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Aug 10, 2010

Updated: Previews Of This Coming Weekend's MotoGP Event At Brno

Valentino Rossi (46) and Jorge Lorenzo (99) battled for the win last year at Brno.
SECOND HALF OF THE MOTOGP SEASON BEGINS FOR REPSOL HONDA TEAM AT BRNO

The fabulous Brno circuit hosts this weekend's Grand Prix of the Czech Republic as the MotoGP World Championship resumes after its short summer break. The Repsol Honda Team riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will be looking to start the second half of the MotoGP season with the strongest possible results - and that means the talented pair will be targeting victory in Sunday's 22-lap encounter.

Pedrosa arrives refreshed after his vacation and is determined to immediately return to the form that saw him leading the last Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. Although he fell from that race, his pace and results running up to the summer break have confirmed that Pedrosa is back to his consistent best and is now a contender for victory every weekend. The 24-year-old Spaniard has two previous wins to his name at Brno - one in the 125cc class in 2003 and the other in the 250 series in 2005 - and he was second in the MotoGP race at Brno last year. With nothing now to lose in the World Championship, he is sure to be going all out for victory this weekend.

Dovizioso also comes to the Czech round with high levels of motivation after two weekends without a MotoGP race. His target is to build on his third place in the World Championship standings and to close the points gap to his team-mate Pedrosa who lies in second position, 23 points ahead. Dovizioso has taken second position three times at Brno in the smaller Grand Prix classes - in 2006 and 2007 on a 250 and in 2004 in the 125cc category. The 24-year-old Italian is determined to be right up front during Sunday's race and to be competing for the win at the chequered flag.

Brno is one of the most impressive and challenging MotoGP circuits on the 18-event calendar. The 5.403km (3.357-mile) lap is the second longest of the season (only Sepang in Malaysia is longer) and features a spectacular 74-metre elevation difference from its highest to its lowe st point. The varied array of corners and demanding, power-sapping climb from the bottom of the hill tests all aspects of race bike handling and performance. It's for this reason that Brno is chosen as a MotoGP test venue, and the Repsol Honda Team and the other MotoGP contenders will remain at Brno after Sunday's Grand Prix of the Czech Republic for the final day of testing before the end of the MotoGP season.


DANI PEDROSA World Championship position 2nd 138 points

"This has definitely been one of my best summer breaks of the last few years. I did nothing special, but I had a great time with my friends, enjoyed a lot surfing on the beach and was able to think only about having fun and relaxing rather than working to recover from an injury as has been the case in the last few years. It makes a big difference in order to recharge the batteries and go into the second part of the season with even more energy. Now I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike at Brno. It's one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar; physically it's very demanding but it's also very enjoyable to ride on a MotoGP bike. You have everything there: big elevation changes, very fast corners where you need to let the bike run through, and also hard braking zones where stability is very important. I would say that there is only one good line, so it's crucial to be focused during the whole lap to get a good laptime - and it's a very long circuit. I've had many podiums in Brno, including two wins, so I would like to add another one in MotoGP. It's going to be a busy weekend for everybody, not only with the race but also because we stay on Monday for testing. It's the only test day remaining this season so we have to make sure we do a good job to help us in the upcoming races."


ANDREA DOVIZIOSO World Championship position 3rd 115 points

"We are very motivated for the next race at Brno and I'm confident that we can get a good result. Our target is to fight for second position in the championship, and so to do that we have to be up there battling for race wins every Sunday starting from this Grand Prix. I'm looking forward to this race weekend and also to the test on Monday because that will be really important for us. We will have the opportunity to test some new material and it will be a good opportunity to make some further progress. Brno is a fast and challenging circuit. There are also many long turns that are quite demanding and you need to quickly adapt your riding style to the characteristics of the track and the technical nature of the layout. The atmosphere generated by the spectators on the banks and hillsides is always very special and it's a circuit I enjoy racing at. I'm feeling good goin g into the weekend after a having some time away from the MotoGP paddock. I spent the two weeks of the summer break at the seaside not far from where I live, with my friends, my family and Sara, my little daughter. Now I'm ready to get back on track."




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

HONDA MotoGP MEN BACK ON TRACK AT BRNO

The 2010 MotoGP World Championship reconvenes at Brno this weekend, the traditional starting point for the second half of the World Championship calendar following the sport's brief midseason hiatus.

As usual, Honda's MotoGP horde will be led by the Repsol Honda duo of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V), who currently hold second and third places in the World Championship. Team-mates Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) and Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) are also flying high, Melandri on the mend following a recent injury and rookie Simoncelli showing glimmers of greatness at the last few races. Honda's other two MotoGP entries have been troubled by injury. Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) is recuperating from the broken leg he sustained at last month's German GP and is hoping to ride this weekend. Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP RC212V) is still out of action, his place once again taken by Alex de Angelis.

Sunday's race is followed by an important all-teams MotoGP test session on Monday, the last tests this season and traditionally the moment that teams start evaluating solutions for the following year. After that, MotoGP returns to the USA for the Indianapolis GP on August 29 then rushes back to Europe for the San Marino GP on September 5.

Pedrosa is anxious to get back on track following July's United States Grand Prix, where he looked capable of scoring his third victory of the season until he slid out of the lead. Victory in that race would have kept the Spaniard very much in the title hunt, but the tumble leaves him 72 points behind series leader Jorge Lorenzo
(Yamaha) with nine races to go. The championship is not an impossibility, but it is certainly unlikely unless Lorenzo encounters problems.

Pedrosa traditionally goes well at Brno. He has scored two victories at the magnificent Czech venue (the 125 GP in 2003 and the 250 GP in 2005) and has also stood twice on the Brno podium during his MotoGP career second last year and third in 2006.

Team-mate Dovizioso has yet to taste podium champagne in the MotoGP class at Brno, but he has twice scored top-three finishes at the track in 250s in 2006 and 2007 and is looking forward to another podium chance this weekend. Dovizioso is having a great 2010 season, with four top-three finishes already. At Laguna Seca last month the Italian finished fourth after bravely bidding to take third place off Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) at the very last corner.

Melandri and Simoncelli are both keen to get back to work so they can make further progress with the crucial electronics updates they received at Laguna. Melandri was particularly happy to have some time off after the US GP to undergo further physio on the left shoulder he dislocated at June's Dutch TT. Since that fall he hasn't been strong enough to fully exploit the performance of his RC212V, but he is hopeful that he will be close to 100 per cent fit this weekend. Melandri certainly has good form at Brno he won the 125 GP at the track in 1998 and 1999 and the 250 GP in 2002 - though he has yet to make the podium in the big class.

MotoGP rookie Simoncelli has more recent success at Brno in fact he won on his last visit, taking an impressive 250 GP win last August. The 2008 250 World Champion has been showing super speed and aggression during his last few MotoGP rides. He did slide off during the race at Laguna, but he is definitely on an upward curve.

De Puniet has been working hard to recover from the broken left tibia and fibula he sustained during the German GP on July 18. The Frenchman, who had been on a roll until the accident scoring front-row starts and podiums on his satellite-spec RC212V underwent surgery in Germany and has since been undergoing an intensive rehabilitation programme. He will be at Brno, where doctors will decide on Thursday whether he is fit to ride.

While the vast majority of the MotoGP grid contests their tenth MotoGP race of the 2010 season, de Angelis rides only his third race in the class. The San Marino rider started 2010 in the Moto2 series, but was brought back into the premier category shortly after Aoyama broke a vertebra at Silverstone in June. De Angelis rode his first races on the team's RC212V in Germany and the United States, scoring 12th place finishes on both occasions. The former 250 GP winner knows that he still needs more time on the bike to fully get up to speed, so Brno will be a vital weekend for him.

The inaugural Moto2 World Championship resumes at Brno after its four week summer recess. The intermediate category wasn't included in the US GP programme, so its riders have been resting and readying themselves for this race since the German GP on July 18. No doubt they will all be raring to go on Friday afternoon, and none more so than current leader Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki), who returned to his winning ways at the Sachsenring after a victory 'drought' that lasted almost two months. Elias has led the series since he scored the second of his first two wins at May's French GP, but he then went four races without another victory. The German GP success has got the Spaniard back in the groove and he will be looking for more success at Brno, where he scored MotoGP podiums in 2008 and 2009.

Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2, Moriwaki) still holds second place in the Moto2 championship despite falling during the last race in Germany. Apart from that DNF, the Swiss rider has so far proved one of the most consistent performers in this topsy-turvy championship, with four podium finishes from the first eight races.

Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up) has been the biggest find of Moto2, the Italian often the fastest rider on the track. So far he is the only rider who has been able to run away at the front of the pace to win by a large margin. He won like that at Mugello and Assen and seemed set for another runaway win at the Sachsenring, until Elias hunted his down and passed him.

Brno is a masterpiece of a motorcycle racing circuit. Constructed in the mid-1980s, it eschews the modern fashion of tight turns and hairpins for a mighty mix of fast sweepers and undulating corners that test rider talent and engineering to the limit. Most riders love the place because it's challenging and also because it's very fast.

But Brno's most significant characteristic is its constant changes of elevation the circuit weaves its way across forested hillsides which means that many of the turns are steeply cambered. Dealing with negative camber corners requires a perfectly set-up machine, deft riding skills and especially crucial input from tyre engineers. Horsepower is also a major consideration at Brno because this is one racetrack where MotoGP bikes, usually caged in by mostly slower venues, really get moving.

The circuit was built to replace Brno's treacherous street circuit that had hosted GPs since the mid-1960s; you still pass the old pit complex on the way from the city centre to the current venue.

Honda has experienced success with all kinds of premier-class machinery at Brno, from its RC181 four-stroke to the NSR500 two-stroke and RC211V four-stroke MotoGP bike. Mike Hailwood won the
1966 and 1967 Czech GPs around the old street circuit. Since the new circuit hosted its first GP in 1987, Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan, Alex Criville, Tadayuki Okada, Sete Gibernau and Valentino Rossi have also won for Honda at Brno.


HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says: "This has definitely been one of my best summer breaks of the last few years. I did nothing special, but I had a great time with my friends, enjoyed a lot surfing on the beach and was able to think only about having fun and relaxing, rather than working to recover from an injury, as has been the case in the last few years. It makes a big difference in order to recharge the batteries and go into the second part of the season with even more energy. Now I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike at Brno. It's one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar; physically it's very demanding, but it's also very enjoyable to ride on a MotoGP bike. You have everything there: big elevation changes, very fast corners where you need to let the bike run through, and also hard braking zones where stability is very important. I would say that there is only one good line, so it's crucial to be focused during the whole lap to get a good lap time and it's a very long circuit. I've had many podiums in Brno, including two wins, so I would like to add another one in MotoGP. It's going to be a busy weekend for everybody, not only with the race but also because we stay on Monday for testing. It's the only test day remaining this season so we have to make sure we do a good job to help us in the upcoming races."

Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso says: "We are very motivated for the next race at Brno and I'm confident that we can get a good result. Our target is to fight for second position in the championship, and so to do that we have to be up there battling for race wins every Sunday starting from this Grand Prix. I'm looking forward to this race weekend and also to the test on Monday because that will be really important for us. We will have the opportunity to test some new material and it will be a good opportunity to make some further progress. Brno is a fast and challenging circuit. There are also many long turns that are quite demanding and you need to quickly adapt your riding style to the characteristics of the track and the technical nature of the layout. The atmosphere generated by the spectators on the banks and hillsides is always very special and it's a circuit I enjoy racing at. I'm feeling good going into the weekend after a having some time away from the MotoGP paddock. I spent the two weeks of the summer break at the seaside not far from where I live, with my friends, my family and Sara, my little daughter. Now I'm ready to get back on track."

LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet says: "Laguna was the first GP I've watched on TV since my debut. It was a bit hard for me to just watch, but in the meantime it was good to me to take some rest. A couple of days after the surgery I left the hospital in Germany to begin the hyperbaric chamber sessions in Saint Marguerite Hospital in Marseilles under the supervision of Dr. Mathieu Coulange and his team. This machine increases both the pressure and oxygen levels to help repair the tissues of the body at a faster rate. Then I moved to Cannes to pursue my rehabilitation supported by Doctor Marc Saramito and the physiotherapist Bernard Achou. I made ultrasound sessions to strengthen my bones a little more. Then I moved back home in Andorra, pursuing the ultrasound sessions with a domestic machine and I finally started to do some sports. Every day I go to the gym for cycling and I am training the top of my body with rubber bands and exercises. The doctors are always surprised with the speed with which I recover, and I have to admit that I am as surprised as they are! I use my crutches less and less. I still hope to be back for Brno, however the final decision will be made at Brno on Thursday when the circuit doctor together with Doctor Costa will examine my leg and my overall physical condition."

San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Melandri says: "I expected to do better at Laguna Seca but unfortunately I was forced to accept that physically I wasn't up to it. My shoulder wasn't painful during the race but after ten laps I was exhausted. I had no feeling on the way into the corners and I couldn't ride as fast as I'd hoped. Since then I took a short holiday near the sea but I've continued with constant physiotherapy in the hope that I can be back to full fitness for Brno. I like the circuit and if I have recovered as well as I hope and I can stay strong over race distance then I should be fighting near the front. I am not happy with the current situation because I don't like to be making up the numbers in MotoGP!"

San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli says: "The crash at Laguna left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. To be honest, after practice and qualifying I thought I could do really well, but I struggled more than I expected in the race and then I crashed, which wasn't good. Whenever that happens you head home with your tail between your legs, but I took a short break in Sardinia and then began to prepare myself for this weekend because it is going to be a very important Grand Prix for me. Brno is a circuit I like a lot and I have always had good races there especially the last two years, finishing third in 2008 and winning last year [in the 250cc class]. The Czech Republic has been kind to me in the past so I hope I can be strong again this weekend. We have more confidence now with the electronics package given to us by Honda in America, so we should get more performance out of the bike. "

Interwetten Honda MotoGP rider Alex de Angelis says: "I am happy that once again I am on a MotoGP Honda in Brno. Honda will give me some new electronic parts which will help to make the set-up of the bike easier. The test after Brno will be very important for me to get a better feeling with the bike. Now there are at least two races remaining for me in MotoGP and I hope that they will be better than the two before. Brno is a very fast track and I like to go fast, so I hope I can get the team a better result."


Moto2 RIDER QUOTES

Gresini Racing Moto2 rider Toni Elias says: "The win at Sachsenring ended a pretty bad run for us and I have got my confidence back with the bike. The team have helped me a lot and I am more determined and motivated to do well now than ever. I allowed myself a little holiday during the break and then focused on my training to make sure I don't lose focus at what is a very important moment in my career. I have been on the podium at Brno for the last two years in MotoGP and it's a track that seems to suit my riding style. I head to the Czech Republic with my focus on the job I want to win and strengthen my position in the championship."

Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 rider Thomas Luthi says: "I come back from the summer break and my holidays with new and necessary energy. I am fully recovered from my injury and I am completely fit again. I am looking forward to Brno as it is a fluent track which I like. I think we should be able to fight at the top again and be part of the front group. A podium finish would be fantastic for Brno and this is also the target."

Fimmco Speed Up rider Andrea Iannone says: "It was good to get a few weeks break, so we could recharge our batteries for the second half of the season. Our aim is to continue the way we were going in the first part of the season. We won at Assen and Mugello and we were leading at Catalunya when we got that ride-through penalty, so we just need to keep going as fast as we can, keep learning, maintain our consistency and increase our points score."


HONDA 125 RIDER QUOTES

Interwetten Honda 125 Team rider Marcel Schrötter
says: "This is the second time for me at the Brno track and I have to say I like this fast track. I know the track already so I hope I can have a better result. The championship points I scored at the Sachsenring was a good motivation for me and I want to turn this motivation in more points. I hope I can achieve this goal."




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Bridgestone MotoGP Preview - Round 10: Czech Republic, Brno T
uesday 10 August 2010

Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Hard, Extra Hard.
Rear: Medium, Hard

Motorcycle Grand Prix racing recommences in the Czech Republic after the summer break as MotoGP heads to the Automotodrom Brno circuit, located 200km south west of Prague.

Brno is characterised by its dramatic changes of elevation which total more than 73 metres from the circuit's highest point to its lowest, and this rollercoaster of tarmac creates specific challenges for tyres.

Weight transfer of the bikes is affected by the elevation, which consequently generates increased pressure on the tyres. Downhill sections throw weight forward, especially under braking, and so a strong front tyre is required for good stability. This is why Brno is one of only a handful of races all season for which Bridgestone have selected extra hard compound front slicks.

The importance of good corner exit speed is greater at Brno as it enables the machines to achieve improved drive and speed along the steep uphill sections of the circuit. This means good rear traction is very important to allow riders to open the throttle as early as possible. Here the uphill elevation changes actually help the rear tyres find even more grip by transferring weight to the rear of the bike, helping to force the rear tyre onto the tarmac. Brno's layout is flowing and reasonably fast, with an average speed of just over 166km/h, as set by Jorge Lorenzo last year on his way to a new lap record. Equal loads are placed on the right and left shoulders of the rear tyres so asymmetric slicks are not required. The abrasiveness of the tarmac is quite high, which provides a test of durability and is also another reason why harder front tyres are required.

Lorenzo carries a 72 point lead into the tenth round of the season, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. Valentino Rossi is in fifth, 13 points adrift of fourth-placed Casey Stoner and looking to regain lost ground after missing four races through injury.

Hiroshi Yamada Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

"The Czech GP is the start of the second half of the season and a crucial time in the title race. Riders must come out strong to carry good momentum through the remaining nine races which are covered in just 13 weeks. Jorge has a strong lead but it is all to fight for just behind him. There are fewer than 40 points separating Andrea in third from Ben in seventh with 225 points still available, so I'm looking forward to an exciting second half of the year and a good race in Brno as riders battle to re-exert their dominance."

Tohru Ubukata Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

"Brno features a number of elevation changes which are particularly tough on the front tyres. The downhill corners mean that the weight transfer of the bikes is naturally forward, increasing the load and therefore the temperature of the front tyres requiring a strong compound. The circuit's surface is also very abrasive, since its resurfacing in 2008, which makes tyre durability more of a challenge. The combination of these factors means that Brno is one of only four races in the season to which we will bring the extra hard compound front slicks.

"The corners are generally fast and flowing so the lateral loads generated are high and require good shoulder stability from the rear tyres and good traction on corner exit. Excess sliding can rapidly accelerate tyre wear given the abrasive tarmac so machine setup and riding style play an influential role in tyre durability."




More, from a press release issued by JiR Moto2 Team:

After the break the JiR Team is getting ready for this week's GP from the Czech Republic, in Brno. The summer period has given riders the time to rest, but not the technicians and mechanics who took advantage of the break to analyze data and develop new solutions that will be tested in the second part of the season on the two MotoBI machines. The objective is to continue and further improve the already good performances we've enjoyed this year. Already at the Sachsenring Simone Corsi scored excellent times during practice and the race. JiR Team will be looking to build on this still further.

In the meantime Corsi is really excited for the Czech race, aware of the potential he has and anxious to make amends for the mistake he made in Germany that put him out of the race.

Simone Corsi: "I have made a good preparation for this race. The three week break has been very useful to think back on how the first part of the season went. Our development is at a good point and I'm making some little mistakes, but I've learnt from them and it won't happen again. I kept my body in shape with some work at the gym, but I also continued riding thanks to the riding courses we held in Castelletto di Branduzzo, where I was the teacher!

The season has a long way to go yet and there is nothing between most of the riders it's very close. We need to regain our concentration and start fighting again for the first positions, which is the place where I think I deserve to be."

Also, TSR's test rider Yusuke Teshima will take part in the GP of the Czech Republic on the second machine of Team JiR, taking the chance of continuing his own experience and most importantly the machine's further development.




More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:

MARC VDS RETURN TO TWO-WHEELED ACTION AT BRNO

Scott Redding and Hector Faubel are both looking for a strong start to the second half of their 2010 championship campaigns, as this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix at the Autodrom Brno brings to an end a three-week summer break for the Marc VDS Racing Team.

Redding looked all set for a top five finish last time out at Sachsenring, until a mechanical problem brought the British teenager's race to a premature end. The Marc VDS rider finished in the points in the 125 class on his last two visits to the Brno circuit, a feat he will be looking to repeat this weekend in the new four-stroke Moto2 category.

Faubel was the unfortunate victim of a first corner crash in Germany, but the 27-year-old Spaniard rejoined the race and eventually fought his way back to 25th position at the chequered flag. Brno is a circuit at which Faubel has enjoyed success in the past; the Marc VDS rider won the 125cc race back in 2007 on his way to second position in the championship. A repeat performance this weekend may be a little too optimistic, but Faubel is determined to kickstart his season with a strong result in the ninth round of the Moto2 World Championship at Brno.

The Autodrom Brno replaced the old 14km road circuit that in 1982 was deemed too dangerous for Grand Prix racing. The new track stands just 10km from the old and was opened in 1987. The circuit is located in a natural amphitheatre, making for fantastic viewing, with the 5.403km track changing in elevation as it winds its way through the forested hills just outside the city of Brno.

Both Redding and Faubel will use the latest revision of the Suter MMX chassis this weekend at Brno, where the increased stiffness of the new frame is predicted to offer significant advantages around the fast and flowing circuit.

Scott Redding #45:
"It's only been three weeks, but I feel like I've been off the bike forever and I can't wait to get back on track this weekend. I like the Brno circuit, but it is very physically demanding and there's no let up over a lap. We'll be running the new chassis this weekend. We tested it briefly at Aragon, but it will be interesting to see what advantages it offers at Brno. I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead and I hope we can start the second half of the season with a good result."

Hector Faubel #55:
"Brno is one of my favourite circuits and I had one of the best races of my life there a few years ago. I'm not happy with the results I've had so far this season and I need to race every one of the remaining rounds as if it was my last in a bid to improve my results. This is important for me, and it's also important for the team."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"We had two difficult races before the summer break, with Hector the innocent victim of two first corner crashes and Scott forced to retire with mechanical issues. This weekend we need good results from both riders, to get the second half of the season off to the best start possible. Both riders will switch to the latest version of the Suter chassis this weekend, as Brno is a circuit at which the latest version should offer some advantages in terms of turning and holding a line through the faster corners, of which there are many at Brno."




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Refreshed and ready to take on the second half of the 2010 season the MotoGP riders and teams are back in action this weekend at Brno for the Cardion ab Grand Prix České republiky, where the chase to catch Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo recommences.

After nine of the 18 rounds of the season the Fiat Yamaha rider is 72 points clear at the top of the standings, thanks to his superb form of having taken six wins and three second places so far. Another top-two finish would make Lorenzo only the third rider in GP racing's 62-year history to place either first or second in the opening ten races of a season, the others being Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan. To maintain his fantastic form Lorenzo will need to win at a circuit he has not yet triumphed at in the premier class, after crashing last year when battling team-mate Valentino Rossi for the race lead. He does have a fine record in the smaller classes there however.

Dani Pedrosa is the closest to Lorenzo in the standings at present and the Repsol Honda rider has a point to prove following his crash at Laguna Seca in the previous round. The Spaniard enjoyed a consistent run leading up to the summer interval and was leading the race in the U.S. when he fell, and has twice finished on the podium at Brno including second place last year his best premier class Brno result.

In third place at 23 points off his team-mate is Andrea Dovizioso, who is eager to rediscover his early-season podium form, whilst the resurgent Casey Stoner (Ducati Team) is hot on the Italian's tail. Stoner did not race at Brno last season but has tasted victory there (in 2007), something he is still yet to do in 2010 but a result that appears to be moving ever closer after four successive podium finishes in the last four rounds.

Brno has been a very fruitful hunting ground for Valentino Rossi who has five premier class wins there (it was also the site of his first 125cc win), and the Italian has been victorious at the Czech track for the last two years. A podium last time out at Laguna in only his second race back from injury moved him back up to fifth, where he sits a single point ahead of Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team). Another American rider, Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) is also closing in on the top five and Brno offers a familiar circuit for the rookie, who has previously ridden there in WSBK.

Set to make an extremely speedy and very welcome return to action from his broken leg is Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda). Pending medical clearance the Frenchman intends to ride again just four weeks after his crash at Sachsenring last year he rode to tenth place at Brno having broken his ankle just three weeks before the race.

San Carlo Honda Gresini pair Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli are closely matched in ninth and tenth in the standings, whilst Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will follow up his best result of 2010 so far with an attempt to place higher than seventh. Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar), Rizla Suzuki pair Loris Capirossi and Álvaro Bautista, and Pramac racing duo Mika Kallio and Aleix Espargaró will all aim for improvements, and Alex de Angelis (Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team) is set to continue in place of the injured Hiroshi Aoyama.

Moto2

The Moto2 class returns to the fore after four weeks off, with Championship leader Toni Elías ready to defend his 42-point lead at the top of the standings. The Gresini Racing rider has strong form at the Czech circuit where he has won once (in the 125cc class) and been on the podium twice in the former 250cc class. Elías also placed on the podium in his last two seasons in the premier class in 2008 and 2009, and will be a strong favourite to secure a fourth win of the 2010 campaign having signed off for the mid-season break with victory last time out in Germany.

One of the main rivals to Elías' attempts to further stretch his lead will be Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2), who currently sits second behind Elías in the standings. Four weeks off will have allowed the Swiss rider ample time to continue recovering from his collarbone injury, and he will be going for what seems an imminent first win of the campaign having been on the podium four times already.

Italian Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up) is just four points behind Lüthi and with two wins this season and second place in the last round at Sachsenring under his belt will be a main challenger in Brno.

Only a single point separates Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) and Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP) in fourth and fifth, whilst Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2) and Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing) will also have their sights set on podium finishes as they target solid results and advancements in the standings.

A strong home result will be the aim for Karel Abraham (Cardio ab Racing) who has impressed in the two previous rounds with top-five finishes, whilst Xavier Simeon (Holiday Gym Racing) will be the sole Moto2 wildcard entry for this round.

125cc

The dominant Marc Márquez (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) will go for a phenomenal sixth straight win in the 125cc class. The 17 year-old Spaniard has not been off the top step of the podium since he secured his first World Championship win at Mugello at the start of June, and he holds a 26-point lead at the top of the standings going into the Cardion ab Grand Prix Czech Republic.

His closest rival at the moment is Pol Espargaró, and the Tuenti Racing rider will be desperate to bounce back from the crash at Sachsenring which ended his battle for the race victory with Márquez. Espargaró's best previous finish at Brno is the fifth place he took last year, but only victory will satisfy his desire to close the gap on his rival.

Making his return to action after sitting out Germany due to the injuries sustained in a fall at Catalunya is Nico Terol, and the Bancaja Aspar rider is still third in the Championship. Presently 39 points off Márquez with 118, Terol will discover his true level of fitness and have one eye on the eight rounds that remain after Brno as he sets about recovering points. He won at the track last season.

His team-mate Bradley Smith, on 105 points, is still in search of his first win of 2010. Further back and separated by a single point are the two remaining podium finishers in Germany, Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany) and Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo), and both will fancy their chances of follow-up top-three results in Brno.

Joining the permanent 125cc entry list from this round is Josep Rodrigues who replaces Michael van der Mark on the Lambretta Reparto Corse team. Wildcard riders in round nine will be Ladislav Chmelik (Moto FGR), Andrea Touskova (Moto 82), Luigi Morciano and Alessandro Tonucci (both Junior GP Racing FMI).

The first practice session of the Cardion ab Grand Prix České republiky is the 125cc class, which starts at 12.40pm local time on Friday.




More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati:

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM HEADS TO BRNO AS MOTOGP SEASON RESUMES



The Ducati Marlboro Team travels to the Czech Republic this week following a brief summer break that now gives way to the second half of the MotoGP World Championship, starting out at the spectacular Brno circuit.

After taking four podium finishes in as many races Casey Stoner picks up on a positive, if not entirely satisfactory, run of form whilst Nicky Hayden will also be looking to get full potential out of the Desmosedici at a circuit where it has always been well suited.

The Ducati Marlboro Team have celebrated victory at Brno on two occasions, as well as two further podiums and two pole positions. The team will stay at the circuit on the day following the Grand Prix for the second and final post-race test session of 2010.


CASEY STONER, Ducati Marlboro Team
"Brno is one of my favourite circuits I have liked it since I raced there for the first time back in 2002. It is long and flowing, with a lot of direction changes and plenty of opportunities to overtake. It is the kind of circuit that lends itself to spectacular races and I can't wait to race there again I wasn't fit to ride last year and I missed it. I want to make up for that this weekend so we'll be looking to find a good set-up for the bike, improve by a couple of tenths compared to the rest and be fighting for the win."

NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team
"It is nice to be back after a couple of weeks off and Brno is a nice circuit to come back with. I think all the riders like it because it's fast, open and flowing very different to the last couple of tracks we've been to, Sachsenring and Laguna, which are tight and have a lot of second gear corners. We're heading into the second half of a season that started out with some decent results but we need to take another step forward now. It is not easy because the level of competition is so high in this championship but I think you always have to look to improve. We have a day of testing after the race and I hope that can serve to set us up for an improved second half of the season."

VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
"We go to Brno on the back of an excellent team result at Laguna Seca and with the objective of improving on it with both riders. Casey has always been very fast here and Nicky scored a decent sixth place last year. In the past the circuit has generally suited the characteristics of our bikes so it will be important to find a good set-up for this weekend for the race, obviously, but also for the test so that we can build a strong base to work from over the second half of the season."

THE TRACK
The Brno circuit snakes its way around the hills that border the Czech Republic's second city and is one of the jewels in the crown of motorcycle racing. Built in 1987 to replace the old and dangerous road circuit that had previously hosted Grand Prix racing, the 'new' track retains some of the original characteristics and for this reason it is much to the liking of the riders. With track width reaching 15m in some places, its fast and mixed layout features fast direction changes, chicanes and elevation changes. The extra width rewards a precise racing line and those continual elevation changes, with several downhill braking areas, require a perfect bike set-up, a talented rider and good tyre life. Engine performance is also an important factor, with the long straights giving the MotoGP machines chance to really stretch their legs.




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing Team:

TENTH SEASON GRAND PRIX ON BRNO'S CIRCUIT.

After a short summer break, the engine will return to warm up for next weekend. Sunday will take place on Brno's circuit, the tenth stage of the 2010 World Championship, the first of the second half of the season until now with high and low result for the green Pramac Racing Team riders. Aleix Espargar and Mika Kallio, have in fact achieved six top ten positions in nine races of this season. Aleix scored an eighth, a ninth and a two tenths places, while Mika has the best Team season result, a seventh place with the addition of a ninth place conquered in the last Grand Prix raced in the United States of America. But both riders have in mind to improve their results in the second half of the season and thanks to the summer break that has allowed to recover energy, they will give the maximum to give to the Team an high level results. Sunday will be a very important day for Brno's circuit that will host the thirty-fifth top class Grand Prix. But a particular interest is given al so for the sixtieth anniversary of motorcycle racing on this circuit that is halfway between Vienna and Prague. On this circuit, the Pramac Racing has had good results in past with a third and fourth place with Biaggi and Tamada in 2004 and the conquest of the second-last podium of his history with Elias in 2008, that after a fantastic comeback, has got the second place of the podium. Last year things did not go very well with Canepa who finished the race in twelfth position, while Fabrizio, the substitute of Kallio that was loan to the Ducati officer, has retired after just six laps from the start. The hope is that Mika will obtain an important result on this that is one of his favorite tracks, having won here in the past three podiums. Aleix his part, with 261.4 km / h, has established in 2007 the maximum speed record in the 250cc class on this track. It will be from this track that the young Spaniard will start to gain important positions that only bad luck and a little o f inexperience had refusing him to gain in the last three races.


Paolo Campinoti - Team Principal Pramac Racing Team

"In the last Grand Prix lucky was not on our side, I am referring in particular to what happened to Aleix in the last three races. In Barcelona he had accumulated too much pressure before the start, the desire to conquer a great result in front of his fans did not allow him to remain focused on the race that he had ended few laps from the start. In Germany, the other unlucky race when he found De Puniet's bike in front of him lying on the asphalt. Fortunately he had no fractures. Laguna Seca, last race marked by little luck, was betrayed by the white line that demarcates the asphalt with less than three laps from the finish line. My biggest regret is especially for the last race because it was the first Grand Prix of the season with both Pramac Racing riders where in the top ten. But now it's time to look ahead to the next Czech Republic Grand Prix. On Brno track we have got the second-last podium of our history in the 2008 with the Spaniard Elias, who finished second after a fantastic comeback. In the past we have got another podium with Biaggi in 2004 that ended the race in third position followed by his teammate Tamada. The ambition of this weekend is to see again Aleix finish the race in the top ten as we had used to see him before Barcelona's Grand Prix. Another ambition to see Mika finish the race in a good position because he has found speed and feeling with his bike, he had good results in the past on this track and I hope he can be able to repeat them on Sunday. "

Mika Kallio - Pramac Racing Team

"The United States Grand Prix was very important for me for two reasons, first of all because I have regained a place in the top ten, second because I realized that I have acquired a good feeling with my bike that will allow me to be fast in all the Grand Prix of the second part of the season. There are nine more races until the end of the Championship, I'll give my best to conquer a good placement in all the race to repay the trust that the team has always placed in me despite negative results. I consider Brno one of the most technical circuits of the Championship, I really like this track where I have got good results in the past. Here I have gain three consecutive podium, two second places in the 125cc category in 2005 and 2006 and a third place in 2007 in my rookie season in the 250cc category. Last year I had ran this race in the Ducati Team as Stoner's substitute, I had start the race form the tenth place on the starting grid, but with two laps to go, while I was eight h, I was involved in an accident and I went off the track. "

Aleix Espargar - Pramac Racing Team

"The summer break we had, helped me to take off a bit of disappointing feeling for the last three Grands Prix in which, also for the bad luck I had, I could not see the checkered flag. I hope that Sunday I'll already return to gain an important position, I need it for my Team but also for myself as I have always fought and believed in me. I never had a particular affection for Brno's track, I was able to run here only four times in the past, one in 125cc and three in 250cc, gaining a tenth place as best result in 2008 in the 250cc category. It 's time to regain what I have lost in recent races. My season will restart from here. "




More, from a press release issued by Fiat Yamaha:

FIAT YAMAHA GET BACK TO BUSINESS AT BRNO

After a well-earned two-week summer break, the Fiat Yamaha Team will reform at Brno in the Czech Republic this weekend as the second half of the 18-race MotoGP season gets underway. Jorge Lorenzo lands in eastern Europe as the runaway championship leader and his team-mate Valentino Rossi is hoping to be back to his best after the time off has given him further opportunity to recover from the broken leg and injured shoulder he sustained earlier in the season.

Lorenzo has won an incredible six out of nine races so far this season and come second in the remainder and he signed off the for the summer break in the best possible frame of mind, having won commandingly at Laguna Seca last time out. The 23-year-old has spent time fitness training and relaxing in the Dominican Republic during the holidays and is looking forward to getting b ack to the business of racing this weekend. He has three wins at Brno to his name, one in 125cc and two in 250cc, but he has had little luck there in MotoGP and last year he crashed out when sparring for the lead with Rossi, something he will be hoping to forget this time around.

Brno is an historic track for World Champion Rossi as it was there that he took the first of his 104 Grand Prix wins, in the 125cc class in 1996. Since then he has gone on to take a further six wins at the track, five of them in MotoGP and including the last two years. The 31-year-old Italian made a sensational return to the podium at Laguna Seca only seven weeks after breaking his leg but he was not yet back to peak physical condition. A two -week holiday has given the nine-time champion another chance to work on his strength and fitness and he hopes to be in much better shape at this race and ready to mount a challenge for race wins over the remaining half of the season.

A Grand Prix was first held on the Brno road circuit in 1965 and since then over 40 World Championship races have been contested there. Today the modern track retains much of the character of the original road circuit, with its winding chicanes and dramatic elevation changes and it is a favourite track with the riders, often bringing as it does fast and close racing.


Jorge Lorenzo
"TARGETING A FIRST BRNO MOTOGP PODIUM"


"The holidays were perfect. Ten days in the Caribbean for rest and fun, charging the batteries for the second half of the season. I needed it because the calendar has been busy in the last month and now I can focus on the rest of the season. We are going to Brno, a track I like and where I've won three times, but never in MotoGP. I haven't even got a podium here and this is my challenge, my first podium in the second part of the season and in Brno. Czech Republic is a nice country, with amazing people at the race and also the track is impressive, fast and with some good hills. After the race I will stay in Brno to try something new on the bike, something to improve our bike until the end of championship. Good place to restart!"


Valentino Rossi
"AIMING FOR A GOOD SECOND HALF!"

"I've had a good break and it's helped me a lot to have this time to work on my physical condition. I'm feeling good about my leg and my shoulder and I hope that this weekend I'll be feeling much stronger. Brno is a great track for me and it's always special because it's the first place I ever won at. Last year I had a great race, this year will be harder because I'm not completely fit yet but I am looking forward to getting back on the bike. We have half the season still to go and our aim is to have a good second half!"


Wilco Zeelenberg
"THINKING ABOUT THE PODIUM AND POINTS"

"We already had a bit of a look at what happened last year and we've watched the race together. Jorge likes the track very much and he was in good shape, fighting with Valentino, but the crash was his mistake because he pushed a bit too far. This year however things are very different and he has a big cushion in the championship so he can relax, think about the podium and taking the maximum points he can in order to keep a comfortable lead."


Davide Brivio
"WE ARE AHEAD OF OURSELVES!"

"We are about to start the second part of season and we are quite excited about it. Valentino has been working hard on his recovery and, although he won't be at 100% yet at Brno, we are ahead of ourselves because after the initial injury we thought he wouldn't be back until this race. It has been very important to be back in the last two races to get back to race pace. Now we will work towards a great end of the season, waiting to see Valentino fighting again for the victories. Brno will be the first real step of his recovery"