25 August: the LCR Honda MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl rode his Honda RC213V to a positive sixth place in today's 22-lap Czech GP at Brno race track scoring further important points which saw him holding the 6th place in the world classification. The German rider, who was the fastest on the first day of qualifying, failed to reproduce that form in the frenetic 15-minute QP2 reporting some front-end issues which relegated him 8th on the grid. Bradl leaves Brno circuit with some disappointment and the will to bounce back at Silverstone in few days.
"The sixth position is not that bad considering the whole weekend but I really wanted to be faster. We could not improve the bike as I would like because I had many problems with the edge grip on right and left sides of the rear tyre. I had to fight to pick up the bike to get a little bit of drive out of the corner to accelerate. I tried many things to save the rear tyre during the race but here, with these long corners, you have to carry the corner speed and, at the beginning, I was behind Rossi and Smith and I saw they could carry more corner speed. We wanted to stay with Rossi and Bautista but I was not capable to keep that speed. Let's move to Silverstone to keep working".
Victorious Marquez continues record-breaking run in Czech Republic
Round 11: Czech Republic MotoGP? - Race
Brno, Sunday 25 August 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 22-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Marc Marquez won today's Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno to become the first premier-class rider to claim five wins in a rookie season as the Repsol Honda rider's amazing run of results continues unabated.
Starting third on the grid, Marquez was engaged in a three-way dogfight for the lead with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo, with Marquez setting a new Circuit Record Lap time of 1'56.135 on lap three in his efforts to push to the front of the pack. Marquez managed the race-winning overtake on Lorenzo on lap nineteen and despite late pressure from Pedrosa, crossed the finish line 0.313 seconds ahead of his teammate with Lorenzo taking third a further 1.9 seconds behind. Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro emerged victorious from a battle with NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Colin Edwards to claim top CRT honours, the Spanish rider finishing in tenth place just one second ahead of the American.
Today's weather conditions were cool and overcast with a peak track temperature of 24°C - ten degrees cooler than in qualifying yesterday. Drops of rain fell during the race, raising the possibility of a flag-to-flag race but ultimately the rain didn't affect the outcome of the event and the overall race time was the fastest ever recorded at the Brno circuit. The cool conditions resulted in all riders selecting the softer option rear slicks, while three riders also opted for the soft compound front slick with the other twenty-two riders on the hard compound front. Tyre degradation during the race was consistent, with the lap times among the leading pack dropping around half a second from the beginning to the end of the twenty-two lap contest.
By virtue of winning his fifth race of the year, Marquez extends his lead in the MotoGP championship to twenty-six points over teammate Pedrosa. Lorenzo keeps third place in the standings and sits forty-four points off the lead.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Brno once again gave us an exciting race and it seems there is no stopping Marc at the moment, so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda on another amazing performance today. Temperatures were slightly cooler today so no riders decided to use the harder rear slick for the race and the cool weather also prompted some riders to choose the soft compound front slick, although the majority raced with the harder front. For the second race in a row we had new Circuit Best Lap and Circuit Record Lap times being set in qualifying and the race so I am very pleased with how our tyres performed this weekend."
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda - Race Winner
"Today I enjoyed the race a lot, both because of the victory and also the battle with Jorge and Dani. I didn't expect a victory here, maybe just a podium, as Yamaha are so strong here and Dani won the race last year. I'm so happy to get the twenty-five points and t
Dovizioso, Hayden seventh and eighth in Czech Republic GP
Racing in cool but dry conditions in front of a crowd of 142,030 spectators, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the Czech Republic GP at the Brno circuit.
Having started from the ninth and tenth spots on the grid, Dovizioso and Hayden found themselves in those same positions at the completion of lap one, and they proceeded to race one another nose-to-tail for all twenty-two laps. Both Ducati Team racers picked up positions when Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow crashed in separate incidents, and when the chequered flag flew, the Italian was in seventh place, with his teammate just .339 seconds behind, in eighth.
Next weekend will find the Ducati Team racing for the third time in as many weeks, this time at the Silverstone Circuit, site of the British Grand Prix.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th
"For what we could expect today, I'm pretty pleased because I was able to have a consistent pace, and I managed to get under 1'58" at the end of the race. I did the whole race in front of Nicky; I pushed my hardest, and I didn't make many mistakes. I'm happy with my performance, but of course the gap is too much; 35 seconds is really a lot."
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 8th
"Once again, the guys in front were quite a bit quicker than us. Dovi got away from me in the beginning, but I was able to bring him back and race with him a bit. He was right in front of me at the end, but there was really nowhere to put in a clean pass without making it touchy. He rode a great race and covered all the lines the last couple laps. The bike was definitely better in the warm-up, and then in the race, I felt the best over the bumps that I have all weekend. I did the sighting lap on the hard front tyre, but I switched to the soft on the grid. It was a bit of a gamble, but it turned out to be the right choice."
Bernhard Gobmeier - Ducati Corse General Manager
"It was a difficult weekend for us again because we had the same problems as last week at Indianapolis. Both of our riders did a very good job, and they gave their best efforts, but we're aware that despite the little improvements we've made so far, we still have a long way to go in improving the GP13. Obviously, more technical steps will be necessary to bring us closer to the second group. We'll also continue with our intense testing program. We have some new parts to try as we work to improve the bike's behaviour."