Marc Marquez has a 48 point championship lead with just six races to go after another impressive victory at Brno, although today’s win was much harder fought than his runaway success in Indianapolis last weekend, coming down to the final lap.
Polesitter Pol Espargaro lost the lead immediately to Thomas Luthi while third placed Scott Redding went into battle with Andrea Iannone. Sadly for the Briton, the scrap wouldn’t last very long with the Marc VDS rider getting off line on the way into turn three and sliding into the gravel, ending his race there and then. Luthi led though from Espargaro, Iannone and Marquez as the four riders who have dominated the championship disputed another race victory.
Marquez was sitting at the back of the leading quartet but wouldn’t stay there for long, taking Iannone before the end of lap one and outbraking Espargaro into turn three next time around. Luthi was proving a much tougher nut to crack in the lead with Marquez constantly drawing alongside only to lose out on the brakes.
Shortly after being passed by Marquez, Espargaro also succumbed to Iannone but the Pons Kalex rider was in no mood to sit back, especially with the championship leader up ahead of him. On lap thirteen, Pol scythed past Iannone at the first corner but unbeknown to him, yellow flags were waving and the positions would need to be reversed.
The message seemed to take a while to get through to Espargaro as his initial response was to try and gain a place, rather than lose one, as he attacked Marquez but a second message from the race directors left him in no doubt and Iannone was back into third.
With Espargaro off his back for the moment, Marquez stepped up his challenge to Luthi and made a move at turn one three laps from the finish. Luthi ducked back up the inside but was overtaken again at the end of the next straight, this time for good. Although the Swiss rider swarmed all over the 19 year old, he couldn’t regain the lead in the time that remained and Marquez would claim a sixth win in eleven races this season. A clearly annoyed Espargaro did claim third eventually after passing Iannone on the final lap but his eagerness earlier on cost him a potential win. Iannone was half a second behind the winner but didn’t even make it on the podium after crossing the line in fourth.
The second group of riders were closely bunched all afternoon with Nicolas Terol leading the fight for fifth at half distance. Sadly for the 125cc world champion, he faded to twelfth in the closing stages allowing Simone Corsi to take fifth ahead of Alex De Angelis and Johann Zarco with Bradley Smith riding well to finish eighth after a difficult qualifying.
Gino Rea was another rider to suffer on Saturday but the Gresini rider couldn’t improve on race day, crashing out while running outside the points.