Rossi wins Brno MotoGP
Valentino Rossi took the victory at Brno after his teammate Jorge Lorenzo crashed out.
Lorenzo managed to get past Rossi with six laps to go at Brno, but crashed out a lap later when he lost the front end..jpg
Lorenzo managed to get past Rossi with six laps to go at Brno, but crashed out a lap later when he lost the front end.
Rossi's victory and Lorenzo's DNF gives The Doctor a 50-point lead in the championship with six races to go.jpg
Rossi's victory and Lorenzo's DNF gives The Doctor a 50-point lead in the championship with six races to go.
An obviously disappointed Jorge Lorenzo contemplates what could have been after crashing out of the Brno MotoGP race.jpg
An obviously disappointed Jorge Lorenzo contemplates what could have been after crashing out of the Brno MotoGP race.
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa inherited second place after Lorenzo crashed out.
San Carlo Gresini Honda's Toni Elias (shown leading Pedrosa's teammate Andrea Dovisioso) finished on the podium in third after Lorenzo's fall.jpg
San Carlo Gresini Honda's Toni Elias (shown leading Pedrosa's teammate Andrea Dovisioso) finished on the podium in third after Lorenzo's fall.
Nicky Hayden scored his second-best finish of the season with a sixth place at Brno, but he's far from satisfied.jpg
Nicky Hayden scored his second-best finish of the season with a sixth place at Brno, but he's far from satisfied.
After a strong qualifying performance, Colin Edwards blamed a loss of engine power for a disappointing seventh place finish at Brno.jpg
After a strong qualifying performance, Colin Edwards blamed a loss of engine power for a disappointing seventh place finish at Brno.
Valentino Rossi once again solidified his status as the man to beat by taking the win at the Czech Republic MotoGP in Brno. His only real challenger—Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo—was the lone rider able to keep pace with Rossi, and the Majorcan traded fast lap honors with Rossi during the latter part of the race. But once he managed to pass him, Lorenzo fell after drifting a little wide entering a corner and losing the front end with five laps to go. Lorenzo’s fall elevated Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa to a lonely second, while San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Toni Elias came out on top of a battle with Pedrosa’s teammate Andrea Dovisioso for the final podium spot, with Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi right behind to finish fifth. Nicky Hayden came out on top of battle with fellow American Colin Edwards for sixth, although neither rider was anywhere near satisfied with their results.
“This is a very important victory for us!” exclaimed a happy Rossi. “I want to thank the team because they did a great job. During Friday practice we were struggling a little bit with the front-end feel, we were fast but not enough. After this morning’s warmup we made a small modification that gave me better feeling with the front tire. I knew that today was going to be tough, because Jorge (Lorenzo) was very fast in practice, faster than us, so I tried to make the perfect race: I made a great start, stayed at the front and pushed like a devil more than 110 percent for ten laps, so I made him do all the hard work to catch me. When he passed me with maybe six laps to go, I was ready for the battle, because I felt confident with the bike. But then he lost the front in turn three (and crashed). It’s very bad for Jorge, it’s a pity, but it’s good for us because now we have a 50-point advantage in the championship. But it’s a long championship, and we have to stay concentrated. We know at Indianapolis we expect another hard fight from Jorge.”
An obviously disappointed Lorenzo explained his situation in the race. “I got a bad start and had to get by some people, and then I just didn’t have the same pace that I’d had all weekend. I was slower than in the practices and it really wasn’t what I was expecting. Unfortunately for me Valentino was just as strong as he’d been all weekend and I had to push very, very hard to stay with him. Towards the end I began to close the gap and after I passed him I was doing everything to stay in front, but then I made a mistake and crashed. There’s nothing more I can say except that I’m so sorry to the team and to Yamaha and I will do everything I can to make it up in America.”
Pedrosa was resigned to finishing behind the Fiat Yamaha duo early on. “At the start of the race I pushed really hard to stay with the leaders and for the first few laps I was with them,” recalls Pedrosa. “Then they kept getting faster on every lap and, though I was pushing to the maximum, I couldn’t maintain that sort of pace today. So for the rest of the race I just had to concentrate on not making a mistake because there was a big gap in front of me and also behind me. Second place is a good result for me and the team, though obviously we would have wanted to be closer to front-running pace. It’s great to finish a race on the podium and feel in good physical condition after the problems I had in the first part of the season – especially because it was very hot out there today and this is a demanding track. We have a test tomorrow and it is going to be really important for us to work on the areas we still have to improve so that we can challenge for wins again.”
Elias was happy to finish on the podium, but it was a bittersweet day, because the Spaniard found out last night that he would not be with the San Carlo Gresini team for next year. “Well, I’m happy for this result and for my team because they’ve been working so hard, even though it was a nice present from Lorenzo when he crashed,” said Elias. But then he couldn’t help lashing out at the decisions that resulted in his lost ride. “The last few races I’m happy because I’ve been closer to the best factory riders, other than some crashes or other problems. I’m in a difficult position because I don’t have a bike or team for next year. This is strange, because every year I have some podium finishes, and every year I don’t have a bike or team. I want to know how many riders have podium finishes every year and don’t have a bike at the end of the season? This is something that everybody will have to think a little bit about. I think this result will help, but what can I do? We just need to concentrate on the future races in Indianapolis and MIsano, and then we will see. We are talking to a few teams, but right now there are not too many rides open, so I hope that it will get better later on.”
Hayden wasn’t overly joyed at his sixth place finish, but still keeps hope for improvement as the series heads to Indianapolis. “We have higher goals than this but sixth place is my second best result of the season so I have to be satisfied for today. After the disaster at Donington this has been a respectable weekend for us. The team did a great job all weekend getting the front working better for me so we've made progress and that is the most important thing. The race certainly wasn't easy - I lost a couple of positions off the line but had a good first lap and was able to get into that second group. To be honest from that point I was holding on, going as fast as I had all weekend and when we got up behind Colin I was able to make another pass. I could see the group ahead of me and as they made a couple of mistakes I could have maybe got there. I just pushed too hard and ran wide in a couple of places and had to do my best to hold my position. They were breathing all over me during those last couple of laps but I hung on and got sixth. We were only less than four seconds off the podium so we're obviously making some headway. I want to thank the team because it's not been an easy time recently but today we have something to be proud of."
Edwards felt that his engine was running a little off-song, which prevented him from making a challenge on the lead group. “That was a pretty tough race,” said the Texas Tornado, adding that “Right from the start of the weekend I said I thought my engine felt a bit flat and today I couldn't do anything. I was getting passed easily and I couldn't stay in the slipstream at all. I could do the lap time but I couldn't race them. I couldn't get within ten bike lengths at the end of the straight but then I'd nearly be running into the back of them at the exit of the corner because I was trying to make up all the time on the brakes and on corner speed. I lost the group with Toni, Andrea and Loris for a bit early on but I only came back at them for a while because I was pushing the front so hard. I got the right side of the front tyre way too hot and after that I kept losing the front. I was nearly running into them in the middle of the corner but I couldn't get close enough to pass them on the brakes going in. At the end I was locked in a battle with Nicky but I think I could have been behind him all day and not be able to pass him. I got another load of points and I was close to the top six, but I've been beating those guys in front of me consistently all year and that's a pity because maybe I could have got another podium today. I'm back home again for Indianapolis next time out and I'll be looking for a much better weekend."