Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo fought hard today to take third on the podium for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic with teammate Valentino Rossi taking fourth.
Marquez’s first pass proved a failure with Lorenzo able to get back round the outside of the attacker and regain the front heading up the hill. The next attack came in the last corner with just four laps remaining, Marquez squeezing through for the lead. A lap later Pedrosa was to follow, Lorenzo then tucking in behind the two to secure third on the podium, just 2.2 seconds from winner Marquez.
Rossi’s race proved to be a very similar experience to Indianapolis last weekend. Holding seventh from the line he was fairly quickly able to pass Bradley Smith for sixth as the first laps passed. Satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow was soon to fall in front, promoting Rossi to fifth as he began a race long battle with Alvaro Bautista. The nine-time world champion would prove to be the victor, making the crucial pass stick as the last lap wound down, taking fourth position at the line.
Lorenzo’s podium finish keeps him in third position in the world standings, 18 points behind Pedrosa in second. Teammate Rossi stays in fourth in standings on 143 points, six behind his teammate. The team now move straight to the Silverstone in the UK for the third of the back-to-back races, The British Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo (3rd): “I think I did my best start in all my career in MotoGP, I took four positions and in the first laps I was really quick. Finally I couldn’t keep the same distance to second place so little by little they caught me. Especially under braking and on the straights they were faster than me so I couldn't do much more.
I was a little nervous when the white flag came out because it’s really dangerous to race with slick tyres on little spots of rain but luckily it didn't come so we could finish in dry conditions. Finally when Dani overtook me it was too far to fight back, I didn't have the rear tyre or physical condition after pushing a lot all the race.
The Championship is not lost yet but it’s very difficult now. We need just a few tenths to win the race so we have to pray for that at Silverstone!”
Valentino Rossi (4th): “Today was better than Indy, especially because my disadvantage to the top is half. I wanted to do better; we have to try to do better. The first three guys are impressive, very strong; I want to stay closer to them. Unfortunately I was ten seconds back, another fourth place but I want to be closer so we have to work.
We tried to improve this type of setting in the last two races but it looks like it’s not fantastic. Also today I suffered a bit too much at the beginning of the race. We won’t give up and we will try next week to make a better job.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager: “A very strong race from all three at the front. Of course disappointing about the result but I think the whole team can be proud of what we showed today because we had a fantastic pace in the first sixteen or so laps.
They had to fight hard to get back to Jorge’s wheel. It's a pity we didn't have anything leftover for the last three laps. We have to stay strong and keep the pressure on the other two boys because finally we are now fit again and we can push them, we couldn’t a couple of races go. As long as we can push them its possible they can make a mistake.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director: “Finally the weekend ended below our expectations, however we were the protagonists in Brno, and led the race for the most laps. Unfortunately at the end we were not able to contain the Hondas.
The overall ranking is complicated but our goal doesn’t change. Tomorrow we will stay in Brno for a day of testing, we hope the weather is good so we can solve the problems we had this weekend and improve our bike. Silverstone will be another race and we will do our best to win.”