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Pedrosa conquers Brno with Marquez taking important points in 4th
It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Repsol Honda Team in Brno as Dani Pedrosa won his first race since Malaysia 2013, but with it, ended Marc Marquez' winning run as the Championship leader finished in 4th, only his third non-podium finish in the premier class.
It was another frantic start to the race with Marc dropping to 5th from his pole position start and Dani making up a position to 4th by the end of the first lap. By lap six, Dani had made his way through the field - setting a new fastest race lap (1'56.027) - and was 2nd behind race leader, Jorge Lorenzo. On lap six, he passed Jorge and never looked back, controlling the race perfectly to the end - setting a new fastest race time - and becoming the first rider other than Marc to win this season.
Marc lost some time battling with Iannone on lap five, but eventually passed him into 3rd and began to chase down the race leaders. However, on lap ten he began to lose time to Valentino who was chasing him and by lap thirteen he was unable to hold of the challenge. Marc held onto 4th and took important Championship points.
With this win, Dani has recovered 12 points on Marc and opened up the gap between him and Valentino in the Rider's Championship. He now sits in second (77 points behind Marc) on 186 points, 13 ahead of Valentino. The Repsol Honda Team maintain their perfect 2014 season, winning every race, and extend their lead in the Team Championship to 139 points over their second place rivals and Honda now lead the Constructor Championship by 81 points. Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP class in 2002, Honda have the most victories (six) at Brno with Honda riders winning for the past four consecutive years.
The team will be back on track tomorrow for an Official Post-Race Test, before heading to Great Britain for the next race on 31st August.
1st - Championship Standing: 2nd - 186 points
"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"
4th - Championship Standing: 1st - 263 points
"Today was one of those Sundays in which I neither felt completely comfortable, nor had found the best setup 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 anymore. 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 have a big advantage. What matters is who wins the title -not who wins the most races"
Brilliant Battle Scores Double Yamaha Podium in Brno
Brno (Czech Republic), 17th August 2014
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.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP now head to Silverstone in the UK for the The British Grand Prix in two weeks time.
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."
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."
"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 11th round of the 2014 World Championship with a hard fought race to 9th position in the Czech republic after giving his all despite being hindered by traction issues. The British rider began the 22 lap sprint around the 5403 metre Automotodrom Brno from 4th 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 9th at the end of the first lap but remained determined, quickly setting his fastest lap of the race on the lap 5. 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 8th place right down to the finish line but met the end of the race in 9th 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 9th on the grid and proceeded to ride rapidly as soon as the race began, running right behind the leading pack by the close of the first lap in 7th. The 23 year old Spaniard set into a solid rhythm as he plugged away at obtaining a top 5 result at the undulating 5403 metre circuit. However, his pursuit was halted on the 7th lap when he unfortunately crashed out, uninjured whilst in 8th position.
Race : 9th Championship : 10th Points : 65
"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."
Race : DNF
Championship : 7th Points : 78
"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."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"It wasn't the end we were hoping for as after the qualifying we were really confident of another potential top five result for either of our two guys as well as another race like Indianapolis where we finished right behind the top four. Pol's start was ok and he pushed really hard to end up with the front group, until he unfortunately lost the front. This was a real shame as he certainly had the speed to remain with Dovi and Iannone. On the other side of the garage, Bradley struggled a bit. He did the best that he could have done to finish 9th. Of course, this is not what we had hoped for but this is racing. Unluckily, today's result means that we have lost a bit of ground on Ducati in the team championship, but for sure we will use this as extra motivation at the next GP. We are fortunate to have a test day tomorrow to work on today's issues and to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for the remaining seven races of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship. The first of these rounds will be Bradley's home GP in Silverstone in a couple of weeks time, where for sure the determination and ambition for both of our riders will be high."
BRADL ENDS 7th AT THE CROWDED BRNO GP
Brno, 17 August: at Brno race track in front of 138.300 warm fans, Pedrosa broke the record of his teammate Marquez with winning the 11th round of the season followed by the Yamaha riders Lorenzo and Rossi. The LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl rode his CWM RC213V to a positive seventh place scoring further important points, which saw him going up in the standing to the 9th place. Bradl will remain at Brno race track for a post-GP testing day starting tomorrow at 10:00am.
Stefan: "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 be even better to beat the Ducati guys".
Red Bull Rookie Cup
Joan Mir wins Brno Race 2 thriller
And eight man battle for the lead all the way to the final lap only produced a winner at the final corners as Joan Mir snatched victory from Fabio Di Giannantonio with Stefano Manzi chasing them across the line.
It was the second win of the season for 16-year-old Spaniard Mir but the first time on the podium for Italian 15-year-old Di Giannantonio who's previous best was fifth in Race 1 at the Sachsenring. Italian 15-year-old Manzi seems stuck in second or third.
It can all change
Cup points leader Jorge Martín crashed out of the middle of the lead group starting the last lap when he came together with Assen winner Bo Bendsneyder at the first corner. Both the 16-year-old Spaniard and the 15-year-old Dutchman were unhurt.
They had been part of the superb battle and looked potential winners along with the other six but that clash left Di Giannantonio to seize the advantage. "I tried to win from the front," explained the first year Rookie. "I was pushing, pushing, full gas all the way on the last lap and then just at the last corners Joan came past. That was it, I was second, very happy, such a great race, I'm so happy."
A points boost for Mir
Mir was naturally thrilled. "I did a lot of leading but I could not get away. The guys were all fast and overtaking everywhere. The bike wasn't perfect but still great for the race and we were all very even, I didn't know if I could win it but I got a great run up the hill on the last lap and I knew what I had to do, it was close but it worked."
"So close again," said Manzi. "I don't know what I have to do, I was there with the front all the way and it is just so close. In the end the tyres were sliding quite a bit but of course it is the same for everyone and there just wasn't a way to pass both Joan and Fabio in the last corners."
Ray just misses out
With his second fourth place of the weekend, again just by a few metres, 17-year-old Briton Brad Ray was philosophical. "I tried, I got to the front and pushed to get away but it is just too easy for the guys to slipstream past me and that is what they did. The good thing is that we moved forward with the bike setting on the front forks and I think we can do even better for Silverstone so we'll see what we can make of it there."
Martín started the race with a 55 point advantage over Mir and Soushi Mihara but Mir's victory cut that to 30 with 125 still on offer from the remaining 5 races. Mihara, the 15-year-old Japanese who won in Jerez and Assen had a disastrous Brno, 18th in Qualifying, seventh in Race 1 he salvaged just 3 points from Race 2 by beating local hero Martin Gbelec across the line for 12th. Not good for Mihara but Gbelec was thrilled. "It was so much fun racing with Soushi, I really enjoyed that, I am so happy to pick up some points," grinned the 13-year-old ex pocket bike racer.
It could have been worse
At least Martín escaped injury. "Yes that's true, it could have been worse but I didn't need that. I feel that I was able to get on the podium at least. The bike wasn't working well, we really struggled through practice but I was just picking the places to pass and trying to stay out of trouble."
With so many points remaining to be won Mir still has thoughts of the title. "Why not, I will keep trying to win every weekend and there is a real chance, the racing is so close and anything can happen."
The next two races are at Silverstone, the British Grand Prix on August 30th and 31st.
Pedrosa sets record pace en route to maiden MotoGP? win of the season at Brno
Round 11: Czech Republic Grand Prix - Race
Brno, Sunday August 17 2014
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."
An uphill Czech Republic Grand Prix ended with a tenth place for Alvaro Bautista and the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: the Spaniard, who struggled with a lack of rear grip from the start of the weekend, made a good start from the fifth row and he was able to recover up to tenth position after seven laps, a position he held until the end without the possibility of catching the group of riders in front of him.
His teammate, Scott Redding, faced a difficult race after the problems encountered in yesterday's qualifying and the fall in this morning's Warm Up: the English rookie, however, regained confidence and fought throughout the whole race claiming an important 11th position for the Championship standings, overtaking Michele Pirro's Ducati in the final stages. For Scott, once again leading Honda RCV1000R under the checkered flag, this is the tenth points scoring finish out of eleven races.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (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 of 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 (11th)
"Overall I'm happy with the race, even though it was difficult: I had a small crash also this morning in the 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 the 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".
"Alvaro continued to struggle today, and he couldn't do anything but reaching the finish line of a very difficult race. It's obvious that we would like to get more, but at the moment we are not able to fix our grip issues; we will use the test day scheduled for tomorrow to continue working to find a solution. Scott made a good race, having been once again the first among the riders aboard the 'Production Racer' Honda: a result that is now a constant, and that shows how Scott has reached a good level of competitiveness and consistency".
Aspar Drive M7
Aoyama adds to points tally at Brno as Camier continues to surprise
Japanese rider places in the points for tenth time this season, whilst British rider claims points in only his second race on a MotoGP bike
If today's race at Brno is to be remembered for anything, it will be end of Marc Márquez' winning streak in the 2014 season. The contest itself was largely unspectacular, as Dani Pedrosa broke away by himself and brought an end to the run of consecutive victories for the reigning MotoGP World Champion. Iannone and Dovizioso sped off the line when the red lights went out, but their spell at the front would not last long. Jorge Lorenzo set an early fast lap and tried to break up the group, which lasted only three laps before spreading out. A race fastest lap from Pedrosa caught him back up with his fellow Spaniard, and from there he passed him and established a gap. Lorenzo finished second, with Valentino Rossi third.
The DRIVE M7 Aspar team's Japanese rider continues true to his style, and is evolving steadily this season. Hiroshi Aoyama started far back on the grid at the previous round, before moving up the order and finishing the weekend successfully, and he did likewise today. Taking off from sixteenth, he kept his calm despite losing a place off the line, setting a similar pace to his practice session laps to move up through the field. With three points added to his tally, after placing in the points for the tenth time this season, Aoyama's consistency is once again apparent.
Sharing the DRIVE M7 Aspar garage again this weekend, Leon Camier was another happy man in the Valencian team. He came to Indianapolis with no MotoGP experience, and experienced amazing progress. In the Czech Republic he continued to astound with his good performance on the Honda and today, with only two MotoGP Grands Prix to his name, he scored his first point. It was quite the achievement for a rider who has not stopped surprising since joining up with the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team.
13th Hiroshi Aoyama: "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."
15th Leon Camier: "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."
Andrea Iannone finishes fifth; Hernandez is forced to retire
A dazzling Andrea Iannone passing again under the checkered flag in fifth place. The bad luck strikes Yonny Hernandez forcing him to retire due to a problem with the front tire.
Andrea Iannone repeats the fantastic start of Mugello, by rocketing in the first position, keeping lead as much a possible before losing some positions. On the third lap, Andrea settles in fifth place and keeps the position for most of the race. A few laps from the end a hard battle starts with his Brand-mate, Dovizioso, Iannone is able to have the best only at the last turn. Once again, the rider from Vasto is satisfied, bringing home the fifth place for the second time this year and achieving his goal.
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing) made a good start and keeped the twelfth position, he managed to keep a good pace for the first two laps at the end of which he start to feel wrong with the on the front of his bike, the situation is unmanageable so the Colombian rider was forced to retire after just four laps due to loss of tire pressure. It is not yet clear the cause of the problem, the situation will be examined carefully, it is possible for a pressure loss due to a contact with a curb too hard which just enough to cause loss of pressure.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I'm really happy with today's result. I managed to do a lap in the lead! I knew that Jorge, Dani, Vale and Marq were faster than me, but I pushed thinking about my race. I enjoyed the first part of the race, I tried to follow Dani when he overtook me, in the warm-up session I was able to keep up with him, but in the race he was three tenths of a second faster than me and i decide to not push so much because it didn't make much sense. In the second part Dovi and I passed each other several times, he was able to brake harder than me. I had funit and I'm happy for me, my team and Ducati. I am beginning to see a bit of light for the future! "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I'm very disappointed because of the front tire. I was sure I could have done good race, I had a good race pace and I felt ready to do well. We worked hard and well this weekend, the bike was fine. I hope to be more lucky for the coming races, I will do my utmost to bring home points and a good result. It's been three races that do not get in the points and my opponents have approached me in the standings. I thank the team for their work and support they give me even in these cases. "
Brno Grand Prix Race Report
Circuit: Automotodrom Brno
Circuit Length: 5.403 m
Race Length: 20 laps
Race: Dry; (air temp) 17°, (track temp) 26°
With an improved set up on the #5 Caterham Suter, Johann Zarco made a good start before picking up the pace and lapping consistently in the low 2m3s. Despite being unable to close the gap on the leading group, the Frenchman put up a fight to stay in the top ten and cross the line in ninth place.
Starting from the eleventh row, Josh Herrin pushed hard to make up for his difficult qualifying session. Battling through the field the Moto2 rookie achieved his quickest lap time of the weekend, claiming twelve places in the process and finishing just outside of the top twenty.
#5 Johann Zarco: P9
"Starting from twelfth position and finishing ninth is quite good and I can be happy because we had a difficult weekend. From practice we struggled with the setting of the bike and finally we got back the good feeling, but a bit too late.
"I fought a lot at the beginning of the race. All riders were aggressive but me too, so I could catch some positions, really fight and not lose too much time. I could also have a good pace throughout, almost the best pace I've had all weekend, but not fast enough to catch the group for fifth position. Finally the one behind me was a bit faster, it was Morbidelli and in the end he did three very fast last laps and I could not overtake him because just following him was not so easy. I lost eighth position because of this but still they are points for the Championship.
"The target at the moment is fifth position in the Championship; to really focus on this, finish all of the races and to take podiums, because like this I can achieve it."
#2 Josh Herrin: P21
"The race went well but my start was terrible. Starting that far back on the grid didn't help us at all.
"On the third lap we were eighteen seconds down so to finish the race just thirty three seconds down was really good for me. We were consistently going faster than we did all weekend and feeling more confident I was able to catch West and Krummenache to pass them.
"The track here was kind of difficult to learn so I'm happy that we did as well as we did and improved twelve positions from our qualifying spot. This race has helped me to feel more focused and I'm really pleased to get a result like this to build off and go into Silverstone with."
Gary Reynders - Crew Chief Johann Zarco: "We struggled until the middle of qualifying with the set-up on our bike, then we actually went back to our basic setting that we had at the beginning of the season.
"In the Warm Up Johann had to adapt himself still a little bit because he was not used to ride the bike anymore. I think in the end it was the right decision for us to do, to go back to something that he understands more, compared to what we have used over the last few races.
"Overall in the race I know he did the maximum that he could do and we will continue to do our work like we are doing now from the qualifier on for the next GP and try to get more points than we did this weekend."
Mark Woodage - Crew Chief Josh Herrin: "Josh's performance today was very good. Despite the start he remained consistent and positive, lapping over one second faster than qualifying.
"Josh is finally starting to believe in himself and the bike and if this can be brought to qualifying, I believe we can start better in the next race and score points."
Dovizioso has a good run in Czech Republic GP at Brno to finish sixth. Crutchlow forced to retire early on, while Pirro finishes in twelfth place.
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."