Jorge Lorenzo has taken the MotoGP championship lead for the first time this season after winning the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno. The Yamaha rider saw off the challenge of Marc Marquez and with Valentino Rossi finishing third, the pair head to Silverstone level on points with Lorenzo leading on countback.
Rossi appeared to have done much of the hard work in his pursuit of victory by qualifying on the front row but it was all undone by a dreadful opening lap. On the drag race towards turn one, the Italian was swallowed up by the factory Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone with Bradley Smith also powering past.
Smith and Iannone were dispatched by the end of lap one but Dovizioso proved a much tougher obstacle to overcome. After a failed attempt at turn four on the second lap, Valentino finally made a decisive move on the no.04 machine at the final esses but 2.8 seconds of empty tarmac had already opened up between himself and the leading duo, a margin that would only grow before the finish.
In scenes reminiscent of Indianapolis last weekend, Marquez shadowed Lorenzo in the early laps but Jorge made sure this afternoon’s Grand Prix wouldn’t mirror their previous duel in the United States. At half distance, Lorenzo’s relentless pace eventually broke Marquez’s resolve with the lead easing out to almost two seconds, causing the reigning champion to settle for second, six seconds clear of Rossi.
Andrea Iannone won the battle of the Ducatis after muscling past Andrea Dovizioso on lap eight with ‘Dovi’ later falling into the clutches of a brave Dani Pedrosa. Despite the obvious pain from his injured ankle, Dani fought his way past the second Ducati with two laps remaining to secure a sensational fifth by 0.075s.
After proving powerless to keep the factory bikes in check, Bradley Smith faded to seventh although he did hold off teammate Pol Espargaro to lead the satellite fight once again. Aleix Espargaro brought the sole remaining Suzuki home in ninth after Maverick Vinales’ crash brought about his first DNF in MotoGP while Danilo Petrucci profited from a late crash for Cal Crutchlow to finish tenth.
2015 bwin GRAND PRIX ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY: RACE RESULT (22 LAPS)
|1||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||42:53.042|
|2||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+4.462|
|3||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+10.397|
|4||29. Andrea Iannone||Ducati||Ducati Team||+13.071|
|5||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+15.650|
|6||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||+15.725|
|7||38. Bradley Smith||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+21.821|
|8||44. Pol Espargaro||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+23.240|
|9||41. Aleix Espargaro||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+43.784|
|10||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Octo Pramac Racing||+45.261|
|11||68. Yonny Hernandez||Ducati||Octo Pramac Racing||+49.973|
|12||45. Scott Redding||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||+50.174|
|13||19. Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+54.437|
|14||6. Stefan Bradl||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+54.624|
|15||76. Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||Forward Racing||+1:00.316|
|16||8. Hector Barbera||Ducati||Avintia Racing||+1:01.595|
|17||69. Nicky Hayden||Honda||Aspar MotoGP Team||+1:02.388|
|18||63. Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||Avintia Racing||+1:05.944|
|19||43. Jack Miller||Honda||CWM LCR Honda||+1:11.407|
|20||71. Claudio Corti||Yamaha Forward||Forward Racing||+1:50.033|
|21||17. Karel Abraham||Honda||AB Motoracing||+2:02.655|
|NC||25. Maverick Vinales||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+7 Laps|
|NC||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||CWM LCR Honda||+8 Laps|
|NC||50. Eugene Laverty||Honda||Aspar MotoGP Team||+18 Laps|
|NC||15. Alex de Angelis||ART||Octo IodaRacing Team||+19 Laps|