2017 Brno MotoGP Race Result: Fun With Flags

The sporadic rain that threw chaos into the intermediate class race left the MotoGP boys with plenty of furrowed brows. To add to the confusion, some sunshine seemed to break through before the start with the forecast claiming more rain was on the way.

The bravest soul of the grid was Marc Marquez, the world championship leader gambling on more rain popping down to justify his choice of the frail soft wet rear tyre while everyone else went for the medium. The opposite happened in reality, with more sunshine rapidly drying the track, but the result was the same, the world champion taking yet another stunning flag-to-flag victory.

Teammate Dani Pedrosa joined him on the podium, twelve seconds later and celebrating his 150th Grand Prix podium, with Maverick Viñales saving what looked like an unlikely third place at one point.

Starting from pole, Marquez kept the lead at the start, chaos unfolding behind him as front-row starters Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi were dropping back after the factory Ducatis blasted past. Jorge Lorenzo went all out with a move for the lead on the very first lap, messing up Marquez’s plan of getting away on the softer option and putting almost a second into the reigning world champion.

Rossi was the next to take on the Honda, who appeared to already struggle, soon dropping as low as tenth by lap two. At the rate he was losing places, the only option for Marquez was to pit for slick tyres in the rapidly improving conditions, the Spaniard rejoining twentieth. Jonas Folger, Jack Miller, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith also followed him in. What seemed like a tyre choice mistake quickly turned into a stroke of brilliance as the rain kept away and the track was getting drier.

The leaders on medium wets took their time making the switch, Lorenzo leading Rossi, Johann Zarco, Andrea Dovizioso and Viñales. The Ducatis were restricted by their second bikes being on a wet setup but everyone else was playing chicken.

At the end of lap four, the pitlane was once again flooded, only Rossi, Zarco and Dovizioso staying out, with Marquez already seven seconds behind them and lapping ten seconds quicker than the trio.

Rossi and Dovizioso pitted at the end of lap five, arguably a few laps too late, leaving Zarco to be picked up by Marquez soon after, the Frenchman also going through the pits the following lap. After the pit stop shuffle, Pedrosa was fifth, Viñales tenth, Rossi and Dovizioso thirteenth and fourteenth.

Marquez’s lead was up to twenty seconds by lap eight and still setting red sectors, with Aleix Espargaro in pursuit, only half a second ahead of Scott Redding – who started the race last – and Karel Abraham another tenth behind.

Pedrosa had a two-second gap to make up if he wanted to join the podium fight and the Honda rider only needed three laps to catch up with Abraham and get past him. Another sector or so and Pedrosa was past Redding and Espargaro to trail his teammate by twenty-two seconds.

That left Espargaro to fend off Redding and Abraham for the final podium position, with Petrucci and Crutchlow catching up fast. Behind them, Viñales was the final rider to tag onto the peloton chasing the Repsol riders.

Meanwhile, Rossi and Dovizioso were setting fast laps but struggled to break into the top ten. The Yamaha man finally achieved it halfway through the race, the two Italians overtaking almost in tandem.

By lap eleven, Petrucci and Espargaro ended up enlivening the proceedings in a battle for third, Crutchlow in tow, waiting to pick up the pieces. The first Yamaha on the road was Viñales in sixth, the Spaniard steadily catching up on the podium battle. With his teammate less than two seconds behind, it looked like the fight was about to turn even hotter.

With seven laps to go, it was clear that the Yamaha was relishing the conditions, Viñales getting the best of Petrucci to steal third place. Crutchlow moved into fourth soon after, relegating the Italian to fifth and into the clutches of Rossi, who was almost a second faster than his compatriot. Despite the speed differential, the Yamaha rider needed a couple of laps to make it past the stubborn Ducati, generously endowed with straight line speed.

Rossi was up into fifth with four laps to go and setting off with Crutchlow in his sights. Tried as he did, with a personal best in the final two laps and some mistakes from the British rider, the Yamaha veteran had to wait until the very last lap to get past the LCR Honda. Rossi finished fourth, two seconds behind the podium, with Crutchlow fifth, half a second back.

Dovizioso also picked up Petrucci on the penultimate lap to place sixth and keep in touch with his title rivals. Aleix Espargaro’s podium challenge was faltering with eight laps remaining, the Spaniard down to seventh when he was notified of having to drop three places for an unsafe release in pitlane, which caused a collision with Andrea Iannone. The Aprilia man still finished eighth, right in front of his brother, Pol Espargaro scoring KTM ninth place. The final top ten spot went to Jonas Folger, the Monster Yamahas quite anonymous throughout the race.

Despite his early stint in the lead, Lorenzo dropped back to fifteenth after pitting before his second bike was fully set up and losing significant time.

The world championship leader extended his advantage to fourteen points ahead of Viñales, Dovizioso now 21 points behind. Rossi stays fourth with a 22 points deficit while Pedrosa caught up with the Italian but trails his teammate by 31 points.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 44'15.974
2 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda +12.438
3 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +18.135
4 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +20.466
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +20.892
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +23.259
7 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +24.079
8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +30.559
9 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +30.754
10 94 Jonas FOLGER Yamaha +33.236
11 42 Alex RINS Suzuki +33.290
12 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha +34.595
13 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati +34.697
14 43 Jack MILLER Honda +38.062
15 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati +40.100
16 45 Scott REDDING Ducati +44.376
17 53 Tito RABAT Honda +45.454
18 22 Sam LOWES Aprilia +53.976
19 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki +1'23.346
20 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1 Lap
    Not Classified    
  38 Bradley SMITH KTM 2 Laps
  76 Loris BAZ Ducati 7 Laps
  19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 10 Laps

 

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Round Number: 
10
2017
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Total votes: 99

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Comments

Marc was pure genius. We TV viewres got to see what was happening with the track by virtue of overhead footage. Marc could not see it but clearly felt it. Where did Ducati and Yamaha lose the plot?Maverick profiteered big time. Dani did a great race. Dovi did the Dovi as per season usual. Top Ducati. I guess there will be much recriminations. As an outsider looking in, Yamaha should have boxed Rossi a lap after Marquez and Ducati should have done likewise with Dovi. An intrigueng race which surely did not live up to 2nd half hype season. Marquez will probably kill it from hereon in. Lorenzo and the hamster fairing and a single point? He led the race for all of one turn. Dovi has to test the thing tomorrow I believe....what for, it clearly did not work for Lorenzo today, why should Dovi and Petrux bother with it? It suits neither of them...them being Ducati's Top Guns"

Total votes: 36

Lorenzo's problem appears to be that his 2nd bike was setup for the wet!

This resulted in an extended pit delay and being sent out on a bike shod with slicks but configured for wets.

How it makes sense to have a 2nd bike configured for the same conditions eludes me.

Total votes: 22

Exactly WHAT has happened to Rossi's ability to either:

1) figure out when to change tires, or
2) read the pit board, or
3) pay the crew enough so that they'll try harder to communicate with him (I don't know if this was the case, but I'm randomly and befuddled-ly taking guesses) via pit board or the new messaging system on the bike?

He used to be reasonably adept at it, but now, according to my quickest memory:

1) Misano - ALMOST certain victory
2) Sachsenring - a possible podium
3) TODAY - VERY possible victory
4) Assen - slightly different, but VIRTUALLY certain victory in heavy rain, but for terrible communication from pits to Rossi

I know that he changed a lap too early to slicks back at Le Mans a few years back, and it bit him in the butt, BUT that was LONG ago. So what happened? Things like this are where championships are won and lost.

Anyone know? I'm all ears.

BTW, Marc was amazing in his strategy and his willingness to risk it all. He wasn't the fastest, but he was absolutely the best today. All credit to him.

Total votes: 30

MM indeed made the rest of the field look like schoolboys. However he came in early as he had nothing to lose as he was plummeting down the field on soft wets when the others on mediums were doing rather well. Brave? Yes. Genius? No.

At the other end of the spectrum was Rossi and Dovi staying out for too long. I was dumbfounded when most of the rest pitted a couple of laps later and Rossi and Dovi carried on! You what? All I could imagine at the time was the risky transition period between a drying track and an almost dry track. Usually the crossover in performance between wets and slicks is gradual and eventually - if you stay on - slicks pay off handsomely. But the track dried out very quickly and the rate at which Marquez found pace was amazing. Did Rossi gamble on that risk avoidance?

Well this time the answer was easy: He admitted he normally was the one who was the donkey and ignored pit boards, but HE DIDN'T RECEIVE ANY INSTRUCTIONS!! and he said the crew made the error and that he was also a donkey for staying out. Read the post race interview.

I was impressed by his charge through the field but just thought it was a waste as his pace was good enough to have taken at least third.

But well done to the riders that either made the right choices or had teams that made the right choices for them. Could have been worse (Lorenzo?)

Total votes: 14

Hey, its always a shit fight with flag to flag.

tyres and weather ,both headaches for motorbike racing.

Total votes: 17

The only MotoGP website where you can educate yourself, improve your vocabulary and geekily giggle at the same time, thanks.

Total votes: 29

The analysis sheet is worth a look from this one.

http://resources.motogp.com/files/results/2017/CZE/MotoGP/RAC/Analysis.p...

For those who came in on Lap 2, their outlaps:

Marquez: 2:22
Miller: 2:35
Esparagaro (Pol): 2:36
Smith: 2:41
Folger: 2:27, but pitted again the next lap.

In fact, the only person to have a faster out lap than Marquez was Zarco, who came in four laps later. Goes to show how hard Marquez was pushing those slicks on the damp track.

As for Folger, a real shame there. If he had not pit twice, his pace would have put him on the podium. Here's a snippet from the Tech 3 press release:

"When we began, it was wet but the track was drying up quickly. I was behind Marquez and I saw that he entered the pits so I decided to follow him in. Unfortunately, there was a mistake and I had to go through the pit lane but I couldn’t change bikes, so I had to pit again on the next lap."

So it seems the team not being ready cost him a podium. Bummer.

Total votes: 24

---dont know if soft rear was plan or mistake, suspect mistake. He is surely the absolute master of making the best outcome from errors, eg germany last year. Run off track, oh well nothing to lose give slicks a try, wins race. Last night oops wrong tyre track dryer than i thought slicks have to be better, wins race. Cal mentioned he felt perhaps Marc dopped back to hide his pit entry from main rivals. Looking forward to the eventual autobiography.

                                             Beamer 12

                                       

 

Total votes: 19

I do wonder how much he is letting on with the plan.  He seemed to say in the parc ferme interview that it was a mistake to choose the soft wet setup and that the resultant forced early pit worked well, but he was not clear on it.  (In hindsight admittedly) it seemed to me the perfect hedge betting in a day of changeable conditions.  Should the rain come down you're setup for it, should it stay dry your in early to get on slicks, but I don't know the difference between the different wet setups the various riders had.

I was surprised that ducati had the second bike with wets.  Were they expecting drizzle all race, but if it really buckets down they have a bike setup for it?  Seems an unusually narrow expectation.  Perhaps some that knew the conditions earlier in the day could enlighten me.

Total votes: 21

Before the race had even started, I had the feeling that if anyone would gamble on slicks from start they would have had a lot to gain. Too bad noone did as that would have been interesting - especially if it would have been someone further back in the field (KTM, perhaps?).

Total votes: 20