Nine of 18 rounds are finished, and after a two-week break, riders return to Brno for the Cardio ab Grand Prix Czech Republic, the start of the second-half of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo leads with 210 points, the Spaniard on the podium at every race, including six wins. If Lorenzo takes first or second at Brno on his M1 Yamaha, the 23-year old will be equal in the MotoGP history book with Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan.
Lorenzo has two wins at Brno in the 250cc class, and one in the 125cc class, but placed tenth there in his debut 2008 MotoGP year. But he didn’t have a good performance at last year’s race; he DNF’d while battling with his teammate, nine-time champion Valentino Rossi, who won there last year.
Seventy-two points behind Lorenzo is his fellow countryman Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider finished second last year at Brno, along with another podium (third) during his debut MotoGP year in 2006. At the last round of MotoGP competition Laguna Seca, Pedrosa crashed on lap nine. Due to losing points, he will be looking to lessen Lorenzo’s lead witn a great showing or possible win at Brno.
In third, 23 points behind, is Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian missed the podium at the USGP by just under a second, allowing Rossi to take third. Dovizioso has three podium finishes at Brno, two in the 250cc Class, one in 125cc Class. For the past two years while competing in the premier class, he placed his RC212V in ninth (2008) and fourth (2009).
After struggling in the beginning of the season with two DNF’s, Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner came back, and is currently in fourth place in the championship with 103 points. The Australian is coming off his best finish of the year at Laguna Seca, which was second.
Last year, Brno was the first of three races Stoner didn’t compete at due to being sick, doctors later diagnosing him as lactose intolerant. But Stoner did win there in 2007.
Rossi enters Brno after a tough season, the Italian missing four rounds after breaking his leg during practice for Round 4 in Mugello. He sits in fifth with 90 points, and since returning the last two rounds, he finished fourth at Sachsenring and third at Laguna Seca.
Rossi also has much luck at Brno. He took his first 125cc win of his career there in 1996, and also tasted victory in the 250cc Class and the 500cc Class. In MotoGP, he has won there four times, including the last two meetings.
From a MotoGP Press Release:
A podium last time out at Laguna in only his second race back from injury moved him back up to fifth, where he sits a single point ahead of Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team). Another American rider, Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) is also closing in on the top five and Brno offers a familiar circuit for the rookie, who has previously ridden there in WSBK.
Set to make an extremely speedy and very welcome return to action from his broken leg is Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda). Pending medical clearance the Frenchman intends to ride again just four weeks after his crash at Sachsenring – last year he rode to tenth place at Brno having broken his ankle just three weeks before the race.
San Carlo Honda Gresini pair Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli are closely matched in ninth and tenth in the standings, whilst Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will follow up his best result of 2010 so far with an attempt to place higher than seventh. Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar), Rizla Suzuki pair Loris Capirossi and Álvaro Bautista, and Pramac racing duo Mika Kallio and Aleix Espargaró will all aim for improvements, and Alex de Angelis (Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team) is set to continue in place of the injured Hiroshi Aoyama.
The first MotoGP practice session of the Cardion ab Grand Prix Czech Republic starts at 1:55 p.m. local time on Friday, Aug. 13.
The Brno round of MotoGP will appear on SPEED TV at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 15, and then again at 6 p.m. The Moto2 race will be televised at 5 p.m. Sunday.
2010 MotoGP Points Standings (after 9 of 18 rounds):
1. Jorge LORENZO, 210
2. Dani Pedrosa, 138
3. Andrea Dovizioso, 115
4. Casey Stoner, 103
5. Valentino Rossi, 90
6. Nicky Hayden, 89
7. Ben Spies, 77
8. Randy de Puniet, 69
9. Marco Melandri, 53
10. Marco Simoncelli, 49
11. Colin Edwards, 48
12. Hector Barbera, 41
13. Loris Capirossi, 36
14. Mika Kallio, 31
15. Aleix Espargaro, 28
16. Alvaro Bautista, 25
17. Hiroshi Aoyama, 18
18. Alex de Angelis, 8