LORENZO BLOWS AWAY RIVALS WITH CLINICAL BRNO WIN; ROSSI STRUGGLES TO FIFTH Jorge Lorenzo took an impressive seventh win of the season in Brno this afternoon with a clinical performance that saw him lead from the first lap to the chequered flag....
LORENZO BLOWS AWAY RIVALS WITH CLINICAL BRNO WIN; ROSSI STRUGGLES TO FIFTH
Jorge Lorenzo took an impressive seventh win of the season in Brno this afternoon with a clinical performance that saw him lead from the first lap to the chequered flag. In doing so he becomes only the third premier-class rider in history to finish in the top two at the opening ten races of the season. In stark contrast to his Fiat Yamaha team-mate's good fortunes, Valentino Rossi ran into problems from the start and could only finish fifth.
Despite surrendering pole position for the first time in six races, some bold moves from the Spaniard around the first two turns saw him take the lead before the first split and he looked in imperious form on his Yamaha M1, with yesterday's front-end troubles clearly a thing of the past. Dani Pedrosa kept close on his heels for the first few laps but every time his fellow countryman closed the gap a few tenths Lorenzo responded with renewed vigour and by the tenth lap he was a second clear. From then on he was unchallenged and he crossed the line 5.494 seconds clear of Pedrosa to take the 33rd win of his career and his 12th in MotoGP.
With the weather looking favourable following heavy rain this morning, Rossi was confident that he would be able to mount a strong challenge for honours this afternoon but it was not to be for the Italian today. He had felt strong all weekend despite sliding off yesterday but he never had the same confidence in the race and was unable to ride as he would have liked. He had dropped from fifth on the grid to eighth by the end of the first lap before rallying to pass Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden to move to fifth by lap six, but from then on he could make no further headway and rode a lonely race to the flag.
Another maximum-points haul for Lorenzo leaves the young Mallorcan 77 points clear of Pedrosa in the standings, with eight rounds remaining. Rossi holds on to fifth, 14 points behind Andrea Dovizioso. Tomorrow will see both Fiat Yamaha riders back out on track, weather permitting, for a one-day test before the bikes are shipped off to Indianapolis for the second US round of the season in two week's time.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st Time: 43'22.638
"After my problems yesterday and the crash I didn't expect this today, I thought it would be much more of a struggle. Once I got to the front I expected Dani to come with me and I knew it was my moment and that I had to push as much as possible. I thought he would try to overtake me but I felt good, pushed hard and little by little I was able to lose him. I know I said I was riding for the championship now and that's still true but when there's the chance to win I have to take it! To take my seventh win in one season is fantastic, thank you to all of my team for such a good job after we had difficulties yesterday. Tomorrow we have an important test which we hope will help us in the last part of the championship and then we go to Indianapolis, a track that I love."
Valentino Rossi - Position: 5th Time: +17.930
"We are really disappointed tonight because we had hoped to do a good race and I was confident that I could challenge at the front today. It seemed everything was right and yesterday we had a good pace but today we just weren't as fast and I couldn't stay with the leaders. We are sad but tomorrow we will have the chance to test and try to understand what went wrong today, which will help us to be in better shape in Indianapolis. As for my future, you will know something at 6pm today."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"A surprisingly good result because after the crash of yesterday and Dani's speed in qualifying we had some doubts about today. Jorge really stuck his neck out to put in a great first half of the race and actually Dani couldn't stay with him. The lap times were equal or even slower to yesterday so we didn't make a huge change to the bike, so we really have to put this down to Jorge doing an excellent job and the others struggling a bit today. Well done to everyone for another great weekend."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"Unfortunately during the race Valentino never felt good with the front and this made it very difficult for him in corner entry. Luckily we have a test tomorrow so this will give us the chance to really investigate what happened. We had a good pace throughout the weekend and we hoped to be able to stay with Lorenzo and Pedrosa but we weren't able to today so we're a little bit disappointed. Tomorrow will be a good opportunity for us to improve and work towards our target of a good end to the season."