The weather put the cat among the pigeons at Brno on Friday. Hot weather, track temperatures of over 50°C and a bumpy track pushed the riders and their tires to the limit, and the afternoon session of MotoGP turned into a proper crashfest. Valentino Rossi was the first to go down, followed a second later by Dani Pedrosa, but what caused those two to crash had nothing to do with the weather conditions.
Brno, Czech Republic
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after practice at Brno:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Get Back to Business in Brno
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made a strong start today in the first practice sessions ahead of this Sunday‘s Grand Prix České Republiky, wrapping up the day in first and sixth respectively.
Brno (Czech Republic), 14th August 2015
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after practice on Friday at Brno:
Jorge Navarro fastest of Repsol riders at Brno
Spaniard takes sixth place on first day in the Czech Republic, with teammate Fabio Quartararo nineteenth and Maria Herrera thirty-second.
Tito Rabat topped the timesheet Friday at the Brno circuit with a 2’02.714 in the second free practice. The current world champion had been mired in second until eight minutes to go in the session when he began increasing his pace.
Marc Marquez topped the timesheets in the second session of free practice for the MotoGP class, but it wasn't Marquez' speed which was the talking point of FP2. High temperatures, a greasy track and a mechanical problem with Dani Pedrosa's bike turned FP2 into a crash fest, with a host of riders going down. Valentino Rossi was the first to go at the start of the session, the Movistar Yamaha rider losing the front after smoke started coming from Dani Pedrosa's Honda.
Danny Kent has taken charge of the Moto3 class once again, taking over the top of the timesheets at the end of FP2. The championship leader's advantage is not as great as it has been at previous races, however, Kent leading 2nd place man Brad Binder by 0.167. The South African rider is just a fraction ahead of Niccolo Antonelli, who led for most of the session. Kent's teammate Efren Vazquez is 4th fastest, ahead of Jorge Navarro and Miguel Oliveira.
Johann Zarco has taken control of the Moto2 class from the very start of practice. The championship leader took over the top of the timesheets early on in the session, and did not relinquish them. Jonas Folger ended the session in 2nd, but was over a third of a second behind Zarco, and only three thousandths of a second ahead of Simone Corsi in 3rd. Tito Rabat took 4th, a tenth behind Corsi, with Tom Luthi and Sam Lowes hot on Rabat's tail.
Jorge Lorenzo ended the first session of free practice on top of the timesheets. The Movistar Yamaha rider was immediately into his stride, taking over at the top halfway through the session and leading to the end. Marc Marquez ended the session in 2nd, and started off fast. However, Marquez' session was marred by a minor fall. The Repsol Honda rider had trouble getting the bike stopped into Turn 13, ran into the gravel and tried to ride his way through it.
Efren Vazquez has taken first blood at Brno, topping the first session of free practice for the Moto3 class at Brno. Vazquez put in a quick last lap to punch his way to the top of the timesheets, his Leopard Racing teammate Danny Kent adopting the same tactic but coming up short on Vazquez. Romano Fenati grabbed 3rd, leading a gaggle of KTMs all within a few hundredth of each other. Miguel Oliveira took 4th, ending ahead of the session's early leader Brad Binder.
It was a hectic trip across the Atlantic for many in the MotoGP paddock. The air at Brno was thick with tales of airport-based woe, of overbooked flights, bad weather delays, missed transfers and lost luggage. Despite the supposed privilege of platinum frequent flyer status – one of the side benefits of working for a MotoGP team is you rack up a lot of air miles – the staff of one MotoGP were stuck in one airport for over 24 hours, thrown out of the airport lounge and unable to leave.