Espargaro defends CRT lead with another top ten finish despite sickness
Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo grabbed the headlines at the Czech Republic GP. Pedrosa had dominated practice, whilst Lorenzo had taken pole in qualifying. The duo were the obvious candidates for the race win, and that was precisely how things turned out on Sunday. Lorenzo opened things up in the lead, before Pedrosa moved in front on lap twelve. On the final lap, Lorenzo mounted an attack, responded to by Pedrosa on the penultimate corner as he got back in front and closed the door. Pedrosa won from Lorenzo, with Cal Crutchlow third.
Randy De Puniet erased a sour memory of Indianapolis from his mind with a determined display at Brno. The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider was highly motivated ahead of the Czech Republic Grand Prix, having clocked the fastest pace of the CRT riders in practice. Today he was the best of the new class in MotoGP by some distance. In the end he placed eighth, ahead of prototype machines and with reason to be pleased with his ride.
Aleix Espargaró was the only rider able to come close to De Puniet on Sunday. The Spaniard was hoping to take the fight to his teammate, but a dip in track temperatures caught him out. His bike slid about underneath him at the start of the race, as De Puniet broke away. He eventually found a way of riding around the issue, finishing tenth and taking six more points for his tally at the top of the CRT standings.
10th Aleix Espargaró: “I’m a little weak from the flu, but in the race I felt more or less ok. The track temperature today had dropped a lot and that affected us. From the start I could feel the bike sliding out a lot. I got a good start, but Randy escaped straight away. He was just faster than me, taking three tenths of a second out of my times with every lap. When I got passed by the Ducatis I tried to stay with them, but it was hard to ride with them. On the straight they took off and on the corners I was back amongst Elías and Abraham. I got as close as I could on the final laps. Toni and I exchanged passes on the last lap on three or four occasions, and in the end I won out. I was expecting a little better from the race, as I thought that we had a little more pace. Still, I am happy to have taken points and to continue to lead the CRT standings.”
Source: Aspar Team Press Release