Fifth win of the season takes Rossi fifty points clear Valentino Rossi moved two races clear at the top of the championship with his fifth win of the season today, enjoying an easy ride home after his closest rival Casey Stoner crashed out on...
Fifth win of the season takes Rossi fifty points clear
Valentino Rossi moved two races clear at the top of the championship with his fifth win of the season today, enjoying an easy ride home after his closest rival Casey Stoner crashed out on lap seven.
Rossi, starting from second, lost some time at the first corner getting past John Hopkins and for the first couple of laps Stoner looked in danger of clearing off, but the Italian soon found his rhythm and was gradually making up time on the Australian when he saw him slide off into the gravel. The pair had already opened out an impressive gap from the chasing pack and Rossi was left to race the remaining 15 laps alone and unchallenged, eventually coming home 15 seconds clear of Toni Elias. The seven-time world champion's 67th premier-class victory takes him within one race of the all-time premier-class record, held by his compatriot Giacomo Agostini.
Rossi is now 50 points clear of Stoner with Pedrosa 15 points off in third, whilst Lorenzo's six points see him remain fourth in the standings, ten points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.
Valentino Rossi - Position: 1 Time: 43'28.841
"I was confident today because my bike was fast from Friday practice, and with Jeremy we made a small modification to the front after warm-up to allow me to be a bit faster in some sections, and it worked very well. I lost about half a second getting past Hopkins at the start and Casey was incredibly fast at that stage, like he'd already done ten laps! For a short time I was worried but then, after two laps, I understood that my bike was working very well and that I was fast enough to try to catch him. I had closed a little bit already and gradually the red bike was becoming a bit bigger in front of me, and I think this is when he started to push harder and made his mistake. I was anticipating a very hard battle if I did catch him, so when I saw the red bike slide out I could hardly believe it - this made things a lot easier for me! After that I just enjoyed riding my bike; my Bridgestone tyres worked very well until the end and my M1 felt very good. Of course I can't count this as a complete victory because Casey fell, and I am sorry for him, but this is racing and I have to be happy with this result. We are 50 points clear which is a lot and I am very excited to be going to Misano in this situation. However we know that 50 points is still not always enough when you have someone as strong as Casey and so we won't relax. Now we have two days of testing and we will try some new electronics in order to help me open the throttle earlier and also, of course, test some Bridgestone tyres."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"Of course this is a very important victory for us and we're very happy today. It's clear that Valentino did a very good job at the start not to let Stoner get too far ahead, and he was starting to make up ground and put some pressure on him when he unfortunately crashed. Of course this made our job a lot easier! We need to keep going like this and not lose our concentration, but we've had two very good races and we are confident that we are in good shape. We have two days of testing now which will be very important for the final six races, and then we go to another home race at Misano and try to make up for last year!"
Lorenzo finishes tenth with gutsy ride in Brno
Fiat Yamaha Team rookie Jorge Lorenzo finished a creditable tenth in Brno today, making up seven places after starting last on the grid. The Spaniard made the most of the tools he had available to pass several riders, including two on the last lap, and hangs onto his fourth place in the championship as a result. His team-mate Valentino Rossi won his fifth race of the season and was saved another tense battle with Casey Stoner after the Australian crashed out of the lead on the seventh lap.
Lorenzo was able to pass Colin Edwards early on and he then gradually settled into a rhythm and passed both James Toseland and Dani Pedrosa to take 12th. During the middle part of the race his lap times gradually improved and brought him closer to the next group and he was rewarded with an exciting final lap, which saw him pass first Sylvain Guintoli and then John Hopkins on the line to take tenth.
Six points for Lorenzo see him stay ten points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso in fourth place in the championship, whilst Rossi is now 50 points clear of Stoner. The Fiat Yamaha Team now have two days of testing before they head to the next round at Misano in Italy in two week's time.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 10th Time: +39.573
"This race is a bit sad for me because we have the potential to do a lot better. However considering what has happened this weekend and, above all, the problems with the front tyre, I think we have done almost as much as we could. At the start I didn't want to take too many risks and I could feel that the front tyre was getting worse on each lap, but on the other hand the rear tyre was getting better each lap! I know that we have had had problems this weekend but I know that Michelin are working very hard, so now we will try to use the test to make some improvements. I want to say thank you to all of my team for their hard work, congratulate Valentino for his victory and finally also Toni Elias for his podium."
Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
"Today we couldn't have done any better than this, but we can't be satisfied to finish tenth. But overall Jorge did a great job and a good race, and he was able to find a good rhythm in the middle part of the race, continue until to the end and pass many riders, plus he was able to score some valuable points. Motivation in our team is still high because we have many more races to do and tomorrow at the test we will start again to work very hard with Michelin, look at the problems we have had here and try to find a way to improve things for the remaining races."