Based upon the practice and qualifying performances of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, it was easy to surmise that the race would come down to the two Spaniards whose rivalry dates back to their 125cc days. And the duo certainly disappoint in the MotoGP race at Brno, Czech Republic, as the pair gradually pulled away from the pursuing satellite Monster Tech 3 Yamaha bikes of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovisioso to engage in a battle that went down the next-to-last corner of the race.
Lorenzo shot off pole position to grab the lead at the start of the MotoGP race, with Pedrosa quickly slotting in behind, eager to make sure that the Yamaha rider didn’t pull a disappearing act out front. Crutchlow immediately took control of third, while Dovisioso, Spies, and Rossi tussled over fourth. Spies soon dropped back with an overheated clutch, falling back as far as 13th before the clutch cooled off enough to allow him to fight his way back to eighth until the American crashed out of the Brno race on lap eight. At the same time as Spies began to drop back with his issues, Rossi’s Ducati began to puff a lot of smoke on deceleration, with oil coating his boots and footpegs causing him to drop back to an eventual seventh place finish, behind a charging Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista.
All eyes were on the leading pair at Brno, however, as their pace soon put them more than five seconds ahead of Crutchlow. Pedrosa stalked Lorenzo until lap 11, when the Honda rider shot past to take the point. With the stalking roles reversed, it was obvious the last lap was going to be the deciding point of the race, and Lorenzo made his move in the turn leading into the stadium section of the Brno circuit with a inside pass to take the lead with half a lap to go. But Pedrosa was stronger on the run back up the hill leading to the final two turns, and the Repsol Honda rider used that advantage to pull alongside Lorenzo heading into the penultimate turn. Lorenzo had no choice but to let off the brakes and attempt to steal the inside line in final turn, but Pedrosa had the speed and managed to carry his advantage through the turn to the finish. Notable is the fact that both riders rode the last lap firmly, but still gave each other room, showing that a mutual respect has grown between the two; this contrasts with their 250 Grand Prix days, when the frosty relationship was evident enough that King Juan Carlos had to force the two to shake hands on the podium of the 2008 Jerez Grand Prix. Both riders shook hands cordially on the cool-down lap and in parc ferme at the conclusion of the Brno MotoGP race.
Dani Pedrosa came out on top...
Dani Pedrosa came out on top of a straight-up battle with Jorge Lorenzo for the win at Brno.
“Yeah, it was a difficult last lap because I knew Jorge was very fast in the middle of the corner,” said Pedrosa about the Brno MotoGP race, “and I could hear the bike (behind) me. I knew just a small opening will make him go in; in fact, in that left-hander, I just open a little more than normal the door, and boom, he was immediately in and I see his fairing just here in my face. So it was half a lap to go, and yeah, I was a little more nervous than before, but I knew I also had some strong points coming to the end of the track. So I try to get my best drive out of the hill, and in almost the last corner, I get alongside with him, he try to release the brakes, and we were head-to-head into the corner. But I could keep my line and win this race, so it was amazing. I’m so happy to win the race for my team and also for my father because it was his birthday today.”
Lorenzo made this daring inside...
Lorenzo made this daring inside move on Pedrosa on the last lap, but the Honda rider came back on the run to the final corners to take the win.
“It was a fun race, especially in the last laps because we were so strong,” admitted Lorenzo after the closely fought Brno MotoGP event. “He has his good points, I have mine. It was a little strategy race, sometimes he slow down a little the pace I think to catch some air, and also me a little before. So when it comes to the last laps I knew that the victory was so close that I have to try something, no? So I try in this slow corner, and I was sure that Dani was going to try, you know? So maybe I make a mistake in the uphill, my line was so wide so I release a little space to him to overtake me. So I make a little mistake, I wanted to pass him in the last corner but wasn’t possible, he was in the faster line, so I couldn’t. So a brave ride by Dani today, and next time maybe a different result.”
Cal Crutchlow scored a podium...
Cal Crutchlow scored a podium finish on the day of signing an extension on his contract with the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team.
Crutchlow’s third place at Brno was his first MotoGP podium appearance, a nice present to repay his recent contract renewal with the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team. “I controlled the gap from Andrea perfectly,” said Crutchlow. “I just made sure it was over a second and I was happy. It was too difficult to stay with Jorge and Dani, they rode fantastic and a great race. To come close to them was really difficult, but stay ahead of Andrea was the main thing and keep the podium, so I was really happy. We’ve been working hard for this for a long, long time, and so pleased to finally be there. Next we can continue to work from this, and keep going hopefully for the rest of the year and into next year. It’s a great way to start my relationship again with Tech 3 again for next year and for most especially for Yamaha, they put a lot of trust in me, so now we can continue to improve.”
Valentino Rossi (46) looked...
Valentino Rossi (46) looked strong in the beginning, but eventually faded to a seventh place finish behind eventual fifth-place finisher Stefan Bradl (6).
“Yeah, we expect better,” lamented Rossi after his lonely seventh place finish in the Brno MotoGP race. “Especially after the start, and the first lap was not so bad. But unfortunately I had a problem with the bike, it lose a lot of oil and give me some problem on the footpeg, on the brake. Fortunately it remained just this problem; if not I think I can fight with Bradl, with Bautista especially. The problem is that after some lap, the rear start to slide very much and I have to slow down and I lose another two position. It’s a pity because for sure if I can arrive in the fifth position is not too bad. But this weekend except the second part of the race was quite good. We work well on the bike, we try to do the maximum. Especially next week we will have some testing in Misano with some new stuff where we hope we can find something better for the last part of the season. We are very curious because we will try from next week to make a small step because if we can stay closer to the second group, it’s possible to do some good race for me until the end.”
MotoGP Brno race results:
1. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha
3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha
4. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Yamaha
5. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda
6. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati
8. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia
9. Karel Abraham (CZE) Ducati
10. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia
11. Toni Elias (SPA) Ducati
12. Yonny Hernandez (COL) FTR/Kawasaki
13. Colin Edwards (USA) Suter/BMW
14. Michele Pirro (ITA) FTR/Honda
15. James Ellison (GBR) ART/Aprilia
16. Mattia Pasini (ITA) ART/Aprilia
17. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/Aprilia
DNF Ivan Silva (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki
DNF Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha