A week following his impressive win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez was the favorite heading into the Czech Republic at Brno.
And Marquez lived up to his status, the 20-year-old Spaniard taking his fifth MotoGP win, a new record for a rookie during a single MotoGP season.
Marquez began from third on the grid, and was immediately involved in a three-way battle with the rider who took the holeshot, Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo, and Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez rode smartly, first taking second from his teammate, and then the number-one spot on lap 19. He would eventually cross the finish line 0.313 of a second ahead of Pedrosa, and 1.9 seconds ahead of Lorenzo.
In the CRT class, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro emerged victorious from a battle with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards. The Spanish rider finishing in tenth place just one second ahead of the American.
By taking his fifth win, Marquez now has a 26-point lead over Pedrosa after 11 of 18 rounds.
Bridgestone says the weather conditions were cool and overcast with a peak track temperature of 24°C – ten degrees cooler than in qualifying on Saturday. Drops of rain fell during the race, raising the possibility of a flag-to-flag race but ultimately the rain didn’t affect the outcome of the event and the overall race time was the fastest ever recorded at the Brno circuit.
The cool conditions resulted in all riders selecting the softer option rear slicks, while three riders also opted for the soft compound front slick with the other twenty-two riders on the hard compound front. Tyre degradation during the race was consistent, with the lap times among the leading pack dropping around half a second from the beginning to the end of the twenty-two lap contest, Bridgestone says.
Shinji Aoki (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department) says: “Brno once again gave us an exciting race and it seems there is no stopping Marc at the moment, so congratulations to him and Repsol Honda on another amazing performance today.
"Temperatures were slightly cooler today so no riders decided to use the harder rear slick for the race and the cool weather also prompted some riders to choose the soft compound front slick, although the majority raced with the harder front. For the second race in a row we had new Circuit Best Lap and Circuit Record Lap times being set in qualifying and the race so I am very pleased with how our tyres performed this weekend.”
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Today I enjoyed the race a lot, both because of the victory and also the battle with Jorge and Dani. I didn’t expect a victory here, maybe just a podium, as Yamaha are so strong here and Dani won the race last year. I’m so happy to get the twenty-five points and the win and I’m now looking forward to the next race.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tire compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 22-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)