Marc Marquez dominates MotoGP Brno race with clever strategy

Marc Marquez took a dominant third victory of the MotoGP season at Brno, timing his pitstop to perfection on a drying track to outfox his championship rivals

Marc Marquez dominates MotoGP Brno race with clever strategy

With the race beginning on a damp track but the sun shining, it seemed only a matter of time before the field would have to switch to dry tyres, all 23 riders opting to go with wets for the start.

Poleman Marquez was alone in the top eight in opting to run a soft wet rear tyre, and he lost the lead to the Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo at Turn 5 on the opening lap before quickly dropping down the order.

The factory Honda man had sunk to the bottom of the top 10 when he pitted at the end of the second lap for his dry-shod bike, a decision which proved to be a masterstroke.

Several other riders came in the following lap, but none of the leading group, with Lorenzo leading Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and a fast-starting Johann Zarco out front.

Lorenzo finally came in at the end of lap four after losing the lead to Rossi, but dropped well down the order as his second bike hadn't been fired up when he arrived at the Ducati pit.

That left Rossi, Dovizioso and Zarco out front, but they were losing anywhere from eight to 10 seconds a lap to Marquez, who was already setting a scintillating pace on slicks.

Rossi and Dovizioso finally bailed for their dry-shod bikes on lap five, with Zarco staying out an extra lap and being passed for the lead by the much faster Marquez.

With a 20-second lead over his nearest opposition, it was a simple case of reeling off the remaining laps for Marquez, who ended up 12.4s clear at the finish for the 32nd MotoGP victory of his career.

Dani Pedrosa, who was among those to follow Lorenzo into the pits on lap four, soon picked off Karel Abraham, Scott Redding and Aleix Espargaro to complete a Honda one-two.

A further 5.6s back at the finish was Maverick Vinales on the best of the works Yamahas, the Spaniard having pitted on the same lap as Lorenzo and Pedrosa before recovering to third after passing the LCR Honda of Cal Crutchlow, who was on the same strategy.

In the closing laps, Crutchlow found himself caught by Rossi, the Italian finding a way through at Turn 5 on the final lap to grab fourth place.

Dovizioso was sixth on the best of the Ducatis, followed by Danilo Petrucci's Pramac machine and the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro, who was handed a three-place penalty for an unsafe release that made Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone fall.

Pol Espargaro took KTM's best MotoGP finish in ninth, while the top 10 was completed by Jonas Folger (Tech 3 Yamaha), who pitted twice in the space of two laps.

Lorenzo's race never recovered from his botched stop, and he claimed the final point in 15th.

Race result

Pos Rider Team Laps Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda 22 44m15.974s
2 Dani Pedrosa Honda 22 12.438s
3 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 22 18.135s
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 22 20.466s
5 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 22 20.892s
6 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 22 23.259s
7 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 22 24.079s
8 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 22 30.559s
9 Pol Espargaro KTM 22 30.754s
10 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha 22 33.236s
11 Alex Rins Suzuki 22 33.290s
12 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 22 34.595s
13 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 22 34.697s
14 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 22 38.062s
15 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 22 40.100s
16 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 22 44.376s
17 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 22 45.454s
18 Sam Lowes Aprilia 22 53.976s
19 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 22 1m23.346s
20 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 21 1 Lap
- Bradley Smith KTM 20 Retirement
- Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 15 Retirement
- Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 12 Retirement

Riders' standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 154
2 Maverick Vinales 140
3 Andrea Dovizioso 133
4 Valentino Rossi 132
5 Dani Pedrosa 123
6 Johann Zarco 88
7 Jonas Folger 77
8 Danilo Petrucci 75
9 Cal Crutchlow 75
10 Jorge Lorenzo 66
11 Alvaro Bautista 44
12 Jack Miller 43
13 Aleix Espargaro 40
14 Scott Redding 33
15 Loris Baz 31
16 Andrea Iannone 28
17 Karel Abraham 23
18 Tito Rabat 23
19 Pol Espargaro 21
20 Hector Barbera 21
21 Alex Rins 12
22 Bradley Smith 8
23 Michele Pirro 7
24 Sam Lowes 2
25 Sylvain Guintoli 1

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Marc Marquez's wet tyre error key to dominant MotoGP Brno win

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