The majority of the MotoGP paddock is back in action on Monday morning, with all of the teams bar the satellite Ducatis (Pramac, Avintia, Aspar) taking to the track for the post-race test. They have a lot of things to be testing: Yamaha have a new aerodynamic package, Maverick Viñales has a frame to test, Andrea Dovizioso is trialling the aerodynamic package raced by Jorge Lorenzo, Sam Lowes has a new fairing on the Aprilia, and Michelin has a two front tire constructions and a rear tire they want the riders to test.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin after the tenth round of the championship:
Master-class win for Marquez at Brno with Pedrosa second to complete a Repsol Honda Team 1-2
Marc Marquez took a back-to-back victory at Brno today in challenging conditions, his third this year and the 58th in his career, extending his championship lead to 14 points over his closest follower.
Flag-to-flag races. You either love them or hate them. For some, flag-to-flag racing adds an extra dimension to MotoGP, rewarding teams and riders who are smart with their strategy selection, bringing much greater rewards for those who are prepared to take calculated risks, while also carrying a much greater punishment if you risk too much. It is not enough to get the setup right for the conditions, teams also have to assess how conditions might change, and riders have to judge the optimum time to come in and swap bikes. It places a greater emphasis on teamwork, rather than just the rider.
For others, however, flag-to-flag races are just a lottery, the outcome decided largely by chance. Victory goes not necessarily to the fastest rider on the track, but to the one who gambles correctly on the right tire, the right time to pit, on how the weather develops. The team has too much influence on the outcome, relegating the rider to a secondary role. It isn't the fastest rider who wins the race, it is the luckiest rider.
Unsurprisingly, there is often a correlation between how you feel about flag-to-flag racing and how your favorite rider performs in those conditions. My favorite rider is a master strategist, backed by a canny team. Your favorite rider is a lucky devil who fell face first into a bucket full of horseshoes, and wouldn't have won if it hadn't been for the team doing all the hard work and telling them exactly what to do and when to do it.
MotoGP standings after Brno:
Results and summary of the MotoGP race in Brno:
If the weather has been the bane of MotoGP this year, then Saturday at Brno made up for an awful lot. The day started out with clear blue skies, and stayed that way just about all day. It was still bone dry and warm when we left the track as darkness began to fall, though the occasional cloud could be spotted here and there. It was a great day for racing motorcycles.
It was apparently also a great day for crashing motorcycles. In the first session of the day, 40 minutes of free practice for the Moto3 class, 15 riders crashed, all going down like skittles. Next up it was FP3 for MotoGP, and a further 7 riders hit the deck. Moto2 followed, and 6 more went down. By the end of the day, there had been a grand total of 48 falls.
To put that number into perspective: on Friday, in much dicier conditions, there were only 9 crashes. Over all three days of the 2014 event at Brno, there were 46 crashers. If there are three more crashes on Sunday – and it's race day, when risks offer better rewards – then the Automotodrom Brno will seen more crashes than in the previous seven years. They really were going down like flies.
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class in Brno:
While the substantial crowd was getting a tan in a cloudless 28 degrees, the MotoGP grid turned its attention to the harder tyre option to deal with the 46 degrees on the track. Fairly familiar with the tyre after giving it several tries during the weekend, Marc Marquez blasted straight into the lead to post a strong set of mid 1:56s. The world championship leader remained unchallenged to the flag and will be hoping for the rainy Sunday forecast to turn into a heatwave.
Beautiful sunshine did not mean lack of drama for the MotoGP boys. After the junior class opened proceedings with a festival of crashes, the big boys might have been more cautions but that did not stop Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati having a moment in turn ten in the first five minutes and looking like spitting some fluid on track. Right on cue, Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow tumbled into the same gravel trap, causing a red flag for the air fence to be repaired and the track to be checked.