It was a great day for both LCR and Ducati teams, sponsored by Unibat: double podium and tons of satisfaction
The two Ducati Team riders had a good race today in round 11 of the MotoGP World Championship at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic, but unfortunately were unable to obtain the results they had hoped for at the chequered flag.
After a morning in which a heavy downpour continued to fall on the Moravian circuit, it stopped raining shortly before the start of the MotoGP race but the track surface remained wet. Dovizioso and Iannone both powered away well from the line and the Romagna-born rider passed into the lead on lap 2 by overtaking Marquez. Iannone moved into second place on the next lap and then took the lead followed by Dovizioso and Redding, who subsequently swapped places. On lap 10 abnormal front tyre wear forced Dovizioso to come into the pits: after switching to his second bike, he then retired on lap 16.
Andrea Iannone remained in control of the race until lap 15, but the rider from Vasto then encountered the same problem with the front tyre and, despite stubbornly carrying on, he could do little else in the last two laps other than try and reach the flag, and he eventually finished in eighth place.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 8th
“I am disappointed about how the race went because I believe that today we once again had very high potential. I started the race without pushing really hard in order to try and save the tyres as much as possible and was still in the lead with seven laps to go, and it was only at that point that the front tyre began to show some problems. Other riders such as Dovi, Scott and Jorge had their problems before, maybe because they pushed harder right from the start, whereas I had a good margin and as a result could ride well without pushing and was in any case quick. It was really a pity that the race didn’t go the way we wanted it to go.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – DNF
“I feel really bad about the way the things went in the race because I was very competitive and was in a position to get a good result. For the race we opted for the same tyres we had used in the morning warm-up and which, in very wet track conditions, had proved to be excellent. Before the race however it stopped raining and, even though the track stayed damp, the front tyre soon began to deteriorate in an abnormal way, so much so that I was forced to come into the pits. It was a real pity, because this was a great opportunity to score a good result and so I am a bit disheartened because I return home from Brno with no points.”
Cal Crutchlow was peerless in the treacherous conditions at the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic, as he took his and the LCR Honda Team’s first-ever victory in the MotoGP class. In doing so, he became the first British rider in 35 years to seal a premier class win – ever since Barry Sheene ran out victorious in the Swedish GP of 1981.
The historic day came amidst tricky weather at the Brno circuit, with rain falling all day but stopping just before the MotoGP race. Crutchlow and his LCR Honda Team took the gamble of fitting a hard wet tyre to the front and rear of his bike, only one of two riders to do so, and despite having taken time to get up to pace, it soon became the combination to be on.
Having started in tenth place on the grid, Crutchlow was down to 15th by the end of lap three, but he was soon on the move, passing riders at will before hitting the front with just over seven laps remaining. The Brit never looked in trouble, and came across the line with a huge stand-up wheelie to celebrate, over seven-seconds clear of his nearest challenger, Valentino Rossi.
Crutchlow’s win comes at a fitting moment, just two weeks after the birth of his first child Willow, and two weeks before the next round of the MotoGP World Championship, at Silverstone in the UK.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 1st place
“This win means a lot to me. I thought the feeling might be different, but after having become a Dad two weeks ago, nothing matches that. Don’t get me wrong though, I haven’t won a race for many years, maybe six or seven, so it’s been a long time and it’s something really, really special.”
“I’m pleased to be the British rider that’s broken the run, especially after some of the stick I’ve had. I’m also so pleased for my LCR Honda Team, because I wrecked a bike during practice yesterday and they were working until midnight to get it ready for me today. So to repay them with this win is great – they never give up.”
“Victory has been a long time coming and I was emotional on the cool-down lap. I was playing with them in the end though, I knew I had made the right tyre choice on the grid and pushed when I needed to push. I’m ecstatic.”