Valentino Rossi got the best of his Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo again at the Cardion ab Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno on Sunday, with the young Spaniard crashing out with five laps to go. Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elias rounded out the podium.
Valentino Rossi got the best of his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo again at the Cardion ab Czech Republic Grand Prix on Sunday with the young Spaniard crashing out with five laps to go, as the pair battled for the race lead, handing Rossi a 50-point title advantage with six races to go.
In front of a crowd of nearly 140,000 fans the Fiat Yamaha duo had built up a ten second lead over the rest of the field but with Lorenzo desperate for points after his Donington DNF the 22 year-old from Mallorca pushed too hard again and slid out, with Rossi eventually finishing more than 11 seconds ahead of second placed Dani Pedrosa.
Behind Pedrosa, two more Honda riders, Toni Elías and Andrea Dovizioso, dueled for the final podium slot, with San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Elías just outdoing Repsol Honda’s Dovizioso. Repeating his 2008 Brno podium was a perfect reaction from Elías as he learned this weekend that he has lost his current MotoGP ride for next year.
Just over a tenth of a second behind his compatriot Dovizioso there was a morale-boosting result for Loris Capirossi in fifth place for the Rizla Suzuki team. Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, bolstered his confidence in sixth, from eighth on the grid.
Hayden’s countryman Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will be disappointed to have ended up seventh after qualifying fifth and both Americans will be looking for top five results at the next round in Indianapolis.
The Brno top ten was completed by Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini), James Toseland (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda).
Mika Kallio and Marco Melandri were left bickering in the gravel after the pair crashed out when vying for the same piece of asphalt on the penultimate lap and both riders hit the deck.
MotoGP-bound Marco Simoncelli was in great form in the 250cc race as he took a third 2009 win. The Italian produced a World Champion’s performance from pole position, leading for most of the race and eventually crossing the finishing line just over half a second ahead of his compatriot Mattia Pasini (Team Toth Aprilia), who had tried to chase him down from seventh on the grid.
Metis Gilera rider Simoncelli managed his tyre durability intelligently as track temperatures reached 51°C, whilst things tightened up in the standings as Álvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Team) and leader Hiroshi Aoyama (Scot Racing Team) finished third and fourth respectively. Simoncelli now trails Aoyama by just 32 points and Bautista by 20 points, with six races remaining.
In a strange incident on the warm down lap Bautista crashed his Aprilia prototype, causing considerable damage, as he lost control whilst pulling a celebratory wheelie in front of the fans.
The top ten also featured Roberto Locatelli (Metis Gilera), Raffaele de Rosa (Scot Racing), Héctor Barberá (Pepe World Team), Jules Cluzel (Matteoni Racing), Mike di Meglio (Mapfre Aspar) and Héctor Faubel (Valencia CF – Honda SAG).
In the 125cc class Nico Terol (Jack & Jones Team) continued his excellent recent form to secure his first 2009 victory ahead of World Championship leader Julián Simón (Bancaja Aspar).
Having finished in the top five at the previous five consecutive rounds, Terol deserved the win as he rode brilliantly at the front, from second on the grid. Holding off Simón on the last lap, he crossed the line 0.168s ahead of his Spanish compatriot. The result extended Simón’s championship advantage to 54.5 points, with Terol moving into second place in the standings.
Pole man Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A.) was not quite able to match the pace of the front two as he rode a lonely race in third place to complete the podium, eight seconds behind Terol. It was a similar case for Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) who survived an early scare to ride a solitary race and pick up fourth place, thus conceding further points to Simón in the title fight.
Pol Espargaró (Derbi Racing Team) and Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten) battled for fifth place right at the death with the Spanish rider getting the better of the German by just 0.06s.
The FIM MotoGP World Championship’s next event is an exciting visit to the U.S. for the second ever Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time (28th-30th August).