Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies secured fourth and fifth places respectively today in a tough battle for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic. World Champion Lorenzo made a great start from second place on the grid, taking the lead on the first lap and holding off his rivals until a small mistake dropped him to third. As race leader Dani Pedrosa crashed out he was promoted to second but having opted for a softer front tyre than the rest of the grid the Mallorcan struggled to maintain his pace, eventually succumbing a couple of places to finish fourth at the line. Despite his lack of grip he started to close back in on third placed rider Marco Simoncelli in the final laps and was less than a second behind at the chequered flag.
Ben Spies put in a valiant effort this afternoon, holding a strong pace for the duration of the race despite being in less than perfect condition. He continued to be hampered by physical issues with a numb arm resulting from a trapped nerve in his neck. Having lost one position off the start to fifth he held that for the 22 lap race, gradually closing in on his team mate Lorenzo in front, finishing just 1.5 seconds behind him.
Lorenzo heads to the next round in the USA at the Indianapolis circuit in two weeks time holding second in the Championship, trailing leader Casey Stoner by 32 points. Team mate Spies also retains his position of sixth in the Championship standings, now nine points behind Valentino Rossi in fourth and just one point behind Pedrosa in fifth.
Position 4th – Time +8.513
“The front tyre we chose was not the best option today. We tried it in qualifying and yesterday morning and it gave me a really good feeling and very constant pace. Today with the different conditions and temperature it was not working. From the beginning of the second lap I was really close to losing my front in every corner so it was difficult to improve on fourth position. The Championship is now even more difficult for us but that doesn’t mean it is finished. There are still a lot of points to be played for so we must focus on winning the most races we can. Now we must forget this race which is probably one of the worst this season and possibly in my MotoGP career, I am excited to try the 1000 bike and improvements to the current 800 engine tomorrow as well!”
Position 5th – Time +10.186
“That was a hard race; I wanted to quit every lap past the ninth! I tried as hard as I could and didn’t make too many mistakes. I just thought with Valentino coming behind me and being ahead in the Championship I’ve just got to keep on going until I fall of this thing. I didn’t fall off and I finished so it was a good result. Now it’s the complete opposite, it’s my right arm that’s completely dead because that’s all that was working in the race. Again I’ve got to thank the team; the bike was really good and definitely a podium bike. I’ve also got to thank the Clinica guys; I’ve never been in there so much, every day! That was the hardest physical race I’ve ever done. We got it finished, put it behind us and we scored some points.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We expected a lot from this weekend because Casey was struggling and Jorge felt really good after qualifying. We decided to go with the softer option front tyre which felt really good yesterday but was not the right choice. In the race it gave the opposite results, he couldn’t do the 1’57 lap times. It’s very strange but that’s the reality, Jorge was struggling to stop and lean the bike. Let’s look forward; we are 32 points behind so we have to catch up. Indy is very soon and we have seven races to go so we don’t give up!”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“I was surprised by Ben’s result, he was worried at the beginning of the race and especially after warm up he didn’t think he could do more than 12 or 13 laps pushing. He did a great job; we knew it wouldn’t be easy. He pushed hard and consolidated his position. Unfortunately Jorge couldn’t do what we expected. Anyway there are still some more races to come and we will be ready for the next one.”
Edwards eighth in Brno, Crutchlow crashes out
Colin Edwards started and finished today’s Czech Republic MotoGP race in eighth position, the American once again finishing the leading non-factory rider on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.
The 37-year-old rode a determined race throughout the 22-lap encounter, which took place under cloudy but warm skies in front of a massive crowd of 155,400 at the Brno circuit.
After struggling to find maximum traction in this morning’s Warm-up session, Edwards made a geometry modification to his YZR-M1 machine prior to the race. Although he felt the modifications improved front and rear grip, the improvements weren’t reflected by an improvement in his lap times and he spent almost the entir e race in close pursuit of fellow American Nicky Hayden’s factory Ducati machine.
Despite launching numerous attempts to up his pace and get within striking distance of the 2006 World Champion, Edwards was frustrated in his attempt to seize a hard fought seventh position. He still collected eight valuable World Championship points to keep him well on course for a top 10 finish in the overall rankings.
The 11th round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship ended in unhappy circumstances for Cal Crutchlow. The 25-year-old was optimistic he could battle for a top 10 result. But his race was ended prematurely by a front-end crash at the first corner on lap seven after he’d just passed Hector Barbera for 10th.
Crutchlow was able to walk away uninjured but the British rider was frustrated that his hard work throughout the weekend went unrewarded.
Position 8th – Time +24.189
“I said yesterday that if I finished in the same position that I started that I would be pretty happy. I guess I am pretty happy but it was not an easy race. I know I gave it my absolute maximum out there but eighth position was the best I could do but by no means was it a bad weekend. In the Warm-up this morning I had zero traction, so we made a small geometry change for the race and it was definitely better. I had more grip but the lap time was the same as this morning. All I kept seeing on my lap timer on the dashboard was 58.5, 58.5. It must have been like that for about 14 laps in a row and at one point I thought it had broken. I just couldn’t go much faster and it seems we are lacking traction compared to the others. I was spinning the rear tyre a lot and right now our bike feels a little bit unforgiving. I was right on the back of Nicky for pretty m uch the whole race but I couldn’t do anything with him. Our lap times just didn’t deviate at all, so I couldn’t get close enough to him. It wasn’t like he had more grip than me, but because we were doing the same pace I didn’t get close enough to attack him.”
“Nobody is more disappointed than me with what happened because another crash is the last thing I needed. I am currently having a difficult run of races but all I can do is get my head down, work hard with my crew and try and put things right in the future. At the moment I am struggling with grip in the front-end and we seem to have been going round in circles a little bit to find a solution. Today I was off brake and accelerating at the first corner when I lost the front. The last person who wants to crash is me, but I can only do my best. I am sorry to my Team and Yamaha but I am s ure they realise that I am trying as hard as I can to get a good result. We’ve got a test tomorrow and that is important because we can work on the bike without the time constraints of practice. We can dedicate all our time to trying to give me some confidence back in the front. I still believe in myself and I am determined to get a good result in Indianapolis.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
“Today feels a bit like a repeat of what happened in Laguna Seca. Colin had a strong race and I believe he got the best result we could have hoped for. He was pushing from the beginning to the end and he never gave up trying to put pressure on Nicky. I want to thank him for trying so hard and keeping a constant pace for the whole race. On the other side of the garage with Cal, I always try to understand, support and help, but he doesn’t feel confident with the front for some reas on. Part of this game is to adapt yourself and the riding style to the bike you have and we are crashing too much. And not finishing the races, I don’t think that this is the way to learn in your rookie year. I don’t want to blame anybody, but we need to be positive and think what we can do to help him in the future races. We know what he is capable of after the way he started the season so strongly, so we need to get back to that level of performance and hopefully it will come soon, starting at the next race in Indianapolis.”
2011 MotoGP Czech Republic
Brno 14/08/2011 22 Laps
1 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 43’16.796
2 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 0’06.532
3 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 0’07.792
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0’08.513
5 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’10.186
6 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 0’12.632
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’23.037
8 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0’24.189
9 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 0’25.202
10 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0’36.566
11 Toni Elias Honda ESP 0’36.679
12 Randy De Puniet Ducati FRA 0’37.109
13 Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 0’48.911
MotoGP World Standing
Rider Standings After Race 11 of 18
1. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 218
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 186
3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 163
4. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 118
5. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 110
6. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 109
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 103
8. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 76
9. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 75
10. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 70
11. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 62
12. Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 46
13. Toni Elias Honda ESP 43
14. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 39
15. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 34
16. Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 29
(Jorge Lorenzo, 1/1/2009)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Valentino Rossi, 8/16/2009)
Last Years Winner:
1 Honda 260
2 Yamaha 217
3 Ducati 127
4 Suzuki 45
1. Repsol Honda Team 326
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 295
3. Ducati Marlboro Team 221
4. San Carlo Honda Gresini 141
5. Monster Yamaha Tech3 109
6. Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP 62
7. Pramac Racing Team 48
8. Cardion AB Motoracing 46
9. Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 45
10. LCR Honda MotoGP 43