2018 Brno MotoGP Results & Recap
The second half of the 2018 MotoGP Championship began this weekend at Brno with the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
The track celebrated its 49th GP race Sunday, making it the second-oldest circuit that continuously held Grand Prix motorcycle races behind Assen (celebrated its 70th GP last month).
The energy was high for Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez ahead of round nine of 19. The 25-year-old Spaniard had won the last two consecutive races (Sachsenring and Assen), and had also won last year’s Brno race by over 12 seconds ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa.
But from the start of the week, Marquez didn’t look so, well, Marquez. He only topped Free Practice 4 on Saturday, and qualified third behind Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi – a three-time winner at Brno – and poleman Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Regardless, the four-time MotoGP Champion was a clear favorite. He fought to the very end, but couldn’t claim sixth win in 2018 MotoGP. Rather, he had to settle for third.
Taking the victory after some historic battling with Rossi and Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo was Dovizioso, the Italian earning his second win of the season (his first arriving in Qatar).
And we mean earned – when the 21-lap race was complete, Dovizioso took the checkered flag by 0.178 of a second ahead teammate Lorenzo, who joins Repsol Honda in 2019. Marquez finished third, 0.368 of a second back.
“It was an incredible win! Before this weekend I was excited because I felt that we could do well, but I never expected such a spectacular victory,” Andrea Dovizioso says.
“I was very quick right from the first session on Friday, yesterday I did an awesome qualifying, today in the race I had a perfect strategy, and so I’m very pleased with everything.
“I managed the race lap by lap, trying to interpret what was happening around me and see how the other guys were riding: I raced well without ever misusing the rear tire and, even though I was having a bit of difficulty in the final stages, in any case I was able to fight off Jorge and Marc, who today were both really on top form.”
The podium finishers crossed the line over two seconds ahead of the rest of the grid. Rossi had fought hard in the beginning, but lost some steam halfway through.
The nine-time World Champion finished fourth, 2.902 seconds behind Marquez, and a mere 0.056 ahead of LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow, who won at Brno two years ago.
When 2018 Brno MotoGP began, Rossi, who qualified second behind Dovi, grabbed the holeshot. He was followed into turn one by Dovizioso, Marquez and Lorenzo.
Dovi immediately took over the lead in turn two, while behind there was a three-way crash between Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales, Red Bull KTM’s Bradley Smith and HRC Honda Team’s Stefan Bradl. All three riders suffered DNFs.
Rossi and Dovizioso began swapping the lead, as Lorenzo and Marquez battled for third.
By the half-way point, it was a fight between Dovizioso, Marquez, Rossi, Crutchlow, Lorenzo and future Ducati Team pilot Danilo Petrucci on the Alma Pramac Racing Ducati.
As the lap times dropped, Dovizioso, Marquez and Lorenzo opened a gap, leaving Rossi and Crutchlow behind to clash for fourth.
The final laps of the Czech Republic Grand Prix were intense as Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Marquez did all that was possible to claim the win.
But Dovizioso was able to outsmart them all, and take the win ahead of Lorenzo and Marquez, who celebrated his 100th MotoGP race with a podium finish.
Rossi beat Crutchlow four fourth, and they were followed by Petrucci and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco. Rounding out the top 10 were Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Angel Nieto Team Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone.
Marquez continues to lead the championship as he chases his fifth MotoGP title with 181 points, 49 ahead of Rossi. Dovizioso is no third in points, 68 behind Marquez.
The riders will have zero time off as they head to Austria’s Red Bull Ring, which is set to go green next Sunday, August 12. Last year it was also a battle between Dovizioso and Marquez, but Dovizioso would ultimately take the win.
2018 Brno MotoGP Results
|1||25||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||165.5||41’07.728|
|2||20||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Ducati Team||Ducati||165.5||+0.178|
|3||16||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||165.4||+0.368|
|4||13||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||165.3||+2.902|
|5||11||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||165.3||+2.958|
|6||10||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||165.2||+3.768|
|7||9||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||165.1||+6.159|
|8||8||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||165.0||+7.479|
|9||7||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||165.0||+7.575|
|10||6||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||164.9||+8.326|
|11||5||42||Alex RINS||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||164.9||+8.653|
|12||4||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||164.4||+16.549|
|13||3||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||164.2||+19.603|
|14||2||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAL||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||164.1||+21.381|
|15||1||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||163.9||+23.159|
|16||12||Thomas LUTHI||SWI||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||163.6||+27.673|
|17||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||163.6||+28.311|
|18||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||162.8||+41.172|
|19||50||Sylvain GUINTOLI||FRA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||162.7||+42.411|
|20||10||Xavier SIMEON||BEL||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||162.1||+50.941|
|53||Tito RABAT||SPA||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||164.2||13 Laps|
|45||Scott REDDING||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||162.1||16 Laps|
|38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||36.7||20 Laps|
|Not Finished 1st Lap|
|25||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0 Lap|
|6||Stefan BRADL||GER||HRC Honda Team||Honda||0 Lap|
2018 MotoGP Point Standings (after 9 of 19 rounds)