Dani Pedrosa finally brought an end to Marc Marquez’s winning streak with a supreme ride in the Czech Republic Grand Prix. Pedrosa eased away from Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo to take his first win since Malaysia 2013 while an off-colour Marquez was beaten to the final podium spot by Valentino Rossi.
After performing heroics to qualify on the front row yesterday, Ducati duo Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso attempted another giantkilling act by storming past Marquez on the run towards turn one. Marc lost much more than just two places though with Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Rossi all powering past in the early stages.
Lorenzo sensed an opportunity to make an early break and outbraked both Ducatis into turn three on the second lap but Pedrosa wasn’t going to allow his compatriot the breathing space he had hoped for, passing Iannone for second a lap later. Marquez was being faced with an increasingly steep mountain to climb and took his first steps by passing Dovizioso and Rossi but Iannone would prove a much tougher obstacle in his defence of third.
Marc made his move at turn three on lap five, repeating a move which had accounted for Rossi a lap earlier, but the tenacious Iannone fought straight back into turn five. Marquez seemed to have enough momentum exiting the corner to regain the place but Iannone used brute force to grab the inside line for turn seven. The former Moto2 rivals weren’t finished yet though with Marquez charging up the inside of the Ducati at turn eight and with Andrea falling prey to Valentino Rossi moments afterwards, the duel had been settled in the world champion’s favour.
With his teammate now right behind him, Pedrosa burst into action with a dive underneath Lorenzo at turn three and despite a brace challenge from Jorge, Dani had just about enough to keep the Yamaha at bay until the finish. The threat was expected to come from the recovering Marquez but the longer the race went on, the less competitive he got with his tyres not appearing to offer him as much grip as the riders around him. Instead of closing on the Yamaha ahead, the YZR-M1 behind would loom back into view and with nine laps remaining, Valentino Rossi demoted him out of the podium positions, ensuring that Marquez would finish outside the top three in the premier class for the first time in a race which he’s reached the chequered flag in.
After troubling the factory Yamahas and Hondas early on, Iannone and Dovizioso would end squabbling over fifth with the Pramac rider prevailing on the very last lap. Stefan Bradl took seventh ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith who fell to ninth after a poor start. Scott Redding kept up his impressive form with eleventh while Leon Camier claimed a deserved point for fifteenth position.