Marquez Unstoppable In Weather-Hit Czech Grand Prix
Runaway MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez added another race victory to his astonishing record and another 25 points to his 2019 tally in yet another dominant performance in the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Runaway MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) added another race victory to his astonishing record and another 25 points to his 2019 tally in yet another dominant performance in today’s Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Marquez’s 50th MotoGP win also marked two more landmarks for Honda’s five-times MotoGP champion. First, the 26-year-old Spaniard joins the elite band of riders who have won 50 premier-class victories, alongside Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan. Second, his 76th win across all classes equals the record of 1960s legend Mike Hailwood, who, like Marquez, won most of his successes aboard Honda-powered machinery.
And yesterday Marquez equalled another all-time record, his 58th MotoGP pole position putting him level with Honda’s previous five-times World Champion Doohan.
Marquez led today’s tenth round of the 19-round series from start to finish, following a nerve-racking 40-minute delay, required after a downpour soaked parts of the Brno track shortly before the planned 2pm start.
During the shortened 20-lap race Marquez jetted straight into the lead, held his rivals at bay and then moved relentlessly clear after half distance. His closest race and title rival Andrea Dovizioso finished down 2.4 seconds. Marquez’s sixth win of 2019 stretches his advantage in the riders title chase to 63 points and Honda’s advantage in the Constructors World Championship to 39 points. So far this year the youngster and his awesome RC213V have scored an average of 21 points per race, out of a possible maximum of 25.
Honda’s next rider past the checkered flag was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V), with yet another strong performance at the track where he claimed his first MotoGP win, with Honda, in 2016. Caught out by yesterday’s tricky drying conditions in qualifying, Crutchlow could only manage 11th fastest, putting him on the fourth row of the grid.
The 33-year-old Briton fought back superbly in the race, gaining three places on the first lap and working his way further forwards after that. By half distance he was up to fifth, and while unable to catch the leaders, he rode at more or less the same pace to finish just six seconds behind the winner.
His team-mate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) had qualified two places further back, and also staged a strong recovery, up to ninth on the first lap, and in a fierce battle to hold on to that position. He was successful, taking the 27-year-old from Chiba to a seventh top-ten finish of the year.
With Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) still absent through injury, his place in the factory team was again taken by former Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl, the 29-year-old German’s third MotoGP ride of the year. Faced with the weekend’s difficult conditions and having to re-adapt to a MotoGP bike after riding a Honda CBR1000RR to a podium finish in last Sunday’s globally prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, Bradl was able to preserve his points record, finishing 15th.
Marquez’s younger brother Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) took an assured fifth win of the Moto2 World Championship series leader to further extend his points cushion over nearest rival Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex), who crashed out early in the 19-lap race.
Pole qualifier Marquez took the lead early on the first lap from first-corner leader Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex), who had qualified second, and steadily pulled clear. He eventually won by a comfortable three seconds.
Class rookies took the next podium positions. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up Speed Up) took second from Lowes and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) moved forward steadily from an 18th-place start to seize third on the final lap.
Twenty-year-old Thai rookie Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) rode to an excellent 15th-place finish in his first race at the complex Brno circuit. This was Chantra’s second time in the World Championship points in his apprenticeship Grand Prix season, despite lingering issues with the injuries he suffered during June’s Dutch round of the series. He scored his first points with a stunning tenth-place finish in April’s Argentine GP
Honda’s chief Moto3 World Championship challenger Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) preserved his title challenge with a storming ride to second from a distant 17th in a typically fearsome Moto3 race, just a fraction behind points leader Aron Canet.
Pole starter Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) was in contention for the win throughout, finally crossing the line third, two tenths behind Canet and some five hundredths behind Dalla Porta.
Second qualifier John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) inadvertently activated his pit-lane speed-limiter at the start, which had his crawling off the line. Riders behind swerved either side, but Grand Prix first-timer Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team Honda NSV250RW) couldn’t see McPhee until it was too late. He crashed into the slow-moving bike and rider, suffering fractures to his right hand. McPhee made it round to the pits to retire, with a painful but not serious leg injury.
Third qualifier Niccolo Antonelli (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) had already stalled on the formation grid and had to start the race from pit lane, because he had been unable to restart the engine within the time limit. A brilliant and forceful ride had the Italian youngster cut through the 30-strong pack to contest the lead, finally finishing less than half-a-second from first place in fifth. Antonelli had already survived a heavy crash in morning warm-up.
The race saw the usual huge lead group, still 16-strong at half distance, exchanging places at almost every corner. At that point, the difference between first and 16th was less than two seconds.
By the end, the usual attrition had cut the group to ten, with 18-year-old Tokyo-born rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) finishing an excellent sixth, from ninth on the grid. This was the impressive teenager’s third sixth-place finish from the past four races; and he was seventh at the other race.
Today’s ten-point haul moves Ogura past team-mate Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) in the points chase to tenth overall. Qatar GP winner Toba had started from the fourth row of the grid and the 19-year-old from Fukuoka was well placed in the top ten, but suffered another crash.
Early leader Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) finished a close eighth, with Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) taking 11th , heading the next group.
While Canet regained the championship lead by three points from Dalla Porta, Honda are still strongly represented, holding from second to fourth overall, with five riders in the top seven.
After one day of MotoGP class testing at the circuit tomorrow, the GP circus crosses the border to Austria, where the second back-to-back race of the European season takes place at the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg next Sunday, August 11.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st
“I was really concentrated from the beginning as there were still some wet patches, especially at Turn 1. I knew I needed to keep my rhythm as the Yamaha riders were starting from behind and they were strong in warm-up. Then I saw that Dovi was behind me so I had to keep pushing and pushing. I had a little warning on lap ten because that is when I started to push more to try and open the gap. Delaying the race was the best decision that could have been made because the track was in a mixed condition and it could have been quite dangerous. A crazy weekend with the weather but the whole Repsol Honda Team were perfect and helped me a lot to achieve victory!”
Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 5th
“At the end of the first lap, or the first two or three anyway, I was already 3.8 seconds down or something like that, so I lost a lot of time in the first few laps as I was not able to get through. Maybe I wasted one lap too many behind [Danilo] Petrucci and Valentino [Rossi], but I tried my best, had a good pace and we’re happy with the result considering where we came from on the grid. I made a good start and had a good race, but I just wore that rear tire out coming across the gap to the front guys. I was four seconds down and got it back to two at one point, but that put a lot of stress on the rear tire on a day when the track condition was really, really bad. Overall we’re happy, the team did a good job, Honda did a good job and we should be pleased to come away with a top five result after not a good qualifying and not having a great feeling with the bike this weekend.”
Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 9th
“It was really hard to concentrate because I think everyone was ready to go and then we had a 40-minute delay. I tried to stay focused, then I made a good start and at the beginning I was behind Cal and tried to follow him. It was a tough race, it was hard to keep the lap times and maintain your position. I was always P10 but at the end I had a chance to pass Pol [Espargaro], so it’s not a fantastic result but I’m happy to finish another race in the top 10. It’s very important for us and I must continue to try and keep improving my riding. We have a test tomorrow and we have some ideas to try, so let’s keep working hard for the next race.”
Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda Team: 15th
“I’m not happy with the final result because I think we had a lot more potential. Since Friday we have been improving but the conditions of Saturday and lack of time hurt us in the race today and I struggled with rear grip and turning during the race. It has been a very busy weekend and we were able to work a lot for Honda. To score was good but I am hoping for more in Austria. I’m excited to be asked to join the Repsol Honda Team once again next week and I am already thinking about the race.”
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 1st
“I am so, so happy; it was an amazing race and I enjoyed the bike a lot. It was a long race because I was leading from the first lap to the end, which is not easy … but I tried to make the gap in the beginning, and it worked. Thanks to the team for an unbelievable job. We need to keep going like this … there is a lot of the championship still to go.”
Fabio Di Giannantonio, Beta Tools Speed Up: 2nd
“I have not enough words about the race – this podium is the best for me. I’ve been working hard this year to be fast on this bike; also my team have taught me a lot. I just pushed 100 percent from the first corner, and of course I took some risks. Thanks to all. Now I want to continue like this.”
Enea Bastianini, Italtrans Racing Team: 3rd
“That was fantastic – I didn’t expect it. My start was good, but I had to push really hard to close the gap to the front group. Finally in the last three laps I pushed to the limit, and it was possible to overtake Navarro for the podium on the last lap. Thanks to my team, who worked very hard.”
Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 15th
"I'm pleased about this weekend in Brno, even if it was my first time on this track and I still have a big pain in my hand. P15 is a fantastic result for me because after ten laps I couldn't push on the left corners, I had too much pain. In Austria, for sure, I will be stronger."
Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Leopard Racing: 2nd
“To be back on the podium is the best thing this weekend. In wet conditions we did a bad result, but in the dry this morning and in the race it was good. The first lap was crazy. but then I can do my rhythm and get positions. I try to keep my rhythm but my tire was finished. In the last two laps I did an error in the last corners and I couldn’t overtake Aron, but the world championship is long, and we are now always first or second. We have to continue in this way. We did good work here, and the bike was good all race.”
Tony Arbolino, VNE Snipers Team: 3rd
“It was an amazing and difficult race, with lots of overtakes from the beginning to the end. It was not easy to manage the deterioration of the tire as, after only six laps, the rear slipped and the front closed a little bit. This penalized me in the last two laps, where I had difficulties in keeping the contact with the first two riders. I am happy anyway with my weekend and the goal, from now to the end of the season, is to be constant and continue working without losing the motivation.”
Niccolo Antonelli, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 5th
“What a crazy weekend! I qualified well, but had a big crash in the morning. Then on the start line my bike stopped, and I had to go to pit lane. I rode like a devil to catch the front group, and I even dreamed I might win, but my tires were finished and it was really hard to stay with the leaders, so I must be pleased with fifth.”
Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 6th
“This time, I started well, and I was riding in fifth or sixth position, but Suzuki crashed in front of me, and I’ve lost many positions. After that, it was a tough race, but I managed well the last laps to finish in P6. I don’t know the final position, but without the crash of Suzuki for sure the race would have been much easier.”
Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: DNF
“It’s a real pity. Nothing to say, I crashed again. I tried to keep calm during the race, been in the top group and managing the situation. But five laps to go I made a tiny mistake, and I crashed. Now I must get a good result in Austria.”
|1||Marc MÁRQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|3||Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)|
|4||Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|5||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)|
|6||Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|7||Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|8||Danilo PETRUCCI (Ducati Team)|
|9||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)|
|10||Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|11||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|12||Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)|
|13||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|14||Johann ZARCO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|15||Stefan BRADL (Repsol Honda Team)
|16||Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|17||Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|18||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|19||Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|20||Sylvain GUINTOLI (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|RT||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|RT||Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|RT||Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|1||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|2||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Beta Tools Speed Up)|
|3||Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|4||Jorge NAVARRO (Beta Tools Speed Up)|
|5||Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|6||Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|7||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|8||Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)|
|9||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|10||Iker LECUONA (American Racing KTM)|
|11||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)|
|12||Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|13||Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|14||Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|15||Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|16||Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|17||Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|18||Jake DIXON (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|19||Jonas FOLGER (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|20||Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)|
|21||Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)|
|22||Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|23||Philipp OETTL (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|24||Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|25||Xavi CARDELUS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|RT||Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|RT||Mattia PASINI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
|RT||Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|RT||Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)|
|1||Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|2||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)|
|3||Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)|
|4||Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|5||Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|6||Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)|
|7||Andrea MIGNO (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|8||Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)|
|9||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)|
|10||Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)|
|11||Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|12||Raul FERNANDEZ (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|13||Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|14||Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|15||Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|16||Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)|
|17||Stefano NEPA (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)|
|18||Deniz ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|19||Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|RT||Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|RT||Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|RT||Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)|
|RT||Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|RT||Albert ARENAS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|RT||Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)|
|RT||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|RT||Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)|
|RT||John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|RT||Yuki KUNII (Asia Talent Team)