Following the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring a month ago, the 2019 MotoGP Championship took its traditional summer break. This downtime – although brief – is as crucial as the races themselves. It provides some breathing room for riders and teams as they evaluate their strategies and plan for the second half of the season.Five-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez likely didn’t have much to evaluate as he was the dominate rider throughout the first half of the season. The 26-year-old Repsol Honda RC213V pilot had claimed eight podiums in the opening nine races, which included five wins, three runner-ups, and one DNF.
The DNF arrived after a very un-Marquez like mistake at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Marquez crashed while in the lead, ending his reign of six consecutive race wins from the pole.Every other performance, including the German Grand Prix, was very typical of Marquez.He led all 30 laps, only challenged by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and the Assen victor, Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales. The German GP was Marquez’s 75th victory of his Grand Prix career and his 49th win in the premier class.Now he enters the second half of the season 58 points ahead of his nearest rival, Mission Winnow Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.The second half begins with the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno, a circuit where Marquez has finished off the podium only once since joining the premier class in 2013. He won there twice (2013, 2017), and finished third last season behind Jorge Lorenzo, then a Ducati rider, and winner Dovizioso.“I am very excited to get back on the bike,” Marc Marquez says. “Summer break is always nice to relax a little bit, but soon you miss the team and the bike! I am ready to get back to work and Brno is a fun circuit to ride.“We finished the first half of the season in a very strong way and now we must keep our focus to continue this. Brno is a circuit where lots of riders are often strong so we can’t take anything for granted. I hope Jorge’s recovery is going well and we will soon have him back in the team.”Marquez’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, continues to recover from his crash at the Assen GP and will miss this weekend’s Czech Republic GP and the subsequent Austria GP. Lorenzo, who broke his back during the Assen wreck, is targeting a return at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix August 25.The German Stefan Bradl will once again substitute for the injured Lorenzo. When Bradl rode for Lorenzo at Sachsenring, he finished 10th aboard the factory RC213V.Dovizioso will surely be the biggest threat, although he has only achieved two podiums at Brno since joining the premier class in 2008 – a second in 2011 (Honda) and the win last season. So far this season Dovizioso has four podiums, including his victory at the season-opener in Qatar.The next closest riders to Marquez are Dovi’s teammate Danilo Petrucci, who trails by 64 points, and Rins, who is 84 points behind.Round 10 of the 2019 MotoGP Championship gets underway Friday with free practice ahead of Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s 21-lap GP.Will Marquez extend his lead, and gain even more momentum as he chases a sixth world title?For airing times, visit 2019 MotoGP TV Times: US Schedule.
2019 MotoGP Point Standings (after nine of 19 rounds):
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!