bwin Grand Prix of the Czech Republic 2014
Posted on Aug 11, 2014 by Nick Harris
ROUND ELEVEN 2014 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - SUNDAY 17 AUGUST
Bradley Smith is looking to push on from a really encouraging result at the previous round when he returns to Europe to ride in the bwin Grand Prix of the Czech Republic on Sunday. Oxfordshire rider Smith fought to a moral boosting sixth place at Indianapolis despite being in considerable pain from a damaged little finger after a qualifying crash from the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. He’s ninth in the championship going into the race round the magnificent undulating 3.357 mile Brno circuit.
Gloucestershire based Redding is leading the Honda challenge in the Open class and fought a tremendous duel with Cal Crutchlow before finishing ninth at Indianapolis. He’s having an excellent debut season and is 12th in the championship.
Crutchlow was in pole at Brno last year but the going has been tough for the Isle of Man based Midlander. He’s back to full fitness and has eight more races with Ducati before joining the CWM LCR Honda team next season.
Ulsterman Michael Laverty will be looking for an Indy repeat at Brno after picking up his first points of the season while Leon Camier will certainly not. On his MotoGP debut replacing the injured Nick Hayden he was sidelined with electrical problems after some tremendous qualifying.
World Supersport Champion Sam Lowes wants to get back to points scoring ways in the Moto2™ race after running off track at Indy. The Lincolnshire rider has not scored points since the Italian round at Mugello.
Londoner Gino Rea continues his fight with his only points scoring ride a hard fought 11th at Assen. Twenty year old Scotsman John McPhee had a wretched time at Indy. After an excellent qualifying session on the SaxoPrint Racing Team Germany Honda he was knocked off on the third bend of the race. Wiltshire based Danny Kent was a disappointing 12th at Indy after an impressive fifth in the previous round.
Marquez back to Europe to chase number 11
World Champion Marc Marquez flies back across the Atlantic from Indianapolis to chase his 11th successive grand prix win of the season at the bwin Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at the 3.3357 mile Brno circuit on Sunday. The 21 year old Repsol Honda rider started where he finished off by winning the first race of the second half of the season in Indianapolis and now faces the next hurdle at the magnificent undulating circuit where he won last year. He chases a hatrick of Brno wins after winning the Moto2 race in 2013.
The Movistar Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi gave him a tough fight in the early stages at Indy and both have tasted plenty of success at Brno. Rossi won his very first grand prix there, the 1996 125cc race and has followed up with one 250 and five MotoGP wins. Lorenzo, who was second at Indy, has won four times but only once in MotoGP. Dani Pedrosa, second in the championship behind team-mate Marquez, has secured MotoGP and 250cc wins at Brno and that second place is coming under pressure from Rossi who trails by just four points. Andrea Dovizioso dropped to fifth behind Lorenzo after a battling seventh on the factory Ducati at Indy while Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro is on a roll. He moved into sixth place riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha after a brilliant sixth place, one point in front of older brother Aleix who was forced to retire after a crash with Stefan Bradl.
Alex De Angelis replaces the retiring Colin Edwards at Forward Racing Yamaha for the remainder of the season starting in Brno while Leon Camier continues to replace the injured Nick Hayden at Drive 7 Aspar.
Valentino Rossi is the most successful MotoGP rider still competing at Brno. The Italian has won four MotoGP races and secured his very first grand prix victory in the 1996 125cc race. The nine times World Champion also won the 1999 250 cc race.
Grand Prix racing started on the famous 8.662 miles Brno road circuit in 1965. Mike Hailwood won the first three 500cc races. His race time for that first win was an incredible 1h 11m 23.2s at an average speed of 94.664 mph. Hailwood was eclipsed by Giacomo Agostini who won the next four races for the Italian MV Agusta factory with Phil Read keeping up the tradition for MV with two victories in 1974/75. Johnny Cecotto won the last 500cc race on the road circuit in 1977. Grand Prix racing continued in the smaller classes until 1982 when the track was deemed too dangerous.
Five years later grand prix racing returned to Brno on a brand new 3.352 miles circuit on a wooded hillside above the City. Australian Wayne Gardner won the first 500cc race with just 1.87 seconds separating him and Eddie Lawson in the 24 lap race. There was no grand prix at Brno in 1992 but the old Czechoslavian Grand Prix changed its name to the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic and returned in 1993. It has been on the grand prix schedule ever since.
Just 0.002 seconds separated Honda team-mates Alex Criville and Mick Doohan at the finish of the 1996 500cc race at Brno. It was the second closest premier class finish in the 65 year history of grand prix racing.
Seven years later just 0.042 seconds separated Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau in the 22 lap MotoGP race which was the ninth closest premier class finish. The closest ever finish at Brno came in the 1989 250cc race. After 20 laps Reinhold Roth and Masahiro Shimizu were separated by 0.001 seconds.
Facts and Figures
Circuit Length: 5.403kms/3.357 miles
Pole Position: Left
Longest Straight: 636m/0.395 miles
Left Corners: Six
Right Corners: Eight
Pole Position Record: Cal Crutchlow/Yamaha 1.55.527 (2013)
Lap Record: Marc Marquez/Honda 1'56.135 (2013)
BT Sport Schedule (unless stated this will be on BT Sport 2)
Friday 15th August
8.00am – Grand Prix of the Czech Republic – FP1 - LIVE
10.45am – Grand Prix of the Czech Republic – FP2 - LIVE
Saturday 16th August
8.00am – Grand Prix of the Czech Republic – Free Practice/Qualifying - LIVE
Saturday 17th August
9.30am – Grand Prix of the Czech Republic - Moto3/Moto2/MotoGP Races – LIVE
Tuesday 19th August
8.00pm - MotoGP Tonight: (BT Sport 1)
Monday 18th August
8.00pm – MotoGP Highlights Programme