Jorge Lorenzo finished off a dominant weekend by winning the 2015 MotoGP Czech Republic Grand Prix in Brno on Sunday, tying Valentino Rossi for the lead in the current standings in the process.
The Spaniard dominated during qualification and led the race from start to finish, with defending World Champion Marc Marquez pipping Rossi for second. For Lorenzo, it was the fifth win of the season. Here are the full results from Sunday's race, courtesy of MotoGP's official website:
|Czech Republic GP: Results|
|1||25||Jorge LORENZO||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||42'53.042|
|2||20||Marc MARQUEZ||Repsol Honda Team||+4.462|
|3||16||Valentino ROSSI||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+10.397|
|4||13||Andrea IANNONE||Ducati Team||+13.071|
|5||11||Dani PEDROSA||Repsol Honda Team||+15.650|
|6||10||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati Team||+15.725|
|7||9||Bradley SMITH||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+21.821|
|8||8||Pol ESPARGARO||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+23.240|
|9||7||Aleix ESPARGARO||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+43.784|
|10||6||Danilo PETRUCCI||Octo Pramac Racing||+45.261|
|11||5||Yonny HERNANDEZ||Octo Pramac Racing||+49.973|
|12||4||Scott REDDING||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+50.174|
|13||3||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+54.437|
|14||2||Stefan BRADL||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+54.624|
|15||1||Loris BAZ||Forward Racing||+1'00.316|
|16||Hector BARBERA||Avintia Racing||+1'01.595|
|17||Nicky HAYDEN||Aspar MotoGP Team||+1'02.388|
|18||Mike DI MEGLIO||Avintia Racing||+1'05.944|
|19||Jack MILLER||CWM LCR Honda||+1'11.407|
|20||Claudio CORTI||Forward Racing||+1'50.033|
|21||Karel ABRAHAM||AB Motoracing||+2'02.655|
|DID NOT FINISH|
|Maverick VIÑALES||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||DNF|
|Cal CRUTCHLOW||CWM LCR Honda||DNF|
|Eugene LAVERTY||Aspar MotoGP Team||DNF|
|Alex DE ANGELIS||E-Motion IodaRacing Team||DNF|
Before the start of the race, Crash.net MotoGP shared the tyre info for the favourites, revealing Rossi would be running on the hard compound:
Expectations were the compound would slow the Italian veteran down early, which was expected to be an issue in Brno as it is known as a track with few options for overtaking.
As if things weren't bad enough, Rossi had a poor start, dropping back to fifth place while Lorenzo and Marquez kept their positions, per MotoGP's official Twitter account. Rossi was forced to battle for position with Andrea Dovizioso, losing valuable times in the opening laps.
Defending world hampion Marquez did well to stick with Lorenzo, who had dominated the race weekend, and Crash.net MotoGP was starting to get a case of deja-vu:
Eugene Laverty suffered a crash in the background, and the Irishman should thank his lucky stars none of the other riders made contact when him when he went down in Turn 1.
At the front of race, Lorenzo looked nearly untouchable, and the Spaniard slowly started to build a lead over the pack. Marquez gave it everything he had to stick with his compatriot, but his positioning on the bike appeared to be slightly off and the gap kept growing, per MotoGP's official Twitter account:
Before long, Lorenzo was the only man consistently ducking under one minute, 57 seconds every lap, pushing his lead to 2.5 seconds. Rossi had jumped into third position but had six seconds worth of empty tarmac ahead of him, and his pace was well below Lorenzo's.
Turn 11 proved itself to be a difficult challenge to handle for the riders, with Cal Crutchlow and Maverick Vinales losing their grip in consecutive laps. Crash.net Moto GP shared this image of Crutchlow sliding:
With the top three seemingly decided, the attention of the fans turned to the battle between Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone and Dani Pedrosa. The latter's performance was made all the more memorable by the fact he was suffering from a foot injury, via MotoGP's official Twitter account:
Iannone eventually did enough to leave his two rivals behind entering the final lap, and the top four finishers all cruised to the finish line. With Marquez staying ahead of Rossi, Lorenzo closed the gap in the standings heading into the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Here are the latest standings, courtesy of MotoGP's official website:
|2015 MotoGP Championship Standings|
|17||Loris BAZ||Yamaha Forward||FRA||15|
|24||Mike DI MEGLIO||Ducati||FRA||2|
|25||Alex DE ANGELIS||ART||RSM||1|
As reported by Crash.net Moto GP's live blog of the race, Rossi told reporters he didn't think his choice of tyres impacted the result: "I don't think it was the tyres. I chose the best tyres for me in practice, not to go faster in the race. My start was bad. I didn't have the rhythm, Marc and Jorge were faster than me."
Rossi and Lorenzo have dominated the first half of the 2015 season, but the Spaniard has looked the more impressive of the two of late. Rossi remains the finest technician and most experienced rider on the grid, but it's hard to bet against Lorenzo at this stage of the campaign.
The Yamaha's have proven their superiority over the Honda engines, with Sunday's race yet another fine example, so Marquez's bid to win his third consecutive world title appears to be coming to an end. The 22-year-old was nearly unbeatable last year, but in 2015; there's simply no answer for Yamaha.