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Aug 25, 2013

FIM MotoGP World Championship Race Results From Brno

The Brno Circuit, in the Czech Republic.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Brno, Czech Republic
August 25, 2013
Race Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 22 laps, 42:50.729
2. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), -0.313 second
3. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), -2.277 seconds
4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), -10.101
5. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), -10.178
6. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), -19.807
7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), -35.015
8. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), -35.354
9. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), -51.149
10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), -56.392
11. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), -57.420
12. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), -65.430
13. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -72.364
14. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), -73.500
15. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), -74.128
16. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), -74.991
17. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), -80.640, crash
18. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), -94.462
19. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), -109.713
20. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), -110.024
21. Martin BAUER, Austria (SUTER-BMW), -1 lap, crash
22. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), -20 laps, DNF, crash
23. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), -20 laps, DNF, crash
24. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), -21 laps, DNF, crash
25. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), -21 laps, DNF, crash


World Championship Point Standings (after 11 of 18 races):

1. Marquez, 213 points
2. Pedrosa, 187
3. Lorenzo, 169
4. Rossi, 143
5. Crutchlow, 127
6. Bradl, 103
7. Dovizioso, 96
8. Bautista, 92
9. Hayden, 80
10. Espargaro, 62
11. Smith, 59
12. Pirro, 40
13. Iannone, 36
14. Edwards, 25
15. Barbera, 24
16. Petrucci, 21
17. De Puniet, 20
18. Ben Spies, 9
19. TIE, Corti/Hernandez, 7
21. TIE, Alex De Angelis/Abraham, 5
23. Aoyama, 4
24. Laverty, 3
25. Staring, 2
26. Javier Del Amor, 1




More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Crutchlow and Smith leave Brno empty handed

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith’s Czech Republic MotoGP race didn’t live up to expectations after both fell out of top six contention in cool and cloudy conditions at the Brno track this afternoon.

Confident he could battle for a fifth podium of 2013 after a memorable qualifying performance put Crutchlow in pole position for the second time in his MotoGP career, the 27-year-old was locked in an exciting battle with Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista in the early laps.

The three-way fight was a repeat of a similar exciting tussle one week ago at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a determined Crutchlow led the way until he tumbled out of fourth position on lap eight.

The British rider was able to rejoin the 22-lap race and demonstrating the never-give-up attitude that has become his trademark in MotoGP, he fought through from the back of the field to take 17th at the chequered flag.

Smith was also optimistic that he could battle for a top six result after he too impressed with an outstanding qualifying performance yesterday. The rookie equalled his best grid position in sixth and he was running a strong pace right behind nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi in front of a massive crowd of just over 142,000 fans.

Feeling comfortable and confident after improving his pace on a full fuel tank in practice, Smith’s challenge was ended prematurely when he crashed at Turn 9 while occupying seventh.
Today’s race might not have had the outcome Crutchlow and Smith had hoped for, but both have once again demonstrated their high potential in Brno and the British pair are now eagerly anticipating a return to form in front of their home fans at Silverstone next Sunday.

Cal Crutchlow 17th – 127 points :
“Obviously I am disappointed after qualifying in pole position but I had to push really hard to try and get away from Bautista and Rossi. Lorenzo made an incredible start and his first lap was really strong and that put us all under pressure. I was happy with my pace and I felt comfortable but then I made a mistake. I was trying to get myself back in contention for the podium and I lost the front. I am sure I could have finished fourth but I got back on a damaged bike and set a fast and consistent pace and I never gave up. It is not the best preparation for my home race at Silverstone but I go there knowing I have the pace and that I can be challenging at the front. I am really excited for Silverstone and I know the support from the British fans will be incredible, so hopefully I can give them something to cheer about.”

Bradley Smith DNF – 59 points :
“The race ended far too soon and it is not the way we wanted a positive weekend to end. I don’t feel I did anything different in that corner and I felt comfortable and the bike felt very good. The improvements we made on a full fuel tank made the bike much better in the early part of the race but I got caught out in Turn 9. The data showed I accelerated a fraction earlier and those small margins can make all the difference. Unfortunately the handlebar was broken so I couldn’t get back in the race. But in my rookie season this can happen when you are pushing to try and learn and build experience. At least I don’t have to wait long for Silverstone. I’m disappointed with today but highly motivated to build on the positive points we gained here. Racing at home is always special but this will be my first MotoGP race at Silverstone and I can’t wait.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager :
“We are disappointed because Cal and Bradley started the race with high expectations after they had performed so well all weekend. I knew both of them were going to push very hard and that’s what they did. I think fourth position was Cal’s potential today and I am certainly not going to blame him for crashing because he was pushing hard to try and recover the gap to the top three. I think he was much faster than Valentino and Alvaro but he got back on the bike and pushed right to the end and that typifies his fighting spirit. Bradley was really strong and unfortunately he paid a big price for a small mistake. It would have been good to see him try and learn from that experienced group in front of him but he has shown his pace again this weekend and I am very happy with his progress. The good news from today was that both of them were not injured, so we can head to Silverstone with confidence high that they can produce a strong showing in front of the British fans. I know they are both really pumped up for Silverstone and I have no doubt we will experience a better outcome than today.”




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Four in a row for Marquez and Pedrosa makes it a fourth 1-2 for Repsol Honda

Today in the GP of the Czech Republic, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa recorded Repsol Honda's fourth 1-2 finish of 2013, with Marc taking his fourth win in a row - fifth of the year – something no premier class rookie has achieved in the 65-year history of Grand Prix racing.

It was a spectacular race which saw Jorge Lorenzo steal the lead from the start as Marc and Dani both progressed a position to slot in behind him in 2nd and 3rd. Once again the three Spanish riders rode in perfect formation with barely any time separating them, Marc setting a new fastest race lap on lap 3 with 1'56.135.

On lap 13, marshals displayed a white flag signalling there may be some rain. Thankfully the threat didn't materialise and the three riders continued to push. Then on lap 16, Marc attacked Lorenzo passing him briefly before being passed back. A few corner s later, Marc attempted a move agin and this time made it stick. Lorenzo didn't give up and on lap 18 he passed Marc again to retake the lead and on lap 19 Marc took the position back with just a few laps remaining. Dani never lost touch to Marc and Lorenzo during this battle and on lap 20 he also passed Lorenzo to secure 2nd position and a fantastic 1-2 for the Repsol Honda Team.

With Marc's victory in Brno, he has become the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2008 to win four or more successive races in the premier class and also the youngest rider to have won four successive premier class Grand Prix races. He has also equalled the most podiums scored by a rider in his rookie season, matching Valentino Rossi, who finished on the podium ten times in 2000.

Dani's 2nd place finish marks his 78th podium finish in the premier class, equalling four-time 500cc World Champion Eddie Lawson. Only three riders have more podium finishes in the premier class: Valen tino Rossi (145), Mick Doohan (95) and Giacomo Agostini (88).

Marc has now stretched his lead to 213 points with Dani on 187 and Lorenzo on 169. Honda also lead the Constructors Championship and the Repsol Honda Team lead the Team Championship.


Marc Marquez 1st Championship Standing: 1st - 213 points

"I'm so happy! Before we came here I didn't expected win, because Jorge and Valentino had both tested at Brno recently and Dani is always so fast here and won the race last year. It is a completely different track to those at which we have raced before, and these 25 points feel different to Indianapolis! This was a very hard fought win and I enjoyed myself a lot. The battle with Jorge was really good and we are pleased with the victory. Thanks to all the team!"


Dani Pedrosa 2nd Championship Standing: 2nd - 187 points

"I am very happy with the result, generally speaking, because after all the problems with my injury and the doubts we've had at the last few races, we took a big step forward with my mental preparation today. We were more ready to win here, despite not being 100%. Unfortunately, our strategy was not the best. I had problems overtaking throughout the race, because I couldn't brake late and was always the third rider in the trio at the front. I think that I made my final attack one lap too late. If I had passed Jorge one lap earlier, maybe I would have been in with a chance of the victory. In any case, we had the right attitude of attacking until the end and gaining ground on Marc. I just needed another lap in order to catch him! We will try again next time. I want to thank the team for the great job that they did this weekend"




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Andrea Iannone earned a top-ten result in today’s Czech Republic Grand Prix, hosted at the Brno circuit, where the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team rider posted a ninth-place finish that put him third best among the Ducati riders.

The eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship was held under a cloudy and threatening sky, and with nine laps remaining, a hint of rain led the race stewards to wave the white flag, indicating that the race was declared wet and that riders and teams were allowed to change bikes. No one took the option, however, as the precipitation held off through the remainder of the twenty-two-lap race.

Iannone and his team are now preparing for the final event in this tripleheader, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 1 September.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“I’m happy. The race started well, and for the first few laps, my pace was very close to Nicky and Dovi, and I also managed to be consistent. This means that we’re improving, learning, and working well. I started to get tired after ten laps; I had no strength for braking and acceleration, and I couldn’t stay on the bike. All in all, this weekend was positive. After the two falls and two hard days that I had to deal with, and which weren’t helped by my injury, we ended up having a good race. Of course it would be better for me if we could have next week off, as flying directly to Silverstone to compete in another race next week doesn’t help. I just hope it doesn’t get worse because at least I know what to expect. We’ll see.”




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:

Lorenzo Battles for Brno Podium

Brno (Czech Republic), 25th August 2013

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo fought hard today to take third on the podium for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic with teammate Valentino Rossi taking fourth.

Reigning world champion Lorenzo made an incredible start from fifth on the grid, out dragging the entire front row to take the hole-shot into turn one. Although initially able to build a gap of just over a second, he soon had rivals Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa close behind in pursuit. Lorenzo was able to hold off the attack and continue leading the race until just seven laps remained. Marquez’s first pass proved a failure with Lorenzo able to get back round the outside of the attacker and regain the front heading up the hill. The next attack came in the last corner with just four laps remaining, Marquez squeezing through for the lead. A lap later Pedrosa was to follow, Lorenzo then tucking in behind the two to secure third on the podium, just 2.2 seconds from winner Marquez.

Rossi’s race proved to be a very similar experience to Indianapolis last weekend. Holding seventh from the line he was fairly quickly able to pass Bradley Smith for sixth as the first laps passed. Satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow was soon to fall in front, promoting Rossi to fifth as he began a race long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The nine-time world champion would prove to be the victor, making the crucial pass stick as the last lap wound down, taking fourth position at the line.

Lorenzo’s podium finish keeps him in third position in the world standings, 18 points behind Pedrosa in second. Teammate Rossi stays in fourth in standings on 143 points, six behind his teammate. The team now move straight to Silverstone in the UK for the third of the back-to-back races, the British Grand Prix.


Jorge Lorenzo
3rd / +2.277 / 22 laps

“I think I did my best start in all my career in MotoGP, I took four positions and in the first laps I was really quick. Finally I couldn’t keep the same distance to second place so little by little they caught me. Especially under braking and on the straights they were faster than me so I couldn't do much more. I was a little nervous when the white flag came out because it’s really dangerous to race with slick tyres on little spots of rain but luckily it didn't come so we could finish in dry conditions. Finally when Dani overtook me it was too far to fight back, I didn't have the rear tyre or physical condition after pushing a lot all the race. The Championship is not lost yet but it’s now getting very difficult. We need just a few tenths to win the race so we have to pray for that at Silverstone!”

Valentino Rossi
4th / +10.101 / 22 laps

“Today was better than Indy, especially because my disadvantage to the top is half. I wanted to do better; we have to try to do better. The first three guys are impressive, very strong; I want to stay closer to them. Unfortunately I was ten seconds back, another fourth place but I want to be closer so we have to work. We tried to improve this type of setting in the last two races but it looks like it’s not ideal. Also today I suffered a bit too much at the beginning of the race. We won’t give up and we will try next week to make a better job.”

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“A very strong race from all three at the front. Of course disappointing about the result but I think the whole team can be proud of what we showed today because we had a fantastic pace in the first sixteen or so laps. They had to fight hard to get back to Jorge’s wheel. It's a pity we didn't have anything leftover for the last three laps. We have to stay strong and keep the pressure on the other two boys because finally we are now fit again and we can push them, we couldn’t a couple of races go. As long as we can push them it's possible they can make a mistake.”

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“Finally the weekend ended below our expectations, however we were the protagonists in Brno, and led the race for the most laps. Unfortunately at the end we were not able to contain the Hondas. The overall ranking is complicated but our goal doesn’t change. Tomorrow we will stay in Brno for a day of testing, we hope the weather is good so we can solve the problems we had this weekend and improve our bike. Silverstone will be another race and we will do our best to win.”




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Having started the Czech Republic Grand Prix from the fourteenth spot on the grid, Michele Pirro (serving as a substitute rider for Texan Ben Spies) gained two positions during the race, ending in twelfth place.

The twenty-two-lap race started under a gray and threatening sky, with lower temperatures than those that had marked the previous two days, and although the Italian lacked confidence in his bike’s front end and was ultimately unsatisfied, the experience was helpful in his getting used to the spec of Desmosedici GP13 that he’ll campaign again in one week at the Silverstone GP on 1 September.

Pirro now heads to Misano, where he’s scheduled to take part in three challenging days of testing with the Ducati Test Team before returning to the Ignite Pramac Racing Team garage in the UK.

Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“After the warm-up session, I thought I might have a little more feeling with the front, but that wasn’t the case. The only change we made was to switch to the front soft tyre, but I didn’t get the same feeling as this morning. That hurt me a lot, and honestly I didn’t want to take unnecessary risks because now I’ll be involved in three days of testing at Misano, followed by the Silverstone GP. I’m disappointed because I thought I’d be able to do better. I’ll try next week, although it’s harder with this bike than I expected.”




More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Dovizioso, Hayden seventh and eighth in Czech Republic GP

Racing in cool but dry conditions in front of a crowd of 142,030 spectators, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the Czech Republic GP at the Brno circuit.

Having started from the ninth and tenth spots on the grid, Dovizioso and Hayden found themselves in those same positions at the completion of lap one, and they proceeded to race one another nose-to-tail for all twenty-two laps. Both Ducati Team racers picked up positions when Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow crashed in separate incidents, and when the chequered flag flew, the Italian was in seventh place, with his teammate just .339 seconds behind, in eighth.

Next weekend will find the Ducati Team racing for the third time in as many weeks, this time at the Silverstone Circuit, site of the British Grand Prix.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th
“For what we could expect today, I’m pretty pleased because I was able to have a consistent pace, and I managed to get under 1’58” at the end of the race. I did the whole race in front of Nicky; I pushed my hardest, and I didn’t make many mistakes. I’m happy with my performance, but of course the gap is too much; 35 seconds is really a lot.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 8th
“Once again, the guys in front were quite a bit quicker than us. Dovi got away from me in the beginning, but I was able to bring him back and race with him a bit. He was right in front of me at the end, but there was really nowhere to put in a clean pass without making it touchy. He rode a great race and covered all the lines the last couple laps. The bike was definitely better in the warm-up, and then in the race, I felt the best over the bumps that I have all weekend. I did the sighting lap on the hard front tyre, but I switched to the soft on the grid. It was a bit of a gamble, but it turned out to be the right choice.”

Bernhard Gobmeier – Ducati Corse General Manager
“It was a difficult weekend for us again because we had the same problems as last week at Indianapolis. Both of our riders did a very good job, and they gave their best efforts, but we’re aware that despite the little improvements we’ve made so far, we still have a long way to go in improving the GP13. Obviously, more technical steps will be necessary to bring us closer to the second group. We’ll also continue with our intense testing program. We have some new parts to try as we work to improve the bike’s behaviour.”




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Victorious Marquez continues record-breaking run in Czech Republic

Round 11: Czech Republic MotoGP™ - Race
Brno, Sunday 25 August 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 22-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Marc Marquez won today’s Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno to become the first premier-class rider to claim five wins in a rookie season as the Repsol Honda rider’s amazing run of results continues unabated.

Starting third on the grid, Marquez was engaged in a three-way dogfight for the lead with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, with Marquez setting a new Circuit Record Lap time of 1’56.135 on lap three in his efforts to push to the front of the pack. Marquez managed the race-winning overtake on Lorenzo on lap nineteen and despite late pressure from Pedrosa, crossed the finish line 0.313 seconds ahead of his teammate with Lorenzo taking third a further 1.9 seconds behind. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro emerged victorious from a battle with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards to claim top CRT honours, the Spanish rider finishing in tenth place just one second ahead of the American.

Today’s weather conditions were cool and overcast with a peak track temperature of 24°C – ten degrees cooler than in qualifying yesterday. Drops of rain fell during the race, raising the possibility of a flag-to-flag race but ultimately the rain didn’t affect the outcome of the event and the overall race time was the fastest ever recorded at the Brno circuit. The cool conditions resulted in all riders selecting the softer option rear slicks, while three riders also opted for the soft compound front slick with the other twenty-two riders on the hard compound front. Tyre degradation during the race was consistent, with the lap times among the leading pack dropping around half a second from the beginning to the end of the twenty-two lap contest.

By virtue of winning his fifth race of the year, Marquez extends his lead in the MotoGP championship to twenty-six points over teammate Pedrosa. Lorenzo keeps third place in the standings and sits forty-four points off the lead.

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Brno once again gave us an exciting race and it seems there is no stopping Marc at the moment, so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda on another amazing performance today. Temperatures were slightly cooler today so no riders decided to use the harder rear slick for the race and the cool weather also prompted some riders to choose the soft compound front slick, although the majority raced with the harder front. For the second race in a row we had new Circuit Best Lap and Circuit Record Lap times being set in qualifying and the race so I am very pleased with how our tyres performed this weekend.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“Today I enjoyed the race a lot, both because of the victory and also the battle with Jorge and Dani. I didn’t expect a victory here, maybe just a podium, as Yamaha are so strong here and Dani won the race last year. I’m so happy to get the twenty-five points and the win and I’m now looking forward to the next race.”




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

BRADL ENDS IN 6th HIS COMPLEX CZECH GRAND PRIX

Brno, 25 August: the LCR Honda MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl rode his Honda RC213V to a positive sixth place in today’s 22-lap Czech GP at Brno race track scoring further important points which saw him holding the 6th place in the world classification. The German rider, who was the fastest on the first day of qualifying, failed to reproduce that form in the frenetic 15-minute QP2 reporting some front-end issues which relegated him 8th on the grid. Bradl leaves Brno circuit with some disappointment and the will to bounce back at Silverstone in few days.


Stefan Bradl

“The sixth position is not that bad considering the whole weekend but I really wanted to be faster. We could not improve the bike as I would like because I had many problems with the edge grip on right and left sides of the rear tyre. I had to fight to pick up the bike to get a little bit of drive out of the corner to accelerate. I tried many things to save the rear tyre during the race but here, with these long corners, you have to carry the corner speed and, at the beginning, I was behind Rossi and Smith and I saw they could carry more corner speed. We wanted to stay with Rossi and Bautista but I was not capable to keep that speed. Let’s move to Silverstone to keep working”.




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Marc Marquez has made more MotoGP™ history, winning Sunday’s bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky to become the first rookie ever to claim five victories in his maiden season. On this occasion, the Repsol Honda Team rider came out on top after an immensely close fight with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.

Following the morning Warm-Up that took place amid distinctly overcast conditions, riders feared for a wet Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. Although spots of rain did briefly fall, prompting the white flags to fly on Lap 14, there proved to be no major changes in the weather. On the front row of the grid, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow started from pole position for the second time this season, but would unfortunately crash out of the race.

Marquez’s ride was a mixture of patience, aggression and defence, with the Spaniard running second behind Lorenzo as the reigning World Champion scorched off the start line. The pair would proceed to swap places on various occasions, with the final pass coming at Turn 3 with just under four laps to go. Pedrosa also dispatched of Lorenzo, but two final tours was not enough for last year’s winner to hunt down his teammate who won by three tenths of a second.

In fourth place, Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi ultimately came out on top after a race-long duel with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, whereas LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl experienced a quiet ride to sixth spot from Ducati Team duo Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, locked together once again. The top ten was completed by Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, just one second ahead of CRT rival Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) who had started in front of him.

A second lap collision between Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti saw both riders retire, with the Italian later undergoing an x-ray to his right hand before spending Sunday night in Fakultni Nemocnice Brno Hospital after experiencing concussion. The other two retirements were Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek - from his home Grand Prix - and Tech3’s Bradley Smith, who were both out of action on the third lap. There was also frustration for pole man Crutchlow, who crashed out of fourth place on Lap 8 as he looked to hunt down the leading trio, as well as for Czech Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) who was unable to score points at home. Wildcard Martin Bauer (Remus Racing Team) succeeded in completing the distance.

The final race in the on-going triple-header will be the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, to which Marquez heads with 213 points, 26 - and more than the equivalent of one race win - ahead of Pedrosa and 44 in front of Lorenzo.


Moto2

Mika Kallio has won in Moto2™ for the first ever time, celebrating victory at the end of a dramatic and closely fought bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky. The Finn shared the podium with Takaaki Nakagami and Tom Luthi, as championship leader Scott Redding limited the points-loss by finishing four places behind Pol Espargaro.

Before the start of the 20-lap encounter at Brno the worry was a threat of rain, but the race would eventually not be affected by any showers. Kallio started fourth for the Marc VDS Racing Team, as the grid was headed up by Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team). As the former moved up to second at the start, all were away cleanly with the exception of Nakagami’s teammate Julian Simon who crashed at the first corner.

The race would prove to be one of two major focal points. The first was a titanic contest for the lead, which was shared over the distance by Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Tom Luthi and Aspar Team Moto2’s Nico Terol, as well as Nakagami and Kallio. The top spot first became Kallio’s on the fourth lap, but perhaps the most crucial moment of all was when he extended the lead to half a second as the chasing group fought furiously on the final tour. This would prove to be Kallio’s first victory since he won the 250 race at Donington Park five years ago.

The other obvious battle of the day was that of the title pretenders, as Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40) and Redding (Kallio’s teammate at Marc VDS Racing Team) duelled with each other on-track, somewhat surprisingly as the Spaniard had started on the front row whereas the Englishman – who was yet to score at Brno in Moto2 - was coming from 13th on the grid after struggling in qualifying. Redding grabbed fifth place from his rival on Lap 9 but, having escaped a tap from Espargaro, would soon feel the wrath of others and ultimately sank to eighth whereas his chief opponent forcefully took fourth from Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco on the last lap.

As Kallio beat Nakagami to a first Moto2 win and Luthi picked up his second rostrum placing of the season, Espargaro and Zarco completed the top five from Terol, Indianapolis winner Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP 40) and Redding. Eight riders failed to finish, including reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) who - after starting fifth on the grid - suffered a crash at Turn 1 and will now require surgery to attend to a fractured right ulna. With five laps to go, there was a three-way collision at Turn 3 triggered by the out-of-control Mike di Meglio (JiR Moto2), who was collected by Alberto Moncayo (Argiñano & Gines Racing) as Marcel Schrotter (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team) also crashed out of proceedings. It was later confirmed that di Meglio had sustained a fractured sacrum in the lower back.

Sunday’s result sees Espargaro close in on championship leader Redding by five points, bringing the leading gap down to 21 with seven races remaining in the 2013 season; winner Kallio jumps up one championship position, to fourth overall.


Moto3

Moto3™ championship leader Luis Salom has returned to winning ways, picking up his fifth victory of 2013 in Sunday’s bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky. Having grabbed the lead on the final lap, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was able to open up a small cushion as four rivals squabbled over second place behind him.

Spots of rain were deposited on Brno as the red lights went out, with Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins leading from his third consecutive pole position. Maverick Viñales (Team Calvo) was first to steal the top spot before Salom went through at Turn 3; such battles would continue until the 19th and final lap, with Rins’ teammate Alex Marquez and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger also very much in the mix.

Heading into the final tour, the pair of Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders were running first and second and on course for a repeat of last weekend’s Indianapolis result. However, having already established a reputation for judging the late stages of races, Salom overhauled the duo at the first and third corners, respectively. It was at this point that Marquez and Rins appeared to begin hurting one another’s races, with Viñales sweeping around the outside of Turn 4 before Folger strode ahead of the dicing duo to snatch the final rostrum placing at the penultimate corner of the race.

Salom - impressively recording the fastest lap on the last lap, despite a fractured heel - collected his fifth victory of the campaign and his first since Assen, crossing the finish line half a second ahead of Viñales to ensure that the latter remains second in the standings despite being the only rider to have finished on the podium at every one of the first ten events in 2013. Folger’s podium finish was his second of the campaign.

Five riders failed to finish. Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo was out on the opening lap, with Ongetta-Centre Seta’s Isaac Viñales and CIP Moto3’s Juanfran Guevara soon joining the Finn on the sidelines. The final two retirements were Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3), with Binder forced to crash trying to avoid Baldassarri’s bike after the Italian highsided.

Salom now heads back to his native Palma in Mallorca to undergo surgery on his fractured heel before contesting the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend, into which he heads with a 14-point lead over Viñales with seven races to go.