MotoGP Brno Results & Race Report: Lorenzo Wins Over Pedrosa, Stoner in Calm Race at Brno


What Happens When It’s Not That Exciting At the Front

9:02am EST — Jorge Lorenzo easily won the 2010 Czech Grand Prix after a first lap scrap between he, second-place finisher Dani Pedrosa, and fourth-place finisher Ben Spies.  Casey Stoner finished third, with Valentino Rossi rounding out the top five after dropping down to eighth early in the race.  By the end of the race, the only dramatic racing was occurring between Marco Melandri, Hector Barbera, and Randy de Puniet for eighth, with a supporting role in the drama played by eleventh-place Marco Simoncelli.  Between the podium and that fight, Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards finished sixth and seventh, respectively.  Andrea Dovizioso had a scary moment when he crashed and landed in the middle of the track with the rest of the field bearing down on him.  He ran out of the way after Rossi rode between the young Italian and his Honda, then got his bike restarted, though is race would end in the gargae a few laps later.  Also crashing out were Loris Capriossi, Mika Kallio, and Alvaro Bautista on the last lap.  Lorenzo had a hole of golf as his celebration after the win, though from his putting, it appears best that he not quit his day job.

Pedrosa had a serious fight on his hands for pole during Saturday’s qualifying, with Spies, Lorenzo, and Rossi all breathing down his neck nearing the end of qualifying, though he started on pole.  Spies had gained control of the timesheets as the minutes ticked down, though it would be crashes in the final minutes of qualifying that would bring out the ire for the Fiat Yamaha squad, as first Lorenzo, then Rossi went down.  It was a good day for Tech 3 Yamaha, with Colin Edwards joining his teammate near the top for good portions of the session, though the older Texan will start seventh.  Casey Stoner displaced Rossi after his lowside, leaving the Australian starting fourth.  Pedrosa, Spies, Lorenzo, Stoner, and Rossi were the fastest five, followed by Dovizioso, Edwards, Hayden, Barbera, and Capirossi as the top ten.  Just outside was de Puniet, who will start eleventh after breaking his leg at the Sachsenring four weeks ago.  A wet warm-up changed the landscape a bit at Brno, with Dovizioso posting the fastest time Sunday morning.  Pedrosa, Stoner, Lorenzo, and Melandri rounded out the top five, with Rossi a very careful sixteenth fastest.

Under a bright and sunny sky, the field got away with Pedrosa leading the way with Spies right behind, though Spies soon took the lead, as Lorenzo moved around both to take the lead, with Stoner and Dovizioso rounding out the top five.  Rossi got a bad start, ending the first lap down in eighth position, wiht Edwards, Hayden, Rossi, Simoncelli, and Kallio the top ten at the end of L1.  Pedrosa had a go at Spies and re-took second from the American.  Stoner had a look on Spies as well, but there was no attempt to pass.  L3 saw Capirossi off as Hayden took sixth from Edwards.  Three laps into the twenty-two lap race and Lorenzo still led Pedrosa, but only by two tenths.  That lap also saw a pass by Dovizioso on Stoner for fourth, presumably with the young Italian riding hard for a contract at the factory Honda team for 2011 with Stoner’s move there and the manufacturer talking about a three rider team, or a only slightly satellite team.  Dovizioso soon crashed, though, leaving he and his bike stranded in the middle of the track.  Dovizioso had to run to get out of the way of the entire field charging down on him, with Rossi riding between the rider and the bike, but he soon restarted and got it out of the way.  That brought Rossi up to sixth, along with a neat pass on Edwards for the position.  Five laps in and it was Lorenzo leading Pedrosa, Spies, Stoner, and Hayden as the top five. 

L6 brought Rossi to fifth position, as he got around Hayden.  By L7, Spies was well behind the leading Spanish duo, over two and a half seconds behind Pedrosa and Dovizioso had given up on his race, returning to the garage.  Kallio was out of the race on L8, adding to the attrition.  Stoner took third from Spies on the inside at Turn 5.  Ten laps into the race and Lorenzo had a lead over Pedrosa of just under a second, with Stoner, Spies, Rossi, Hayden, Edwards, Simoncelli, Melandri, and de Puniet the top ten.  Soon de Puniet would take ninth from Melandri.  Most of the field had at least a half second of gap between riders.  Halfway through the race and Lorenzo had extended his lead slightly, but little positions had changed near the front, or through much of the field.  Then Bautista got around both de Angelis and Espargaro for twelfth.  The race really settled in, with Lorenzo eking out a tenth here and there and everyone maintaining position.  With just seven laps to go, Lorenzo had nearly three seconds on Pedrosa, with another five and a half back to Stoner.  Spies was a second and a half behind the Australian, with Rossi rounding out the top five another almost four seconds behind, and thirteen and half behind his leading teammate.

With five laps left, the top seven all had a margin of more than two seconds over the rider behind (or a gap of more than two seconds to the rider in the position ahead), though most had far more free track in front and behind.  The closest riders on the circuit were de Puniet, Melandri, and Barbera for ninth, with de Puniet leading their little pack, until Melandri took the position on L18, having taken tenth from Barbera the previous lap.  Three laps to go and the top five remained the same: Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Stoner, Spies, Rossi, Hayden, Edwards, Simoncelli, Melandri, and Barbera, who had taken tenth from de Puniet.  Melandri soon took eighth from Simoncelli, performing the only passing on the circuit.  Barbera and de Puniet were also soon around Simoncelli, with shades of last season’s 250 racing between the two MotoGP class rookies.  Barbera was just a tenth behind Melandri on the final lap.  Lorenzo was cruising very quickly to a victory and generous points lead, with Pedrosa and Stoner still in podium positions and only in danger of their own mistakes, as Alvaro Bautista demonstrating with a crash on the last lap.  In the end, Melandri kept eighth from Barbera.

Final Positions for the 2010 Czech Grand Prix:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Dani Pedrosa +5.494
3. Casey Stoner +11.426
4. Ben Spies +13.723
5. Valentino Rossi +17.930
6. Nicky Hayden +26.815
7. Colin Edwards +33.396
8. Marco Melandri +39.406
9. Hector Barbera +39.639
10. Randy de Puniet +40.893
11. Marco Simoncelli +42.032
12. Aleix Espargaro +47.091
13. Alex de Angelis +51.368

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