Second place for Marc Marquez and fightback for Dani Pedrosa at Brno
The Czech Grand Prix was a tough test for the Repsol Honda Team riders, who finished the race with the reward of second place for Marc Marquez and fifth for Dani Pedrosa –hindered by a crash in practice on Friday.
As the red lights went out, Jorge Lorenzo took the lead at Brno and Marquez slotted in behind him, trying to prevent his rival from escaping. However, as the tires picked up heat, the Repsol Honda Team rider began to lose ground and focused on controlling his advantage over Valentino Rossi, who was third.
Behind him, Dani Pedrosa had a more difficult race, hampered by a sore left ankle. Starting from ninth, he dropped down to twelfth on the opening corners, but before the first lap was completed overtook two rival riders. He rapidly gained places to go sixth on Lap 7. He had Andrea Dovizioso 2.5 seconds ahead, and caught and passed him definitively on the final lap after an entertaining duel.
With this result, Marquez cuts 4 points in the overall standings and remains third with 159 points, 52 behind racewinner Lorenzo and Rossi –who are tied in the lead. Pedrosa is seventh with 91 points.
“Today Jorge rode a very good race. We knew we were not far off him, but we were not close enough and we tried to stick with him, at least at the beginning of the race. After six or seven laps I began to lose performance and he was able maintain his pace. That’s where the difference was made. We achieved the goal we had for today: to try and open a gap to Valentino and the others from the start so I’m happy about that. When we have difficulties, as we did this weekend, we still have to score points. I think that this second position is good.”
“Today I did not make a perfect start, but it was not that bad. However, when I entered the first corner Hernandez went very hard up the inside and I had to pick the bike up. I was able to save it but when I leant back over, coming out of the corner, his teammate caught up and also moved me off my line, so I lost positions and a lot of time. My pace was not as good as this morning and I did not have as good a feeling with the bike due to some problems with the front. It was hard for me to recover but eventually I caught up with Dovizioso and Iannone. The Ducatis are hard to overtake – on the straight they are very fast – but I managed to pass Dovi on the final lap. It’s been a difficult weekend, even though today I could work better thanks to the physiotherapist and some medication.”