More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Binder takes maiden MotoGP™ win to make history in Brno
The first win for KTM in the premier class, the first for South Africa and the first for a rookie since 2013, Brad Binder’s scintillating Czech GP ride to victory puts him – and KTM – in the history books
Sunday, 09 August 2020
Sometimes things come together so perfectly, they can appear easy to the casual observer – like a five second gap at the front in only your third MotoGP™ race. That reads like an easy ride for Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) as he made history in the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, and he certainly dominated a field of experience to make it look so. But the blood, sweat and tears that go into winning, and making history, are often not caught on camera. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
For Binder, the path to MotoGP™ victory and the first South African win in the premier class is one that starts in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, ascending via the 2016 Moto3™ crown with Red Bull KTM Ajo and a trophy cabinet full of lightweight and intermediate class silverware. For KTM, the journey began full time competition in 2017 as the Austrian factory took on the premier class armed with a mission, a philosophy, and an incredible record of sporting achievement. In their fourth season, a vital first part of that mission is accomplished, their philosophy remains unwavering and victory is a reality.
Behind the rookie and factory taking victory for the first time in Brno, there were two more firsts after the awesome race day shake up at the Czech adrenaline factory too. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) took second and his first podium in the premier class, with Johann Zarco back on the box in third to give Esponsorama Racing their first MotoGP™ podium… via a spectacularly precise, pitch perfect and full gas Long Lap Penalty.
Morbidelli was the man fastest out the blocks as the lights went out, picking teammate Fabio Quartararo’s pocket round Turn 1 and bolting into the distance almost immediately as Zarco lost out from pole. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) also managed to get past the number 5 as he launched from fourth into the top three, before he even struck for second and dispatched Quartararo. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo of Pol Espargaro and Binder made great starts to slot into fourth and fifth too, leaving Zarco initially down in P6.
Binder was then a man on a mission. The South African cut past teammate Espargaro and then Aleix Espargaro, soon stuck to the rear wheel of Quartararo as Zarco followed suit to strike back against former teammate Pol Espargaro… but that would soon to serve up some drama. Before that though, the number 44 made it through on Lap 6 and immediately set sights on his teammate and Quartararo as the battle for second became a double factory KTM vs Quartararo fight.
On Lap 9, Binder was through on El Diablo, striking at Turn 3 – a little wide but more than making it stick – and Pol Espargaro was next through. He then also headed wide at Turn 13 and lost the place, but drama was about to unfold at Turn 1 next time around: the KTM of Espargaro was a little wide and the Ducati of Zarco kept it pinned on the inside, leaving both heading for the same piece of tarmac. As the KTM swept back to get the run up through Turn 2, the two made contact and Espargaro was skittled off – earning Zarco a Long Lap Penalty for the incident.
Despite the heartbreak for one orange bike, there was plenty still to celebrate a little ahead on track. Honing in on Morbidelli and the race lead, Binder wasn’t showing any signs of slowing up, reeling in the Yamaha at speed and soon within striking distance. With nine laps left in Brno, the rookie sensation struck and Binder was in the lead of a MotoGP™ race for the first time. Could he now stay steadfast under pressure? It appeared he more than could, with the KTM immediately starting to bolt into clear air at the front.
On the same lap, Zarco took his Long Lap Penalty and despite preconceptions, that was a show in itself and one of the most spectacular moments of the race. Inch perfect, rear tyre smoking and absolutely pinned on the right side of the line, the number 5 saw his gap back to Quartararo in fourth evaporate but screamed out of the Long Lap area just ahead of his compatriot, holding third and keeping that first podium with Ducati still very much in sight.
Meanwhile Binder raced on, Morbidelli held firm, and the battle at the front became one of nerves. The fight just behind the top two was starting to heat up though, and with Zarco staying ahead of Quartararo it seemed like solid damage limitation for the Championship leader if he held fourth. The double Jerez winner was struggling, however. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) were all starting to hunt him down, with the Suzuki striking first with five laps to go. Nine-time World Champion Rossi soon followed suit on the same lap, and Quartararo quickly found himself lingering down in sixth. With four laps to go, the number 20 also fell victim to Oliveira’s charge and the focus shifted back to Zarco… who now had Alex Rins for very close company.
Binder – barring a mistake – was a few kilometres from making some very big dreams a very big reality, and Morbidelli looked secure to hit his own milestone too. But Rins was hot on the heels of the Ducati in third and the gap was just 0.6 between the GP19 and GSX-RR with a couple of laps to go; soon down to nothing as Zarco stared down a momentous final lap.
First to complete that would be Binder, however. The South African made the graft and grind look easy, over four seconds clear after more than four years of tireless work from the Austrian factory to see the RC-16 come home first and Binder etch his name into premier class and KTM folklore. Childhood dreams realised across the board, Morbidelli continued the trend as he brought his Yamaha home second to secure a fantastic maiden MotoGP™ podium, and he moves into P3 in the overall standings.
In the duel for third, Rins was looking menacing on the final lap but Zarco was holding firm, keeping the the Suzuki man at bay. The Frenchman closed the door and did so brilliantly to secure his first MotoGP™ podium since the 2018 Malaysian GP, making it a huge day for the Avintia team too, who achieve their first MotoGP™ podium to add to pole position gained on Saturday.
Fourth place for Rins remains remarkable, however, with the number 42 taking some valuable points after suffering a dislocation-fracture to the shoulder at the Spanish GP. Close to the Suzuki man was Rossi, who climbed to P5 from a P10 starting place in another great ride for ‘The Doctor’. Oliveira finished P6 to cement his best premier class finish, having started 13th, but Quartararo won’t be too pleased to have finished 11 seconds from the win in P7. Nevertheless, those are valuable points in the title race as key rivals remained behind the Frenchman on race day.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) finished one second adrift of Quartararo, in P8, and two seconds up the road from Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) after the Australian recovered from a tough start to pip Aleix Espargaro to P9 on the last lap. Miller ended the day just over a second up the road from Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), but the pair did salvage P9 and P11 from P14 and P18 starting positions.
Aleix Espargaro’s P10 was his first finish of 2020, important for the Spaniard and team, and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) finished 12th but on the way into a historically good track for Ducati…
LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow finished 13th as he continues to battle a left scaphoid injury, and nine tenths behind him, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) takes just two points home in P14, losing valuable ground in the Championship and now 17 adrift of Quartararo. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took 15th to continue his record of scoring at least a point in his first three MotoGP™ races.
In other key stories, Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3) lost the front and collected Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in the early stages as the duo crashed out of contention.
That’s it from Brno and a truly history-making race. For Binder, for KTM, for South Africa, and for MotoGP™. The last time a rookie won a race, it was Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Before that, it was Jorge Lorenzo, and before that, Dani Pedrosa – legends both. Pedrosa is also a man who shares some of the pay off after KTM’s stunning first win, now in the role of test rider with the factory. What can Binder go on to achieve now? It couldn’t really have been written better, as the tidal wave of glory now carries the paddock south to Styria and the stunning Red Bull Ring, home race for the newest winners on the block.
Come back for more – and we know you want to – as MotoGP™ revs the hills alive with the sound of horsepower in the Austrian GP next weekend.
Brad Binder: “It hasn’t sunk it yet. Today was the most incredible day of my lief so far, it’s a day I’ve dreamed of since I was a child, and for it to come true in my third Grand Prix is scary. I honestly can’t believe it. From the day starting in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup it’s been a consistent grind trying to get here. You know I came through all the classes with Red Bull KTM, and here we are on top. We’ve finally won in MotoGP.”
Bastianini holds off Lowes, Roberts takes first podium at Brno
The Italian stamps some more authority on the standings, the Brit is back on the box, and the American puts the Stars and Stripes on a GP podium for the first time since 2011
Italtrans Racing Team’s Enea Bastianini produced perfection again in order to claim his second lights-to-flag victory in as many races at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix, but the Italian was under pressure throughout the race from EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes. The Briton eventually had to settle for second, but it was his first trip to a Grand Prix podium since Aragon 2016. Third on the podium was a career first Grand Prix rostrum for Tennor American Racing’s Joe Roberts as the American converted pole into some serious points and an impressive milestone.
Roberts was forced into second off of the line after Bastianini, starting third, got the best launch and took a commanding holeshot. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin was quickly involved in the action after he edged his way past Roberts for second too, but it was extremely short-lived as the American replied immediately with a lunge back through. Lowes then began to find his rhythm though, and in the space of a lap had sliced his way past both Martin and Roberts, setting his sights on Bastianini at the front of the race.
The Italian’s pace at the front was simply too much for the vast majority of the grid. Bastianini was 0.9 seconds clear of Lowes, whilst Lowes was now a second clear of Roberts, who himself had managed to dispose of Martin. Despite the top three breaking clear though, the fight for fourth place was beginning to hot up with Spanish Grand Prix winner Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) coming through from tenth on the grid to slice past teammate Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46), Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) and Martin.
With 13 laps to go, Lowes had cut the Andalucia Grand Prix winner’s lead to below half a second for the first time. Could the Brit find enough to close onto the tail of the Italtrans Racing man? As the laps ticked by the gap remained constant, but Bastianini was still very much under pressure and there was still time left. With five laps to go though ‘The Beast’ showed his teeth for the first time, finding something extra in the closing stages to stretch his lead out to three-quarters of a second…
With two to go, that then became a whole second, but Lowes then suddenly halved the 22-year-old’s lead on the final lap. Was a dramatic finish was potentially on the cards? Almost, but Bastianini just managed to keep the edge to the chequered flag as he won back-to-back for the first time, and took the Moto2™ World Championship lead. Lowes officially put to bed one of the most difficult periods in his career as he jumped back onto the box for the first time in four years, and the podium was completed by Roberts, who put in a solid and impressive ride to take a career first Grand Prix podium and become the first American since John Kocinski in 1993 to stand on an intermediate class rostrum.
Marini managed to cross the line in fourth to take some good points after a tougher Saturday, just ahead of Fernandez, with Bezzecchi, Navarro and Martin next up. There was then a small gap back to Hafizh Syahrin (Openbank Aspar Team) as the Malaysian found some Moto2™ form and finished inside the top ten, with his rookie teammate Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team) completing that top ten.
Former points leader Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was P11, with Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team), Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) completing the top 15.
That’s a wrap from Brno and Bastianini now heads to Austria with quite the advantage at the top. Can the field hit back? Find out next weekend as we race at the Red Bull Ring.
Enea Bastianini: “This race has been really important for me to confirm the result from Jerez, and this weekend Sam was really fast and his pace was incredible, and I thought, ‘ok I should stay behind him and if possible try to overtake’, but I started very well and I pushed my best to stay at the front. Then the gap was really close all race, and I thought ‘ok, this race I’m second’. But finally the last five laps I could push to take this victory. I’m really happy for the team, this result is really important, but congrats to Sam and congrats to Joe as well.”
Foggia takes first Grand Prix win after classic battle in Czechia
The Italian joins the winners’ club as he fights off Arenas and Ogura in another Moto3™ melee at Brno
Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) produced a superb ride at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix to claim his maiden Moto3™ victory, the Italian leading over half the race to eventually fend off Championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team) by two tenths. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) completed the podium after hustling Foggia for much of the last lap, forced to settle for third in the end but consolidating his position in the Championship as he leaves Brno second.
Launching well off the front row was Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and it was the Argentinian who grabbed the holeshot, with polesitter Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) slipping to P3. The best start of all was from Arenas, however. Starting seventh, the Spaniard had a blinder and was leading the race by at Turn 3 as he pushed from the off. Rodrigo was then out the seat through Turn 7 and the riders behind had to sit up too, giving Arenas a substantial lead as the riders completed the opening lap in Brno.
Arenas’ eight-tenth advantage was cut within a lap and a half though, with the top 15 starting to edge clear of 16th place Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) in the opening exchanges. But that gap was also soon diminished though as the leading 27 riders were covered by just four seconds.
A rider who we expected – but haven’t seen as of yet in 2020 – to be at the front this year then took the baton. Foggia and Ogura had got the better of Arenas with 12 to go, and in the final 10 laps things would really heat up. Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) highsided on the exit of Turn 3 on Lap 9, but then drama unfolded for one of the title favourites. Turn 10 had looked troublesome for Suzuki and with nine laps remaining, the Japanese star was down and out of the race, taking his first zero of the year…
By seven to go, the top 10 riders were 2.5 clear of 11th place Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) and Foggia was still leading, by then from compatriot Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team). Masia and McPhee were ahead of Arenas and just behind the leading five lurked Ogura, Fernandez, Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), making sure it remained anyone’s game.
Heading into the final three laps, Foggia was still holding onto the lead, with Arbolino looking for a way through but unable to make anything stick. Suddenly the latter was shuffled back courtesy of a move from Arenas at Turn 1 as well, leaving Leopard Racing’s Foggia and teammate Jaume Masia 1-2… before drama then struck at Turn 11 with two to go as Masia slid out of contention. Ogura then made his move up into P2 past Arenas as the last lap began, with Foggia heading Ogura and Arenas, and Antonelli and McPhee in fourth and fifth…
Ogura swept through at Turn 3 but Foggia got the cutback into Turn 4, with Arenas then getting a good run down the hill to grab second. Ogura was back through moments later though, looking threatening behind the leader, but Foggia kept the door closed. Arenas then picked the pocket of the Japanese rider up the inside at Turn 12, ultimately costing the Honda Team Asia rider a chance to get a good run up horsepower hill and really fight it out for the win. Foggia was a good few bike lengths clear by then, and the Italian rounded the final two corners without hassle from behind to take the chequered flag in P1 for an impressive first victory. Arenas held on to keep P2 from Ogura as the top two in the Championship went toe-to-toe on the last lap, the Spaniard extending his points lead.
Just off the podium, Antonelli took fourth and some solid points, with McPhee putting in a solid comeback to complete the top five and take a good haul of points too. Polesitter Fernandez was a couple of tenths off McPhee to finish sixth for the third race in a row, but the Spaniard beat former FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship rival Alcoba as the duo battled it out in the lead group throughout.
Behind them, Arbolino and Fenati crossed the line with nothing to choose between them, but it was the Rivacold Snipers Team rider who just took P8. Fenati still achieves his best result of the season and his first top 10 of 2020 for Husqvarna though, with Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team) getting the better of Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to head the second freight train of riders over the line in P10.
Binder, Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), teammate Andrea Migno and Öncü completed the points scorers.
The Championship battles took another twist in Brno, with Arenas stamping more authority on the lightweight class 2020 title race – but it’s far from over. Coming up is a double-header at the Red Bull Ring and you can bet there’s going to be drama, with the likes of Ogura and McPhee eager to claw back their disadvantage.
Dennis Foggia: “It’s beautiful because it’s my first win in the World Championship. My goal was to push in front the whole race, and with ten or 11 to go I thought, ‘ok, push!’ It was crazy and the last lap especially. I’m really happy about the race, the team, the bike is different for me and it’s a bit strange at times, but we are working on the bike for me. I’m really happy and I want to thank my team and my family!”
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:
Oliveira scores career best result with sixth in Brno
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira showed another fantastic display of his talent today at the Czech Grand Prix in Brno, crossing the line in sixth place. Starting from P13, the Portuguese worked a long way through the field. In the course of the 21 laps race, he made up one position after another, passing strong rivals to finally achieve his best ever MotoGP outcome, crossing the line just 7.969 seconds behind the race winner, fellow KTM rider Brad Binder.
On the other side of the Red Bull KTM Tech3 garage, Iker Lecuona was launching off the race from P19 on the grid, performing well in the first laps to even place himself inside the points scoring positions. While fighting for 14th, the MotoGP World Championship rookie unfortunately went down on the fourth lap of the race, ending his chances for a decent result early.
“This has been a good end of the weekend today. We had a decent race, I feel that we have done a good job the entire weekend. Looking at the race, our starting position cost us a better result, but we need to live with that and do a better job next race in just a few days’ time.”
“In the Warm Up this morning, I felt really good, my pace was strong for the race. I’m happy about the work during the weekend, because Friday we were struggling, I improved on Saturday and on Sunday I felt prepared. I passed some riders, but when I tried to overtake Joan Mir in corner 13, I knew that there were some bumps. He was quite slow on the straight, I was left of him, in a good position, but he just closed the line, so I tried to release the brake a bit and to save the situation, but finally I touched him and we crashed. Maybe I should have been waiting longer, but this seemed to be a good opportunity. So, I want to say sorry to my team and also sorry to Joan. Anyway, we improved a lot this weekend and we learned a lot, so we will see what will happen in Austria.”
“An historical day today, KTM won his first ever MotoGP race here in Brno, Czech Republic and although this is not my team, I feel like it is. We work so closely together with KTM, I see how much everybody is pushing, how high the passion is everywhere. I have said, that I worked with a lot of other factories, but this one is very, very special and we’ve had some bad fortunes recently, all of us and what happened today is really an incredible story. Congratulations to KTM, congratulations to Brad, sorry for Pol and Iker, but the main point is that the KTM RC16 is now a bike that is capable of winning and we had the proof today. Regarding the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team, we were very happy with Iker and we were really full of hope, that he could finally finish his first race, in the points. We could see that today was a good day to finish the race with the KTM having a few points in your bag, but unfortunately again the youth spoke and he was too aggressive too early. We’re sorry about what happened to Joan Mir, it was not necessary. I’ve been happy with Iker until Sunday midday, but this afternoon was again what we don’t want to see. Hopefully we see the end of this tunnel by next round on KTM home ground in Spielberg. What I want to talk most about, is Miguel’s performance. He unfortunately couldn’t make the grid position, we were expecting, his start was not ideal and he had to fight with a lot of riders to progress through the field. Every time he was on his own, we could see that the lap time was very similar, not to say identical to the leaders, but the handicap was there and there was never a way to close this gap. Anyway, he was as usual a fast, steady Miguel, who passed a lot of riders in front of him to end up sixth, which is his best ever race finish, passing quite big names, even the championship leader. So, we clearly saw, that Miguel and the KTM RC16 are in a position to maybe achieve what Brad Binder has been doing today. KTM has got a strong bike, KTM has got four strong riders and hopefully we can continue to write this beautiful story next week in Spielberg, Austria.”
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:
FANTASTIC START AND A TOP-10 FINISH FOR ALEIX IN BRNO
DIFFICULT RACE FOR BRADLEY WITH POOR GRIP
In the Brno race, Aleix Espargaró took great advantage of his fourth spot on the grid, starting well and taking the Aprilia RS-GP into the leading group straight away. In an extremely complicated race, the Spanish rider managed the situation, limiting the damage caused by tyre wear and not taking any pointless risks. The goal was to finish the race, earning the first points of the season; mission accomplished with a tenth-place finish when the chequered flag came out, about 8 seconds behind the podium. This is a “ground zero” spot for Aleix and his team to build on for the rest of the season.
Bradley Smith, on the other hand, battled with a lack of grip – a circumstance similar to what had happened in Jerez, but aggravated by the characteristics of the Portuguese track. This was all in spite of a good start, where Bradley managed to stay with the group of riders battling in the points zone, but having to rethink his ambitions after a few laps.
“I’m pleased that I finished the race after what happened in Jerez, although I can’t be entirely happy. Unfortunately, we were not as incisive in the race as we were in qualifying. I didn’t have the pace to stay with the best. However, on one side, we stayed in the top 10 on a track where we struggle historically, and this can be the real ground zero for the start of our season. We need to work especially on acceleration and on speed in mid-turn, although on the latter aspect maybe the two crashes in Jerez had an impact, convincing me to take fewer risks. In any case, I want to see the glass as half full, so we are staying positive and focused. We know our limits and we need to give it our all to solve the problems.”
“The start and the early stages of the race were good and it was definitely nice to see Aleix so far out front. Unfortunately, my pace got worse after a few laps. Similar to what happened in Jerez, I started battling with rear grip early on. In any case, finishing the race lets us gather more important data to help our project grow. It seems like we’ll have some new features to test from the next race, and that is very important.”
More, from a press release issued by Esponsorama Racing:
HISTORIC PODIUM FOR ESPONSORAMA RACING AT BRNO
Johann Zarco and Esponsorama Racing made history at the Czech Republic Grand Prix. The Frenchman took the team’s first podium since his debut in the MotoGP class with third place at Brno. Tito Rabat crossed the line in 16th position.
After the pole position achieved during qualifying, Johann Zarco was leading the grid. Despite a bad start and losing five positions, the Esponsorama Racing rider remained in the leading group, even having to take a somewhat strict long lap penalty after an incident with Pol Espargaró on lap nine. In the end Zarco finished in a spectacular third position, which together with yesterday’s pole position, closes a perfect weekend for him and the team.
For his part, Tito Rabat has remained at the door of the points zone. The Spanish rider has done a great performance during the whole weekend, going from less to more. After a difficult start, Rabat squeezed his Ducati Desmosedici GP19 to climb positions, but finally crossed the finish line in 16th.
After the Czech Republic Grand Prix, where Esponsorama Racing closed their best weekend in 20 years in the MotoGP class, they face the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg circuit next week.
JOHANN ZARCO – P3
“Fantastic day today, even better than yesterday’s pole position, because a podium means that the race was good. The race was really tough, I didn’t have a good start and it’s a shame because the first five laps I could go faster than Morbidelli did but I had to fight with the group and it was a little bit hard for me. Then I had some contacts but after that I could overtake Fabio and I was well in third position and then I had the penalty because of this contact and the long lap. When I got the information I want to do it immediately to don’t lose my concentration and when I saw that no one overtook me during the long lap I got like a second breathe to catch the podium and thinking ‘if I push well I can be third’ and I was focused on maybe catch Morbidelli. At the end Rins made me to be scared because he was coming strong but in the last sector I could manage well the corners to keep him behind. I’m incredibly happy for the team, thanks to Ducati for the investment they are doing and happy to offer this podium to my team.”
TITO RABAT – P16
“After yesterday’s qualifying we had a good starting position, but in the first corner I stayed inside and lost a lot of positions. It has been a difficult day because it was difficult to find the pace, but despite this I was able to recover some positions. I want to congratulate Johann and the whole team. Thank you all for your support and see you in Austria.”
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP COLLECTS CRUCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS IN CZECH GP
Brno (Czech Republic), 9th August 2020
GRAND PRIX OF CZECH REPUBLIC
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi showed great pace in the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky and fought his way to 5th place. Maverick Viñales didn‘t find a good rhythm and finished in 14th position.
5th VALENTINO ROSSI +7.517 / 21 LAPS
14th MAVERICK VIÑALES +19.720 / 21 LAPS
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi started from mid-pack in today‘s Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky and put his head down to ultimately take 5th position. Maverick Viñales had difficulties finding form on the Automotodrom Brno track this afternoon and took 14th place.
Rossi had a decent start from P10 on the grid and managed to complete the opening lap in ninth place, right behind his team-mate. On lap 4, The Doctor moved up to eighth and started his charge to the front.
With 12 laps to go, the number-46 rider passed Aleix Espargaró, and when Pol Espargaró crashed out in front of him, the Italian was in sixth place. He had to make up a 1.2s gap to enter the top 5. The 41-year-old steadily chipped away at it, and with five laps to go he was ready to join Alex Rins and Fabio Quartararo for the fight for P4. He smoothly overtook the fellow Yamaha rider and skillfully withstood the pressure from behind applied by Miguel Oliveira, to take 5th place, 7.517s from first.
Viñales started from P5 but lost a few positions on the opening lap. He crossed the line for the first time in eighth. Riding defensively, he hoped the bike would come to him in the later stages, but he had to let his team-mate past in the meantime.
As the number of laps went up it became clear he wasn‘t able to fully push due to a lack of feeling and would have to focus on salvaging as many championship points as possible to defend his runner-up status in the championship standings. He lost various positions and ended the race in 14th place, 19.720s from the front, with a hunger to set things right next week at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg.
Today’s results mean that Viñales holds on to second in the championship rankings, 17 points from the top. Rossi is now in seventh place, with a 32-point gap to first. Yamaha remains first in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in second place in the team classification.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action next week for the Grand Prix von Österreich, where the MotoGP classes will be racing two weeks in a row.
We knew this would be a tough race and that the tyres would play a vital role. Valentino did a good job today. Starting from 10th on the grid in the midst of the busy pack is always a challenge. He did well to recover quickly and steadily move up the order, all the while making sure he had enough tyre left at the end of the race to defend his fifth position. Our only regret is that if he had started at least one row ahead, he would have surely fought for the podium. The GP weekend ended in a disappointment for Maverick. The choice to start with the rear tyre scrubbed, as we had done in Jerez, really did not pay off. I am not saying that was the only reason for his difficulties, because he struggled from the very beginning of the race, therefore we’ll have to analyse the data and find the reason why Maverick struggled so much. This race is done and dusted, and now we head to Spielberg, where we hope to do two good races.
It was a good race today. The second race in Jerez was better because we got a podium, but in general my performance here was better, because I had to start from the fourth row. The races have become very complicated now in MotoGP, but I felt good on the bike, and I had a good performance at this race track. I was able to be strong from the beginning to the end and also in the last part of the race I was good. It‘s a shame that yesterday we made some mistakes in qualifying because if I could have started one row to the front maybe I could have fought for the podium. But anyway, this remains a good performance and I enjoyed the race.
I think this is my worst result with Yamaha. I don‘t know what happened, honestly. This morning I felt great and I was hitting good lap times, also on used tires. But in the race I couldn‘t keep the pace, not even for one lap. I just lost a lot of grip since the beginning, and little by little it got worse and worse. It was very difficult to ride the bike. The only thing that I could do was try to finish and try to take some points. If I had risked more I might have scored zero, and that would have been a mistake. So we took two very valuable points today and, on the bright side, the leader of the championship also didn‘t do great today, so this lessens the damage. We have to check the data and try to be fast again in Austria.
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Consistent Alex Marquez continues point scoring run
The Repsol Honda Team took steps forward on Sunday as a difficult Brno weekend came to a close, Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl ready to come back stronger in Austria next week.
Blue skies welcomed the MotoGP World Championship to the third race of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship at the Automotodrom Brno. After sweltering conditions in Spain, the 46°C track temperature seemed pleasant in comparison.
A focused Alex Marquez put a disappointing qualifying result behind him as his Sunday preparations began. Confirming his feeling on the Honda RC213V in Warm Up, he was prepared for what he knew would be a long 21-lap Czech GP. Consistency and a calm approach saw the MotoGP rookie steadily work his way forward, lap by lap closing the gap to those ahead. 15th place in the race continues his perfect run of point scoring finishes as he continues to learn the MotoGP class. The Red Bull Ring will be another new circuit for Alex to learn, but two races there will allow him and the team to see his progress.
It was a demanding Sunday in the Czech Republic for Stefan Bradl, the German rider completing his first MotoGP race since the 2019 Austrian GP. Although he did not score points, Bradl did gather important data for himself and for HRC as the non-stop development of the Honda RC213V continues.
Stefan Bradl will join the Repsol Honda Team again at the Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich as World Champion Marc Marquez continues to recover from surgery.
Nakagami was once again the leading Honda rider as his run of form continues. An eighth-place finish at the Czech round has him eighth in the World Championship standings, but just four points off third overall.
There’s almost no time to wait before the Repsol Honda Team are back out on track, the Austrian Grand Prix starting on Friday, August 14. It’s the first of two back-to-back races held at the Red Bull Ring as the compressed 2020 MotoGP season rapidly progresses.
“It was a tough day; I was expecting a lot more from this weekend to be honest. Sometimes when you expect a little too much, you can find yourself here. But anyway, we’ve learned some new things as this was the first race with a lot of change in the tyre. I lost a lot of time overtaking Bradl and Smith, I really lost the race here. After this the pace wasn’t so bad and I have learned a lot about managing the tyre. Not the weekend we expected, but we learned more.”
“It was a pretty tough day honestly. Jumping into a race weekend was always going to be tricky, so we made the most of what we could. In the race I didn’t really feel comfortable on the bike, but I was able to make a good start. On lap seven or eight I unfortunately made a mistake on the brakes into Turn 1 and I ran off. Then it was a race on my own and I did what I could. I’m looking forward to moving on to the next weekend. We have a whole weekend of data to understand the bike more, so let’s see what’s possible.”
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:
BRILLIANT 4TH FOR RINS AND MISFORTUNE FOR MIR IN BRNO
Monster Energy Grand Prix Czech Republic, race results:
Alex Rins: 4th (+ 6.609)
Joan Mir: DNF (Lap 3)
The third MotoGP round of the 2020 season resulted in a demanding and unpredictable 21 lap race, and mixed fortunes for Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders as Alex Rins managed an amazing fourth but Joan Mir was hit with bad luck.
Rins got off to a great start onboard his GSX-RR, managing to slot into seventh from his 11th place grid spot. For the opening laps he kept the lead group in his sights, taking a careful approach to conserve his tyres and his shoulder. As the contenders began to spread out, Rins made a move on Aleix Espargaro to put himself in a secure sixth place and move away from the Aprilia rider and a chasing Valentino Rossi. Continuing to ride wisely and carefully, he was able to make a precise move on Fabio Quartararo to secure fourth with five laps left. Pushing on through his shoulder pain and using his smooth riding style he continued to gain ground on third place, crossing the line just 0.139 seconds from the podium. An incredible finish for Alex and a great reward for the struggles he’s endured in the last weeks. He moves up six places in the Championship standings to now sit in 10th.
Mir came into the race with confidence in his race pace after impressive strings of laps over the course of the weekend, and he felt able to score a good result from his ninth place grid position. However, a challenging start which saw him pushed back through the pack made for a tricky beginning to his race. On the fourth lap of the Grand Prix, Mir’s front wheel was hit when another rider went down in an attempt to overtake and he was unable to rejoin the race. Thankfully he was uninjured in the incident.
Team Suzuki Ecstar will be back on track in just five days’ time for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Today was half good and half bad really. Alex did an unbelievable race, especially considering the pain in his shoulder. He did a very good job, just missing out on the podium but getting a great fourth. It was such a pity for Joan because we were confident he could get a good result and some nice points, but sometimes these things happen. We’re already focusing on the next race and continuing to fight with both riders.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We thought that Alex had done a great job yesterday in practice and qualifying, but he surprised us even more today! We know how much he’s suffering and to finish the race like this – so close to the podium and keeping a strong pace to the end – was so impressive. So thank you very much to Alex and all the team for their work. Unfortunately, I think Joan was capable of a good result too, but there was a racing incident which wasn’t his fault and it really comprised his race. It was a pity but we know he is strong and can come back well. Looking forward to Austria next weekend!”
“I decided not to ride in the morning Warm-Up, except for making a practice start, in order to conserve my shoulder as much as possible. In the race I still felt pain and it was very tough, but I tried to get a good start and I remained focused on the job. Lap by lap I got into a stronger rhythm, even as the tyre life started to drop off. I was determined to get the best position possible, and with this fourth I take a lot of points. The lack of power in my body made it harder to pass my rivals, and I got very close to the podium but I couldn’t quite do the overtake. Anyway, I’m satisfied with the result and the work done.”
“The only thing that I didn’t want to happen in the race happened. My start was OK but I lost ground in the first laps when fighting with Petrucci. I was settling into a rhythm and keeping calm because I knew I had good pace, so I was preparing to work my way through the pack. Lecuona crashed in front of me, and there was no way I could avoid going down too. He ruined the race for me but I don’t blame him because these things can happen. I have good memories from Austria in the smaller classes, although it will be my first time there on the MotoGP bike; I can’t wait to get back on track.”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Dovizioso and Petrucci eleventh and twelfth respectively in the Czech GP. Superb Podium for Johann Zarco as he was third with the Ducati of Team Esponsorama Racing
Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci finished eleventh and twelfth respectively in the Czech GP held today at Brno Circuit.
The rider from Forlì, who started from the sixth row of the grid after qualifying in eighteenth place yesterday, managed to recover some positions immediately after the start, placing himself in the group fighting for the top ten with his teammate Petrucci and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing Team). As the tyres started to drop their performance in the second part of the race, Andrea couldn’t push further and stayed in the eleventh position until the finish line. After today’s race, Dovizioso sits in the fourth position of the championship standings, tied with Franco Morbidelli in third place.
Danilo Petrucci also had a tight race today. The Ducati Team rider, who started from Row 3 with the eighth fastest time, failed to stay with the riders at the front and dropped back into fourteenth place after a few laps. Towards the end of the race, the rider from Terni managed to recover till twelfth position where he finished behind his teammate. After the race in Brno, Danilo is fifteenth in the overall standings, while Ducati occupies the third position in the manufacturers’ classification. The Ducati Team is currently fourth in the team standings.
Johan Zarco, rider of the team Esponsorama Racing, took his first podium onboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP bike. The Frenchman was third in Brno after starting from pole position and despite having to go through a questionable “long lap penalty” that had probably prevailed him from finishing in a well-deserved second position.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 11th
“It was a pretty weird weekend. Unfortunately, we have not yet identified the reason for our problems. Today the tyres have been affected a lot by the wear, and they didn’t allow us to express ourselves to our best, but still, we don’t know if were the tyres that made the big difference today in the race. On the other hand, Zarco has been the protagonist of a great weekend, and this allows us to have some data to analyze to understand the situation better.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 12th
“We knew it was going to be a tough Sunday, but I didn’t expect to be that slow at the beginning. Unfortunately, I suffered a lot from the lack of grip, a problem that we’ve had all weekend. I struggled so much to keep a good pace throughout the race. Today I put it all into it without being able to get a good result, so now we have to look forward. Luckily, next week we will already have a chance to redeem ourselves, as we will be racing again in Austria”.
The Ducati Team will be back on track in less than a week for the Austrian GP, scheduled from 14th to 16th August 2020 at the Red Bull Ring near Zeltweg.
More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:
Morbidelli takes career-first MotoGP podium at Brno
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli takes his first MotoGP podium at Czech GP after finishing second, Fabio Quartararo takes seventh
Franco Morbidelli claimed his first MotoGP podium at the Grand Prix České republiky today, battling tyre wear and low-grip to finish second, moving to third in the World Championship. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT team-mate Fabio Quartararo rode a smart race in the tricky conditions, bringing his bike home in seventh and increasing his lead in the riders’ standings. Morbidelli’s result today makes it ten podiums for the team since their MotoGP debut last year.
A lightning start from Morbidelli saw him immediately take the lead on the first lap, whereupon he proceeded to lay down a series of unexpectedly fast laps. Pulling away from the rest of the field, the Italian was able to put plenty of space between him and the other riders in the opening stages of the race. As the laps continued to count down Morbidelli experienced increased tyre wear, something that has plagued every series this weekend. As Brad Binder started to close, Franco decided that battling him wasn’t worth the risk of crashing. Making no mistakes and maintaining what tyre grip was available, Morbidelli’s wise decision saw him able to cross the line second and take his first ever MotoGP podium. He also moves into third in the championship standings, eleven points behind fellow Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales.
Although Quartararo also had a great start of the line, and made it a PETRONAS Yamaha SRT one-two for the opening laps, he fell foul of the same tyre issues that many riders faced. Despite trying his hardest to find all the available grip, the Frenchman was just unable to lap at the times he needed to maintain his second place. Lap-by-lap Fabio started to lose positions and found himself back in the main pack. With other championship contenders faring worse than him, the #20 rider decided to not risk a crash and make sure to rack up as many points as possible. The strategy worked as, even though he finished seventh, Quartararo will head into the next round with an increased points lead in the riders’ standings.
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT continue to the next race, having increased the gap at the top of the teams’ championship, which takes place next weekend at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg, Austria (14-16 August).
It was a very unpredictable race and we are extremely happy with Franco’s second place finish. We send our congratulations to Brad Binder and KTM as they did an amazing job. It’s a great day for Franco and we’re also fairly happy with Fabio’s result as well. Of course we need to evaluate what happened but overall we are very happy.
The Moto3 race was also an unusual one and we were hoping for a slightly better result from John. However, it was a commendable effort from him and he rode a smart race to maintain his position in the championship. I’m pleased with KIP for finishing the race, given the injury that he sustained during qualifying yesterday.
Unfortunately in Moto2 we had a technical problem with Jake’s bike, which ended his race early. With Xavi we really need to look at how we can improve because we expect more from him. We’ll have to wait and see how we go in Austria.
I’m so happy, overwhelmed actually to have finished on the podium today! It was a bit of a strange race because I couldn’t push at 100% all race. At the beginning I was going quite fast, my pace was better than I expected and I was pulling away from the pack. I could see Brad catching though and knew he might be in a better position than me as he’d got the medium tyre. I didn’t try to fight because I just wanted to make sure I got the bike to the end of the race and got my first podium. I have to say thanks to all the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT, my crew, Yamaha and all the people at home supporting me. Now we rest for three days and go to Austria with a great injection of confidence and knowledge that we can be strong. I’m really looking forward to it.
We suffered a lot in the race today from the first lap until the last, so we need to analyse this to see what we can improve to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We struggled with tyre wear on Friday, but then we improved it during FP4 so I wasn’t expecting the tyres to be as bad as they were today. I’m not really happy with seventh today but we still earned nine points towards the championship and actually we increased our lead there. Although I’m not thinking about the championship, I am just taking each race one at a time. Of course I always want to be on the podium, but it was nice to see Franco on there today – congratulations Franco! – and we will see what we can do in Austria.
More, from a press release issued by Michelin:
MICHELIN COMBATS TRACK CONDITIONS AS A ROOKIE TAKES VICTORY
Michelin’s range of MotoGP™ tyres had to work at the very peak of their performance during this weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky at Brno as low grip from the ageing surface made traction a valuable commodity in today’s race which was won by Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).
This weekend’s temperatures had seen the track rise to over 50°C and meant that grip levels were very low from the asphalt and left riders in all three classes searching for adhesion around the 5,403m circuit, but Michelin’s Technicians worked tirelessly with all their respective MotoGP teams to make sure the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres afforded the best purchase on the slippery surface.
As the race began all riders went with a hard front tyre to give them the stability needed, with a split between soft and medium for the rear. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) got a good start and led into the first corner, in-front of team-mate Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and the rest of the field, including pole-setter Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing). Morbidelli held on to the lead for the first lap and continued to run at the front until lap 13, when he was caught and passed by Binder, who had also set the fastest lap of the race in his pursuit of the lead. The rookie, in only his third race in the premier class, showed an experienced side and used the grip provided by his Michelin tyres to extend his lead at the front, eventually crossing the line over five-seconds ahead of Morbidelli at the end of the 21-lap race. Binder’s win was his first in MotoGP, the first for a South African rider in the top class and more importantly the first victory for KTM since its introduction into MotoGP. The victory for KTM also marks the fifth manufacturer to win in dry condition on Michelin tyres since the French company’s return to MotoGP in 2016.
Track temperatures for the race were 46°C, as a slight wind and some cloud cover brought the heat down from the weekend’s previous highs. The protocols again meant no fans were trackside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the MotoGP field certainly put on an exciting race for the TV audience of millions. Morbidelli’s second-place also gave him the honour of First Independent Rider and he was followed home by Zarco who produced a stunning moment of riding after he was penalised for an on-track infringement and had to do a long-lap penalty. The extra part of the circuit is unused all weekend, except for when riders go through for penalties and it is off-line and dirty, but Zarco put his full trust in the grip of his MICHELIN Power Slicks and rode at full pace and lean angle through the dust and debris to re-join the race in the third position he held before the penalty.
There were also plenty of other thrilling battles through the field as the riders pushed their tyres to the performance limit to find the traction on a circuit that was last resurfaced in 2008. Following home the top-three was Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), meaning the top four positions were taken by a quartet of different manufacturers. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) took fifth, ahead of Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) in sixth, whilst seventh for Quartararo was enough to see him strengthen his lead at top of the championship standings. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) crossed the line in eighth, Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was ninth and tenth for Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) meant that all six marques finished in the top-ten.
Michelin will now head directly to Austria as the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg will play host to Grands Prix over successive weekends starting with the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich next Sunday and followed seven days later with the first running of the BMW M Grand Prix von Styria.
Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing:
“Today was fantastic! The whole weekend has been a bit difficult and we have worked really hard on used tyres and I was really happy with the performance from them in the race. I think everybody had to be a bit cautious at the beginning, because the end was going to be a bit difficult, but we were able to do a fantastic job. Hats off to all the guys at Michelin for helping us make such a clear decision yesterday, it worked out for the best today, so thank-you.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“This has been one of the most difficult weekends since Michelin returned to MotoGP. The traction afforded by the asphalt was very low, as the surface is so old and there are a lot of bumps to unsettle the riders. The one plus was that our front tyre construction is built to absorb the bumps as much as possible, so the riders still had the confidence to push the front. The new rear construction we introduced this year was tested here in 2019 and the results were very good, but the track has deteriorated so much since then and with the combination of the high temperatures it has not helped the tyre to perform at its highest capacity. The technicians worked incredibly hard this weekend to find the best solutions for all the riders and manufacturers, it is during weekends like this that we see the experience within our team and how we pull together as a group to make sure the best performance from the tyres can be provided to all. We knew that because of the amount of spin that the tyres were being subjected to – because of the lack of traction – that there would be a drop as the race wore on, but we were able to advise the riders in the best way to manage this and this helped them and their teams make some race strategy decisions. It has been a tough weekend, but one we can learn from and move forward. Finally, I would like to pass on congratulations to Brad Binder and KTM, both first time winners in MotoGP and for Michelin!”
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
Czech GP – Jack Miller ended the Czech GP in P9
The Czech Republic GP ended with Jack Miller in the Top 10, after a difficult weekend for the Pramac Racing Team. Jack Miller started very fast and he was able to gain 4 positions after the first corner. Unfortunately, after a front end shaking he didn’t brake properly and he almost finished out in corner 3. He could come back on track but he was P16, he pushed hard and during the last 4 laps the Australian rider made great overtakes, which allowed him to cross the finish line in ninth position.
I had a good start, during the second lap in the second corner I had I big shake and I lost the brakes but I was still able to recover some position and finish in ninth position. It’s a shame because my pace was good, and I was fast. But I remain positive and we will do our best next week.
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:
SENSATIONAL MOTOGP™ VICTORY FOR KTM AS BRAD BINDER MAKES HISTORY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
MotoGP 2020 – Round 03, Automotodrom Brno (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Red Bull KTM marked a major racing milestone today at a hot Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky for the third round of the 2020 season. Brad Binder, in just his third outing in the premier class, took the KTM RC16 to a clear victory: the first for the company in MotoGP, the first for the South African (and for his country) and the second trophy from only three-and-a-half years KTM have been on the grid.
MotoGP basked in more elevated summer temperatures for the annual visit to the Automotodrom Brno. Teams and riders had spent the better part of two days refining set-ups in the search for traction and to preserve tire life across the bumpy asphalt. Red Bull KTM saw Pol Espargaro and Brad Binder launch away from the second and third rows of the starting grid with the Red Bull KTM Tech3 RC16s machines of Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona also in the mix.
Both Espargaro and Binder settled into the top five from the outset. While Binder found extra speed to work his way to the front, Espargaro was in hot pursuit until he collided with Johann Zarco in the tussle for 3rd place and crashed out on lap 10. Lecuona was also a faller.
Binder went from strength to strength as he passed the winner of the first two Grands Prix, Fabio Quartararo, and also Franco Morbidelli to control the race from P1 and with authority for the last nine laps of the 21. Miguel Oliveira also moved through the pack and his 6th position at the flag represented his personal best result in MotoGP to-date.
Brad Binder: “Honestly, right now, I’m lost for words. I’ve dreamt of this since I was a little boy and today it came true. It is amazing to win my first GP [in MotoGP]. Thank you to everybody who supported me, and the whole team: they put an insane motorcycle beneath me today! I didn’t know if we could win but I knew we would have a go. It was the craziest ten laps of my life at the end. I was being as soft as I could. It was incredible. Unbelievable.”
Miguel Oliveira: “It was a good end to the weekend. We had a decent race and I feel that we have done a good job the entire weekend. Looking at the race, our starting position cost us a better result but we need to live with that and do a better job next race in just a few days’ time.”
Pol Espargaro: “It’s unfair but it is racing, and we have to deal with these things. I was behind Brad and watching the others and playing with the maps to be strong at the end. I felt I could make ‘58s in the last laps, so I was trying to be relaxed when the contact happened. I could not show my potential and win the first race for KTM but I’m happy for Brad because he’s a good guy and works hard. We had a real chance today and we’ll hope for another one very soon.”
Iker Lecuona: “On Sunday I felt prepared. I passed some riders but when I tried to overtake Joan Mir in corner 13, I knew that there were some bumps. He was quite slow on the straight, I was left of him, in a good position, but he just closed the line. So, I tried to release the brake a bit and to save the situation but finally I touched him and we crashed. Maybe I should have waited longer but this seemed to be a good opportunity. So, I want to say sorry to my team and also sorry to Joan. Anyway, we improved a lot this weekend and we learned a lot, so we will see what will happen in Austria.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “It was amazing today. All weekend we felt quite competitive on this track with good lap-times among the riders and we expected something from the race. Brad had the race pace and Pol was at the same point, and even though we could not be happier we could have had even more from this GP! Miguel also did great to take 6th so in general we are more than happy. We started this project in 2017 and many people have been involved. We built a complete infrastructure in KTM. People in the company had the right mentality because we had to push: we did not have the road racing history of other manufacturers we are competing against. When I look back at these three years there have been ups-and-downs but the pay-off has been unbelievable today. We’ve saw in Jerez – and again here – that we are much closer to the front. On this long, technical track at Brno, and with our different technical philosophy with a steel chassis and WP Suspension, we got the job done and it’s a great payback to every person who has been connected to the project. I’m very happy to give back something to the KTM board for the great investment they made, their 100% belief and our main sponsor who also had full belief in us. Now, we will go to our home Grand Prix now and will work hard from FP1.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “For KTM this is an unbelievable day. It’s historic for our company and for the whole team but of course for Brad Binder; who has believed in us and our project for many years. Today is payback for so much hard work. We knew we had a better bike for this year and this did not happen by accident: it came from everything we learned during the last years. With Dani Pedrosa, Mika Kallio and the test team we worked and developed for over a full year to have this bike now. At the end of the day you need a fantastic rider to put the bike on the top step and Brad did it today, and in the same style as he won in Moto3 and Moto2 races for us. It´s an incredible feeling and we will now build on this result. On the other hand, I want to thank Pol Espargaro because also he – together with his crew – brought every piece of the puzzle together to bring this project to the top. Today is the result of a fantastic team effort: at home in Munderfing and Mattighofen, through the test team and a great crew on track.”
Moto2 & Moto3
The Moto3 race opened the Grand Prix and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez started from Pole Position for the first time. The Spaniard was part of the customary large group of riders swapping places in the lead pack and eventually completed the 18-laps in 6th. Solunion Aspar Team’s Albert Arenas climbed the podium in 2nd place and continues to lead the championship. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin classified 8th in the Moto2 race. Tetsuta Nagashima rode to 11th place and currently sits 3rd in the standings.
MotoGP travels to Austria and to the Red Bull Ring for the first of back-to-back weekends starting August 16th at the fast Spielberg circuit.
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:
CRUTCHLOW IN THE POINTS AT BRNO
LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow had to settle for 13th position in Sunday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix. Starting from the fourth row of the grid, the Briton endured a difficult start and was forced to battle his way back through the field to secure a points finish in a highly competitive race in Brno.
Crutchlow always had a lot of work to do after slipping back into 19th place following a congested first lap. He was able to recover positions as the race wore on, but had to satisfy himself with 13th at the chequered flag – just as he did in Jerez two weeks ago. Having tasted victory in the Czech Republic in LCR team colours back in 2016, it was not the result he was looking for, but the 34-year-old is now focusing on next week’s race in Austria.
Cal Crutchlow – 13th
“It was not a good day for us. I got a terrible start and was at the back of the race completely and not able to do anything for the first few laps. I tried my best to come through and it seemed that I am able to ride my Honda a lot better alone than when I am in a group. Today, in a group I couldn’t take the correct lines. I did my best to try and salvage a result today, but I didn’t come here to finish in 13th place, I came here to try and win the race which is what we do every week. We’ll try again in the next races. I thank my team for the work they did this weekend and surely we’ll try again in Austria next week.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
NAKAGAMI TOP HONDA RIDER IN BRNO
Takaaki Nakagami battled through the field to claim another top-10 finish in the Czech Republic Grand Prix on Sunday. Starting from down in 17th on the grid, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider made the most of a strong start to force his way back into contention and ended in eighth place to maintain his consistent start to the revamped 2020 MotoGP season.
Knowing he needed to get away well from the sixth row, the Japanese star did just that and had fought his way up into the top 10 by the third lap. He then did battle with Maverick Viñales before passing another Spaniard, Aleix Espargaro three laps from the end to move into eighth where he remained. Given his difficult starting position, Taka admitted he was satisfied with his result in Brno.
Takaaki Nakagami – 8th
“I had a really good start, I was really strong after the first and second lap. I had to be really aggressive to recover positions and keep a strong pace at the beginning. But after five laps I felt the tyre drop and it was very difficult to manage until the end of the race. We did the same as in Jerez, tried not to make any mistakes and stay calm and lap by lap we closed the gap to the front and finished in P8. We were a little bit unlucky yesterday and we started from 17th which makes it a difficult race, but in the end we managed P8 so I’m pretty happy. Thanks to the team, they did a great job all weekend and sorry to the team for yesterday as I made some mistakes.”