Dani Pedrosa defeated Jorge Lorenzo in a thrilling last-lap tussle at Brno to move another five points closer to the championship leader. The two Spaniards outclassed the rest of the field but Cal Crutchlow made history for British motorcycling with the first podium finish of his career in third.
Pedrosa was fully expected to lead at the first corner but his usual rocket start didn’t materialise with Lorenzo streaking clear. Dani did outdrag Crutchlow for second with the Tech 3 teammates line astern in third and fourth. Just behind, plenty was going on with Valentino Rossi’s Ducati letting off smoke and Ben Spies struggling too. The luckless American had a clutch problem which cost him ten places and his attempts to recover, Spies crashed out on lap nine to complete another miserable weekend.
The top two were well clear of Crutchlow who had Andrea Dovizioso in close company while Rossi was also keeping a close eye on the bikes behind him. The occasional puffs of smoke continued and whether they were slowing him was difficult to tell but Stefan Bradl would take over fifth on lap six. Four laps later, Rossi would drop back to seventh thanks to Alvaro Bautista and the sole factory Ducati would endure a lonely race from there.
Lorenzo and Pedrosa were never more than half a second apart from start to finish with the two trading fastest laps. The pendulum would swing Dani’s way on lap twelve as the Honda proved quicker up the hill towards turn thirteen but that wouldn’t see an escape as Lorenzo latched straight onto the tail of his compatriot.
Halfway around the final lap, Jorge’s pressure told as the no.26 ran fractionally wide at turn seven, allowing the Yamaha to undercut him on the exit. Pedrosa still had his trump card to play though with Honda power set to play a part on the run to the last corner. Exiting turn twelve, Pedrosa drew alongside but Lorenzo was determined to brake later and braved it out around the outside. The battle of wits would go Pedrosa’s way though as the no.99 ran wide, giving him the lead coming onto the home straight.
Pedrosa made it to the finish line 0.178s ahead of Lorenzo to trigger euphoria on the Repsol Honda pitwall while the celebrations were matched down at Tech 3 with Cal Crutchlow claiming the first British podium in the MotoGP era after comfortably seeing off Andrea Dovizioso.
Stefan Bradl put in another sensational display to take fifth ahead of Alvaro Bautista and Valentino Rossi while Randy de Puniet claimed the CRT honours, and eighth outright. The Frenchman had local favourite Karel Abraham behind him as well as Toni Elias while James Ellison salvaged a point in fifteenth.