Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceske Republiky
5 August 2018 - Brno Circuit
Brilliant Dovizioso Blasts Brno
Another Ducati One-Two in the Brno MotoGP Andrea Dovizioso takes his second MotoGP victory this year
Andrea Dovizioso started the second half of the MotoGP season in the same way as he started the first half with a win at Brno. His Factory Ducati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo challenged him several time in the closing stages, ahead of Marc Márquez. The rain which threatened the race failed to materialise
Dovizioso rode an intelligent race, fighting off challenges of both Márquez and Lorenzo at Brno that that came alive was all action in the final 5 laps of the race. Dovizioso led for most of the 21 laps and the top six preserved their tyres for the first 15 laps.
Both Ducati were at the front from the start. Valentino Rossi got the hole shot from the start with Dovizioso slotting into second. Márquez pushed his way into third.
Rossi had a good start from second on the grid to lead the pack into Turn 1, but Dovizioso passed the Yamaha rider later on the first lap to take the lead. He stayed in front with Rossi trailing Dovi for seven laps. Then on lap eight Rossi decided to move ahead. A group of riders were chasing the leaders.
Rossi surged past Dovi to retake the lead at the downhill Turn 5 right hander. Rossi Successfully making a move on him for the lead. Rossi led for three laps. As three laps later Dovizioso got by him, this time at Turn 1, and pulled out a small gap.
Then Dovi took him for the lead again, with Márquez menacingly behind. Lorenzo was fighting with Crutchlow and getting the better of him.
Two corners later, Márquez also got past Rossi to take second and pursued Dovi, and on the following lap LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow also got the better of Rossi to take third in the race so far.
Then the overtaking paused and it was a procession for the 15 laps, to click off the laps. The riders were saving their tyres until the battle at the end. Dovi rode a smart race, when challenged he fought back immediately to keep his lead. Lorenzo battled with Márquez, and did some great overtakes.
The race began in the last five laps.
Then Lorenzo started to push, getting past Rossi on lap 13, and three laps later he past Crutchlow and went after Márquez and Dovizioso.
With four laps to go the front three, Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Márquez started to push setting their fastest times to move clear of Rossi and Cal Crutchlow.
On lap 18, Lorenzo made a bold move on Márquez at the uphill Turn 13 left hander and tried to pass Ducati teammate Dovizioso for the lead into Turn 14.
Dovizioso stayed in front, then Lorenzo tried again for the lead at Turns 3 and 4 but couldn't make it stick, this gave Dovizioso a little breathing space,
JL99 picked on Márquez. Getting past him. Márquez fought back, not wanting to loose his second place, but Lorenzo kept fighting and many passes between them. Lorenzo went up to second with a terrific move going from third to first at one of the esses. Dovi had it all under control and repassed his team mate. Márquez fought with Lorenzo with No 99 getting the advantage.
Crutchlow got by Rossi and looked to challenge Lorenzo and Márquez. He got close but couldn't make a pass. Towards the end of the race Rossi's tyres gave up, he hung on to the end managing to retake fourth from Crutchlow on the last lap
The front three continued to swap places, Lorenzo and Márquez battled for second place on the final lap, Lorenzo got past Marque and chased after Dovi, but couldn't make a pass and was 0.178 seconds at the chequered flag.
Lorenzo sprinted to the flag for second just ahead of Márquez by only 0.012seconds the Repsol Honda took third place on the rostrum increasing his championship lead.
Dovizioso stayed calm and was smoother and pushed home. The Italian on the final lap managed to off all the late attacks from both of his Spanish rivals to take victory his second win of the season. It was a clever Dovi who saved his tyres, kept his cool.
A good win for Dovizioso and Ducati, relishing another one-two.
Márquez took third, he was happy with that as he extends his championship lead. Rossi two seconds further back, managed to bring it home in fourth ahead of Crutchlow in fifth. Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Ducati, finished nearly a second behind them in sixth place.
Petrucci who had to battle with Johann Zarco, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, he managed to keep ahead of the Frenchman. Zarco lost touch with the front runners in the closing stages and settled for seventh, ahead of Friday's fastest rider Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda. Dani Pedrosa came eighth followed by Alvaro Bautista, Angel Nieto Ducati Team, and the pair of Ecstar Suzukis, Andrea Iannone getting the better of Álex Rins. Rins dropped to 11th place on the second Suzuki he was eighth earlier in the race.
Another poor qualifying for Jack Miller, he recovered to 12th place for Pramac Ducati. Best Rookie was Franco Morbidelli, Marc VDS Honda, battled for the Rookie of the year getting just ahead of rival Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha and Aleix Espargaró scored the final point in 15th on his Aprilia.
Maverick Viñales had a short-lived awful race, it came to an abrupt end on the first lap as he was victim of a three way crash with Stefan Bradl, HRC Honda wildcard and Bradley Smith, Red Bull KTM.
Smith remounted but retired soon after. KTM had no finishers as Pol Espargaró broke his left collarbone when he came off in the morning warm-up and couldn't start.
Britain's Scott Redding was also a faller, he crashed out on the second Aprilia, while Tito Rabat's Avintia Ducati gave up with a mechanical and he retired.
There were celebrations in the Ducati camp with another one-two, Dovizioso starts the second half of the season as he did the first, with a win and Lorenzo followed him home a very happy Luigi Dall'Igna the Ducati Racing Boss. Can Dovizioso now make his challenge for the title, as he did last year or has he left it too late?
It was a good race, plenty of action with an exciting finish.
MotoGP Race Classification
Brno, Sunday, 5 August 2018
Statistics supplied by motogp.com with thanks
Post Race Rider Reactions
Winner Andrea Dovizioso Italian Ducati Team #04 Points 25 Championship Third, 113 points
"It was an incredible win! Before this weekend I was excited because I felt that we could do well, but I never expected such a spectacular victory. I was very quick right from the first session on Friday, yesterday I did an awesome qualifying.
"Today in the race I had a perfect strategy, and so I'm very pleased with everything. I managed the race lap by lap, trying to interpret what was happening around me and see how the other guys were riding: I raced well without ever misusing the rear tyre and, even though I was having a bit of difficulty in the final stages, in any case I was able to fight off Jorge and Marc, who today were both really on top form."
Second Jorge Lorenzo Spanish Ducati Team #99 Points 20 Championship 5th, 105 points
"I'm very happy about my second place but also for the team's 1-2 result and I'm very proud about the way we were able to overturn the situation from Friday, when we were in a bit of difficulty. Bit by bit we improved the bike to make it very competitive and we found a setting and a strategy for the race that worked well.
"Today I managed the situation calmly, because it was vital to look after the tyres and get to the end of the race in the best possible condition in order to try and attack and play my cards. I was feeling good and the bike was very stable, but I was struggling a bit in acceleration and it was a pity because I could have fought for the win, but my pass on Márquez two laps from the end allowed Dovizioso to gain a small advantage and it wasn't possible to pass Andrea, who did a really great race."
Third Marc Márquez Spanish Repsol Honda Team #93 Points 16 Championship First, 181 points
"Our target for the weekend was to extend our lead in the Championship, and we achieved that. We arrived here with a 46-point edge, and we leave with 49, which is very good. Already yesterday I was expecting that Lorenzo and Dovi would be the strongest opponents, maybe with Valentino, and they were all there today. I was ready to fight as well, but honestly it was difficult to fight against the two Ducatis as they had strong acceleration and braking stability. I tried but it wasn't possible, so we took this positive third place.
"Today was my 100th race in MotoGP, and I used the experience that comes with that; if it had been my second or third MotoGP race, I probably would have tried for the win and either got it or crashed, but it was the 100th and I used wisdom.
"Third is my worst useable result this year, and I'm happy with it because we finished very close to the top at a track where we often struggle. I'm confident, as better tracks for us will come."
Fourth Valentino Rossi Italian Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team #46 Points 13 Championship Second, 132 points
"I think that at the end for me it was a good race because I made a good start, a good first few laps, and I always stayed in the front group. The problem was that I wasn't fast enough to fight with Dovizioso, Márquez, and Lorenzo.
"I didn't have enough pace, unfortunately, and that was a shame because I wanted to try to arrive on the podium, for sure. At the end I did a very good battle with Cal. I was able to overtake him in the last chicane and recovered one place, but it wasn't enough for the podium."
Fifth Cal Crutchlow British LCR Honda Castrol Team #35 Points 11 Championship 8th 90 points
"I wanted to get third place and have a bit of room to slide, but I had people right behind me. Lorenzo did a fantastic job today to come through and get where he got. I ran out of rear tyre today, I couldn't exit the corners like them, the leaders, I picked the bike up a lot, but it was the floating in the middle of the corner with a used rear tyre that was our problem. That seems to be the only difference between mine and Marc's bike and we need to improve that.
"But we're looking forward to Austria, my team did a fantastic job and so did Honda because this has never been a real strong track for Honda. We have to be pleased, to be in there in the battle, way ahead of Dani Pedrosa which is one thing that is important in my team and my result. We achieved a good result today, although I'm disappointed to miss the podium."
Sixth Danilo Petrucci Italian Alma Pramac Ducati Racing Team #9 Points 10 Championship 7th, 94 points
"I did well in the race. I'm happy for this weekend. Perhaps I could have taken a few more points but I go to Austria with great confidence.
"I'm very happy for Ducati, I feel I've given a good contribution".
Seventh Johann Zarco French Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team #5 Points 9 Championship 6th, 97 points
"The race was good - P7 like the Qualifying. I tried to overtake at the beginning of the race, but it was complicated as the others were quite strong and I was not able to do exactly the same riding like them. So, to stay with them, I was sliding a lot and then I had to slow down a little bit. In the second part of the race I found a better pace to follow this group and almost caught them to fight, but I was a bit too close to the limit.
"At the end of the race, the bike was still under control, but I think I didn't have enough positive points to overtake Danilo (Petrucci). I just had to finish the race and be happy with that. From yesterday, my feeling on the bike is getting back better and better and I could see in the race that I was very close to the podium since a long time. Something was missing, but now I'm sure I can find it with my team, because we have many races in a row now and not a lot of rest, which will be an advantage to step forward."
Eighth Dani Pedrosa 15th Spanish Repsol Honda Team #26 Points 8 Championship 12th, 57 points
"I wasn't comfortable on the bike and I wasn't able to exit fast from the corners, so I was trying to recover in the entries. I was doing kind of an elastic effect.
"Just at the end, when the other riders' tyres dropped and they couldn't be so effective on acceleration, I was able to make a couple of passes. It's not easy to ride that way, but tomorrow we have a test here and I hope we can work to be able to be faster on acceleration."
Ninth Alvaro Bautista Spanish Angel Nieto Ducati Team #19 Points 7 Championship 13th, 51 points
"It was a race of two halves: In the first I had the worst feeling that I've had in recent races, but in the second half there was a radical change and I set the fastest lap of the race until the three riders on the podium bested it late on. The strange thing about today was the start: I got off the line well but I was not able to stop the bike, and I almost crashed three or four times. I wasn't comfortable, and I thought we had lost the race because it was impossible to ride.
"However, in the second half I managed to go fast and I was able to fight for the Top 8, but I was only able to overtake two of the three riders in the group; I needed one more lap to overtake Pedrosa. I'm happy with the second part of the race, but we have to analyse the first half, because we could have done just as well as in Germany and fight for the Top 5."
Tenth Andrea Iannone Italian Team Suzuki Ecstar #29 Points 6 Championship 9th, 81 points
"For sure I expected more from this race, but in any case I tried my best. I pushed from the beginning at 100% and I remained pushing until the end of the race, so it's difficult for us.
"I hope we'll have a bit more potential in the next races and we'll remain a bit closer from the second half of the race until the end. This is the most important thing to focus on because we're losing out in the second part of the races and struggle on the acceleration points with spinning. We have good potential but not in every area yet, tomorrow we'll work on some things during the test."
The Other British Riders
Scott Redding British Aprilia Racing Team Gresini #45 Championship 20th, 12 points
"Unfortunately, today's crash was very similar to yesterday's. We were at the limit with the hard front tyre, especially when I was riding by myself. In fact, in the early laps I was able to be rather aggressive, overtaking a few riders, but then I began to lose the feeling, especially when I released the brakes, until the crash. It seems like with this bike, the front tyre's range of use is rather restricted. As soon as you go out of the ideal window, problems begin. I could have settled for finishing the race, but I decided to have a go anyway, pushing to the maximum."
Bradley Smith British Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team #38 Championship 19th, 13 points
Bradley Smith slammed Stefan Bradl for his "reckless" riding after the Honda wildcard rider took him and Viñales out on the opening lap of Brno, in the Czech Grand Prix.
Bradl causes the costly three-way crash at Turn 3 that took out Bradley Smith and MoviStar Yamaha's Maverick Viñales on the first lap of the Brno race.
"I felt good about today's race, good on the bike and out on the circuit. I could be competitive I had a good feeling. I made a good start and was in the top 12.
"But my race was short lived as I was turning into turn two I was hit from behind on the first lap. Stefan Bradl got it wrong and took me and Maverick out."I got back on but the bike wasn't right so I pulled out of the race. Obviously I'm very disappointed, I felt I could have had a good race, maybe got into the top ten again, I'm not happy at all, there was no need so early in the race.
Smith recounted "Stefan lunged, I think he tried to overtake four people up the inside, tucked the front and then skittled both me and Maverick,"
"I saw him go down, slid into me and both of our bikes hit Maverick just on the rear swinging arm, down he went.
"I was a little bit baffled by Stefan's comments that he didn't know what had happened, so I was looking for a video or a picture to refresh his memory.
"That's the second time in two weekends that Stefan has caused something, at the Sachsenring he slowed me down in Q1. He didn't look behind on an out lap and slowed me down in the last sector.
"I believe he was given a warning, and then he's taken two guys out. And if you listen to Jack Miller's comments, it was clear that it was a reckless move."
Smith concluded "So now we go to Austria where I've had some good races in the past, it is KTM's home race so I want to do a good race especially in front of our sponsors, Red Bull. It's a pity both my team mates Pol and Mika won't be racing as they're both injured. I'll be flying the KTM flag for the team!"
Maverick Viñales Spanish Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team #25 Championship Fourth, 109 points
"When I was already on the ground I was trying to pick up my bike, but it was too late. I don't know who made the mistake, but it's lucky in any case that I don't have any significant injuries. It was a difficult weekend, for sure.
"We found a new set-up in the Warm Up and I felt really good, so I was very enthusiastic about the race. We need to stay focused and keep doing our job. I think the crash was a consequence of starting from twelfth place, so we have to pay really close attention to which direction we follow with the set-up, and let's see what happens at the test tomorrow."
The Next Race Of This Years MotoGP Season Is At Austria
Now the MotoGP Riders and Teams go across the border to the "Eyetime Motorrad" Grand Prix von Osterreich Red Bull Ring in Austria for next race of the season this weekend. The action start on Friday August 10th and Race Day is Sunday 12 August.
I'm working on my popular circuit preview will be up my website before the race with a look at the circuit. I'll find out what's interesting in the area around Speilberg. Plus what local food and drink is tasty and good to eat! So look out for it.
With special thanks to motogp.com for the statistics and some of the photos, Also to mcnews.com.au for helping with the interviews.
- Roland Potter