This weekend’s Czech GP threw up a lot to process, both as a standalone GP and for implications for the championship. Here are some things that may have flown under your radar.
Davide Pizzoli wrecked his race before it even started, he crashed under yellow flags in qualifying. He was demoted to the rear of the grid and made to perform a long lap penalty during the race. Tatsuki Suzuki’s consistency problems reared their head again, with the SIC 58 Squadra Corse rider crashing out of a podium position. Khairul Idham Pawi’s bad luck continues, damaging the same finger that kept him out of a large chunk of the Moto2 season in 2019. Tony Arbolino got an extremely rough move put on him by Albert Arenas, causing his leathers to have a hole in them, though he still came home 8th after beating Romano Fenati to the line by 0.001. Interestingly, the fastest lap was set on only the second lap by Jaume Masia.
Dominique Aegerter acquitted himself well on his first replacement ride for Jesko Raffin aboard the NTS chassis, finishing 21st and less than 10 seconds off the points, not awful at all for someone who hadn’t ridden the bike until he rolled out Friday morning. Lorenzo Baldassarri’s season is unravelling before his eyes, with the Pons man earmarked to be a championship contender, it isn’t turning out that way. He came home 22nd, 29.9 seconds after Enea Bastianini had crossed the line to win. Augusto Fernandez finally got his act together to come home in 5th, while there was a brilliant debut podium for Joe Roberts. Stefano Manzi failed to finish for the first time this season, a vast improvement for a man who had a record number of crashes in 2018. We also had tears in the post race podium interviews, with Sam Lowes’ emotion spilling out after an extremely hard couple of years where he has been through the mill.
Miguel Oliveira continued his upward trajectory in the MotoGP world with a 6th place finish aboard the Tech 3 KTM, while Jack Miller also impressed despite a 9th place finish, after being mired in the pack when a wobble at turn 3 left him without brakes and he ran on. Andrea Dovizioso did not show that he truly wants the second Ducati seat alongside Miller, after coming home 11th and completely derailing his championship charge.
You have to feel Ducati will now be looking at Pecco Bagnaia, even though Pecco missed the Brno race with a fractured tibia. The other Ducati of Danilo Petrucci is also really struggling after taking a lowly 12th, KTM must be wondering whether they’ve made the correct decision to draft him into the Tech 3 squad for 2021. But by far the biggest disappointment of Brno was Maverick Vinales, with the man who was 2nd in the championship this weekend showing exactly why he cannot be considered a title contender after bringing his Monster Energy Yamaha home in 14th place. With leader Quartararo ending up 7th and Valentino Rossi being top Factory Yamaha in 5th, Franco Morbidelli really saved face for the Iwata concern this weekend.
The long and short of it is Brno was a track in terrible condition, and maybe true results were masked by the track’s deficiencies. We go to Austria next, and this will be where someone really needs to step up and take this championship by the scruff of the neck before Marc Marquez returns, as right now it seems nobody is capable consistently!
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