MotoGP Brno: Race Round Up
We had a lot of good racing at Brno’s Automotodrom in all 3 classes, seeing debut wins for riders and manufacturers, new podium finishers, new championship leaders and championship leads extended.
Dennis Foggia took his debut win in Moto3 after an awful start to the season, his first win and the first for Leopard Racing this season. He pulled out a lead with 4 laps to go and controlled the pace. Albert Arenas extended his championship lead with a hard-fought 2nd, Ai Ogura joined them on the box in third. Other things of note were Romano Fenati finally putting the Husqvarna into the top 10 in 9th, while front row starter Gabri Rodrigo faded to finish outside the points in 20th. John McPhee recovered a poor qualifying position (though not entirely his fault as he was caught in a qualifying incident) to finish 5th, and Davide Pizzoli ruined his race before it started, crashing in a yellow flag zone in qualifying and carrying a punishment to the race, starting last and having to take a long lap penalty immediately.
Full results here.
Before the race, we got the news that Simone Corsi would leave Forward Racing a man lighter after he crashed in the warm-up and fractured his toe. The race started and pole man Joe Roberts ended up slipping backwards to 3rd, while fellow front-row starter Enea Bastianini would shoot off like a scalded cat, pulling out a lead of over a second ahead of Sam Lowes by the end of the first lap. The order would not change to the end, meaning both Lowes and Roberts got their first podium finishes, and in Roberts’ case, his first podium ever. Luca Marini and the resurgent Augusto Fernandez rounded out the top 5. There were problems for Jake Dixon, he did not finish due to a brake lever issue, and Forward’s misery was compounded when Stefano Manzi crashed out of the final point-scoring position. Championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima would struggle hugely and come home 11th, relinquishing the championship lead to Bastianini in the process.
Full results here.
There’s only one headline here. Brad Binder took both his, and KTM’s maiden win in the MotoGP class and did it in some style to hunt down former leader Franco Morbidelli and control the pace when he passed him. Morbidelli remained in 2nd to take his debut podium in the class, and 3rd was the impressive Johann Zarco. There was some controversy with Zarco however, as he and Pol Espargaro had a coming together causing the KTM man to go down, and race direction awarded Zarco a long lap penalty. You could fairly argue it was a racing incident, and the punishment could be considered harsh, however, Zarco took the punishment in style, hanging off of the bike in the long-lap area on the dirty part of the track, keeping third place in the process. Championship leader Fabio Quartararo ended up in 7th, on a track whereof the Yamaha riders, only Morbidelli seemed comfortable. Elsewhere, Miguel Oliveira came home for his best finish to date in 6th, Taka Nakagami rescued an 8th placed finish from a 17th place start and Aleix Espargaro ran the Aprilia as high as 2nd at one point before fading back to 10th. Iker Lecuona went down early on, and took the luckless Joan Mir with him into the gravel, and the still injured Alex Rins came home an impressive 4th. Repsol Honda’s Sunday was not much better than their Saturday, with Alex Marquez scoring the team’s solitary point.
Full results here.
We now jump straight into another two rounds, both to be held at the Red Bull Ring, will KTM impress there too with the confidence that they will enter their home race as the newest race winners, or will Ducati have a say on a track that is traditionally a happy hunting ground?
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