Results and summary of the MotoGP race at Brno:
Casey Stoner has taken an utterly convincing victory in the Brno MotoGP race, ahead of a surprise podium of Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli, and extending his lead in the championship by a significant margin over Jorge Lorenzo, who could only manage to finish 4th.
The result will have been more than Stoner expected. After Dani Pedrosa's dominant display in morning warm up, the Spaniard looked uncatchable, and it was Pedrosa who got the holeshot into Turn 1, leading ahead of his teammate Stoner. Jorge Lorenzo was on a mission, however: the factory Yamaha rider took the outside line round Turn 1 to taken 2nd from Stoner, and get on the tail of Pedrosa, and then pass him to take the lead.
Once in the lead, Lorenzo put the hammer down to try and pull a gap. The Spaniard had gambled on taking the softer of the two front compounds, that tire having worked better on the Yamaha up until the race, and was trying to get whatever advantage he could. It was to little avail, as Dani Pedrosa followed his compatriot with ease, then having a big look at Lorenzo on the way into Turn 1. Lorenzo held Pedrosa off, but at a price, running wide at the long right hander and allowing Pedrosa to come past, with Stoner following at Turn 3.
Pedrosa's lead would last just a couple of corners. The Spaniard lost the front at Turn 5 and was gone, an unseemly end to what had been a very promising weekend. Pedrosa's disappearance gave Stoner the lead, and the race was essentially over. The Australian did what he has done so often this year, putting in a formidable pace and pulling a big gap. Stoner's lead got up to some 8 seconds during the race, and he was never challenged again.
While there was never any question of who would win the race once Pedrosa crashed out and gifted Stoner the lead, the podium was very far from settled. After the big slide at the start of lap 3, Lorenzo's pace started to drop off dramatically, allowing Dovizioso and Simoncelli to catch him. After a valiant attempt to hold the two Hondas off, Lorenzo was finally forced to allow first Dovizioso and then Simoncelli by, and set about limiting the damage. Simoncelli could easily match Dovizioso pace at first, and had a few looks at the Repsol Honda man but could never make a pass stick. Eventually, the pace took its toll and Dovizioso started to creep away, securing a comfortable 2nd.
Simoncelli appeared to have a strong hold on 3rd, but his pace dropped off in the final laps and Jorge Lorenzo - who had found a burst of speed again - started to catch the San Carlo Gresini rider once again. He got within half a second, but in the end, it was to be no avail, Lorenzo could not close on Simoncelli and the Italian went on to take the first podium of his MotoGP career, and a huge weight off his shoulders.
Ben Spies managed to hold station to the end, the pinched nerve in his left arm leaving his right arm to do all the work. Spies could neither challenge the riders ahead, nor was he ever really called up on to defend, but with a weakened arm, 5th is a good result. After a poor start due to a mistake in the procedure Ducati use to warm the tires, Valentino Rossi had a strong race, finishing 10 seconds off the leader for the first time since they switched bikes to the GP11.1. The boxes which had come from Bologna to Brno had contained a small part of the puzzle that may help fix the Ducati. Rossi finished ahead of his teammate Nicky Hayden, the American relatively content after what had looked like turning into a disaster, and happy to have held off his fellow American Colin Edwards on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. Hiroshi Aoyama ended the race in 9th, ahead of Hector Barbera in 10th, who denied Toni Elias a top 10 finish on the very last lap.
Stoner's victory, combined with Lorenzo's wrong tire choice, leaves the Australian 32 points clear in the championship. Lorenzo still has his fate in his own hands, but his job just got an awful lot more difficult, for the only way to be sure of defending his title is by winning the 7 remaining races. But a lot can happen in 7 races, and there is still everything to play for.
|12||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||43'53.905||37.109|
|19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SUZUKI||32'33.227||6 laps|
|17||Karel ABRAHAM||DUCATI||26'08.827||10 laps|
|35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||YAMAHA||12'01.440||16 laps|
|26||Dani PEDROSA||HONDA||4'01.636||20 laps|