Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo fought hard today to take third on the podium for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic with teammate Valentino Rossi taking fourth.
Reigning world champion Lorenzo made an incredible start from fifth on the grid, out dragging the entire front row to take the hole-shot into turn one. Although initially able to build a gap of just over a second, he soon had rivals Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa close behind in pursuit. Lorenzo was able to hold off the attack and continue leading the race until just seven laps remained. Marquez’s first pass proved a failure with Lorenzo able to get back round the outside of the attacker and regain the front heading up the hill. The next attack came in the last corner with just four laps remaining, Marquez squeezing through for the lead. A lap later Pedrosa was to follow, Lorenzo then tucking in behind the two to secure third on the podium, just 2.2 seconds from winner Marquez.
Rossi’s race proved to be a very similar experience to Indianapolis last weekend. Holding seventh from the line he was fairly quickly able to pass Bradley Smith for sixth as the first laps passed. Satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow was soon to fall in front, promoting Rossi to fifth as he began a race long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The nine-time world champion would prove to be the victor, making the crucial pass stick as the last lap wound down, taking fourth position at the line.
Lorenzo’s podium finish keeps him in third position in the world standings, 18 points behind Pedrosa in second. Teammate Rossi stays in fourth in standings on 143 points, six behind his teammate. The team now move straight to the Silverstone in the UK for the third of the back-to-back races, The British Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo 3rd
“I think I did my best start in all my career in MotoGP, I took four positions and in the first laps I was really quick. Finally I couldn’t keep the same distance to second place so little by little they caught me. Especially under braking and on the straights they were faster than me so I couldn’t do much more. I was a little nervous when the white flag came out because it’s really dangerous to race with slick tyres on little spots of rain but luckily it didn’t come so we could finish in dry conditions. Finally when Dani overtook me it was too far to fight back, I didn’t have the rear tyre or physical condition after pushing a lot all the race. The Championship is not lost yet but it’s very difficult now. We need just a few tenths to win the race so we have to pray for that at Silverstone!”
Valentino Rossi 4th
“Today was better than Indy, especially because my disadvantage to the top is half. I wanted to do better; we have to try to do better. The first three guys are impressive, very strong; I want to stay closer to them. Unfortunately I was ten seconds back, another fourth place but I want to be closer so we have to work. We tried to improve this type of setting in the last two races but it looks like it’s not fantastic. Also today I suffered a bit too much at the beginning of the race. We won’t give up and we will try next week to make a better job.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A very strong race from all three at the front. Of course disappointing about the result but I think the whole team can be proud of what we showed today because we had a fantastic pace in the first sixteen or so laps. They had to fight hard to get back to Jorge’s wheel. It’s a pity we didn’t have anything leftover for the last three laps. We have to stay strong and keep the pressure on the other two boys because finally we are now fit again and we can push them, we couldn’t a couple of races go. As long as we can push them its possible they can make a mistake.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Finally the weekend ended below our expectations, however we were the protagonists in Brno, and led the race for the most laps. Unfortunately at the end we were not able to contain the Hondas. The overall ranking is complicated but our goal doesn’t change. Tomorrow we will stay in Brno for a day of testing, we hope the weather is good so we can solve the problems we had this weekend and improve our bike. Silverstone will be another race and we will do our best to win.”
Crutchlow and Smith leave Brno empty handed
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith’s Czech Republic MotoGP race didn’t live up to expectations after both fell out of top six contention in cool and cloudy conditions at the Brno track this afternoon.
Confident he could battle for a fifth podium of 2013 after a memorable qualifying performance put Crutchlow in pole position for the second time in his MotoGP career, the 27-year-old was locked in an exciting battle with Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista in the early laps.
The three-way fight was a repeat of a similar exciting tussle one week ago at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a determined Crutchlow led the way until he tumbled out of fourth position on lap eight.
The British rider was able to rejoin the 22-lap race and demonstrating the never-give-up attitude that has become his trademark in MotoGP, he fought through from the back of the field to take 17th at the chequered flag.
Smith was also optimistic that he could battle for a top six result after he too impressed with an outstanding qualifying performance yesterday. The rookie equalled his best grid position in sixth and he was running a strong pace right behind nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi in front of a massive crowd of just over 142,000 fans.
Feeling comfortable and confident after improving his pace on a full fuel tank in practice, Smith’s challenge was ended prematurely when he crashed at Turn 9 while occupying seventh.
Today’s race might not have had the outcome Crutchlow and Smith had hoped for, but both have once again demonstrated their high potential in Brno and the British pair are now eagerly anticipating a return to form in front of their home fans at Silverstone next Sunday.
Cal Crutchlow 17th
“Obviously I am disappointed after qualifying in pole position but I had to push really hard to try and get away from Bautista and Rossi. Lorenzo made an incredible start and his first lap was really strong and that put us all under pressure. I was happy with my pace and I felt comfortable but then I made a mistake. I was trying to get myself back in contention for the podium and I lost the front. I am sure I could have finished fourth but I got back on a damaged bike and set a fast and consistent pace and I never gave up. It is not the best preparation for my home race at Silverstone but I go there knowing I have the pace and that I can be challenging at the front. I am really excited for Silverstone and I know the support from the British fans will be incredible, so hopefully I can give them something to cheer about.”
Bradley Smith DNF
“The race ended far too soon and it is not the way we wanted a positive weekend to end. I don’t feel I did anything different in that corner and I felt comfortable and the bike felt very good. The improvements we made on a full fuel tank made the bike much better in the early part of the race but I got caught out in Turn 9. The data showed I accelerated a fraction earlier and those small margins can make all the difference. Unfortunately the handlebar was broken so I couldn’t get back in the race. But in my rookie season this can happen when you are pushing to try and learn and build experience. At least I don’t have to wait long for Silverstone. I’m disappointed with today but highly motivated to build on the positive points we gained here. Racing at home is always special but this will be my first MotoGP race at Silverstone and I can’t wait.”
2013 MotoGP Czech Republic
1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 42’50.729
2 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 0’03.130
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0’02.277
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 0’10.101
5 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0’10.178
6 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 0’19.807
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 0’35.015
8 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’35.354
9 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 0’51.149
10 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 0’56.392
11 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 0’57.420
12 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’05.430
13 Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter ITA 1’12.364
14 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR JPN 1’13.500
15 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’14.128
17 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’20.640
22 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR -20Laps
MotoGP World Standing
Rider Standings After Race 11 of 18
1. Marc Marquez Honda ESP 213
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 187
3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 169
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 143
5. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 127
6. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 103
7. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 96
8. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 92
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 80
10. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 62
11. Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 59
12. Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 40
13. Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 36
14. Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 25
15. Hector Barbera FTR ESP 24
16. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter ITA 21
(Jorge Lorenzo, 1-1-2012)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Cal Crutchlow, 25-8-2013)
Last Years Winner:
1 Honda 251
2 Yamaha 220
3 Ducati 99
4 ART 64
5 FTR 28
6 FTR Kawasaki 25
7 Ioda-Suter 21
8 PBM 3
1. Repsol Honda Team 400
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 312
3. Monster Yamaha Tech3 186
4. Ducati Team 176
5. LCR Honda MotoGP 103
6. Go&Fun Honda Gresini 94
7. Power Electronics Aspar 82
8. Pramac Racing Team 76
9. NGM Mobile Forward Racing 32
10. Avintia Blusens 29
11. Came Ioda Racing Project 21
12. Paul Bird Motorsport 10