Marquez Prevails In Gripping Czech Grand Prix

Marc Marquez continued his charge towards the MotoGP world championship in his rookie season with a fourth consecutive victory at Brno. The 20 year old saw off Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in a nail-biting race which saw the three run nose to tail throughout, Marquez pipping his teammate by three tenths of a second.

Lorenzo’s approach was similar to seven days ago in Indianapolis with the reigning champion making a lightning getaway to lead around turn one. The strategy seemed to be to dictate the pace from the front and hold off any approach from the Repsol Hondas behind. It paid dividends early on as the Yamaha pulled out a second advantage on the opening lap but that was big as the gap would get.

Cal Crutchlow had hoped to be a part of the leading group after taking pole position on Saturday but a poor start saw him drop to fourth and his race looked set to be a 22 lap tussle with Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista before a crash on lap eight effectively ended his challenge. It compounded the misery for Tech 3 who had already seen Bradley Smith crash five laps earlier when running a strong seventh.

Lorenzo’s lead was reduced to virtually nothing by one-third distance but he refused to buckle despite intense pressure from Marquez behind and slight spots of rain from above. The tantalising game of cat and mouse continued until lap sixteen when Marc dived for the inside at turn three. Desperate to keep his nose in front, Jorge braved it out around the outside and held the line for turn four but under braking for turn twelve, Marquez made the move stick.

Yamaha’s number one was refusing to accept defeat despite overwhelming odds in Honda’s favour and challenged for the lead again on lap eighteen, mugging Marquez at the final corner, but that would turn out to be Lorenzo’s last punch thrown as the no.93 Honda regained the lead three corners later, this time for good.

Pedrosa would ensure another Repsol Honda 1-2 three laps from home by squeezing past Lorenzo but Valentino Rossi did at least give Yamaha some late cheer by passing Bautista for fourth on the last lap. Stefan Bradl was a lonely sixth while the factory Ducatis rode in tandem once again, Andrea Dovizioso getting the better of Nicky Hayden this time to finish seventh. Andrea Iannone followed them home in ninth of the satellite GP13 while Aleix Espargaro narrowly beat Colin Edwards to the honour of top CRT finisher.