MotoGP: Crutchlow masters weather to take unlikely Czech win




The long wait is over after Cal Crutchlow won the MotoGP™ race in a magnificent day for British motorsport at the HJC Grand Prix of the Czech Republic in Brno this afternoon. Isle of Man – based midlander Cal Crutchlow became the first British premier class grand prix winner since Barry Sheene in Sweden 35 years ago.

Twenty-two year old Oban – based Racing Steps Foundation supported John McPhee won the rain lashed Moto3™ race to become the first Scottish two wheel grand prix winner since Bob McIntyre in 1962.

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes finished third in another wet Moto2™ race to continue his championship challenge.

What a day for British Motorsport with the next race being the Octo British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday September 4.

Crutchlow charges through to make history

After a torrential Moto2™ race at the Automotodrom Brno, it was the turn of the MotoGP™ machines to head out as the rain was just starting to stop – leaving the prospect of a flag-to-flag race. In the end it wasn’t to be, and it was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) who sliced through the field in one of the most spectacular victories in recent years, taking the flag to become the first British winner for 35 years. He also follows Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) into the history books as a winner with an independent team in 2016, with wet weather opening the door for many on the grid.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completed the podium in a chaotic race, with the 9-time champion making a small gain on title rival Marquez as the two crossed the line in P2 and P3 respectively.

Polesitter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had the worst start off the front row as Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) swept past the championship leader, before both Movistar Yamaha riders Lorenzo and teammate Valentino Rossi began to drop through the field. Marquez played it safe to slot into the middle of the top ten, as Iannone, Dovizisoso and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) escaped at the front.

Cal Crutchlow then proved the man on the charge, with a tyre combination of a hard front and hard rear coming into its own as the Brit charged from P15 to catch the front of the race. Dovizioso suffered a tyre problem that saw him pull in, as Crutchlow fought to take over at the front on an incredible roll.

The softer tyre compounds of the frontrunners soon began to see them suffer, and it was Crutchlow leading the charge ahead of Valentino Rossi as the 9-time world champion suddenly clicked into gear. The two proved unstoppable in their climb through the field and overcame what had seemed almost impossible to take the 1-2.

Marc Marquez began to fight back, taking Andrea Iannone and Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) in the squabble for the podium and protecting his title lead with a steady ride home to third. Now 53 points clear of Rossi, who took over in P2 in the title fight, Marquez has seen his lead grow through some of the most challenging races of the season.

Late chargers as the tyre wear proved decisive saw Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) overtake his teammate Barbera, and Eugene Laverty (PULL&BEAR Aspar) join the fight as he overtook Iannone for P6.

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) also overtook his compatriot to end the race in P7, with Iannone coming home just ahead of Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who crossed the line in P9.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) had a tough race to come home in P12, with old rival Jorge Lorenzo suffering the worst in Brno as the title contender made a big error with a bike swap decision.

Next up? Silverstone, as Crutchlow heads back to his home track for the British GP


Folger takes faultless wet win

Dynavolt Intact GP rider Jonas Folger has taken an incredible win in torrential conditions at the Automotodrom Brno, his first win in more than a year. Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) and Sam Lowes (Gresini Racing Moto2) completed the podium, both taking a chunk out of championship leader Johann Zarco’s (Ajo Motorsport) lead as the title defender crossed the line in only eleventh place.

Folger took the lead by sweeping round the outside into Turn 1, and the German was simply unstoppable for the rest of the race. He managed the gap to perfection to cross the line for his first win in 2016 ahead of his graduation to MotoGP™ next season.

Alex Rins had a stunning turnaround in the wet on race day, as the Spaniard took a solid P2 after having struggled so much more in the dry in Brno. The ride to the podium cut the gap to title leader Zarco by 15 points.

Sam Lowes also benefitted from the wet in Brno, as the Brit impressed with a calm ride to complete the podium.

There was drama on the final lap as Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) collided, with Cortese unable to collect his top 5 finish and Pasini crossing the line in fourth.

Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) had a fantastic ride into P5, as he rebuilds his confidence with another top result. Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) finished in P6, ahead of Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent in P7 after both moved up the timesheets in the wet.

Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) crossed the line in P8, with the second Leopard Racing machine of Miguel Oliveira crossing the line in ninth.

The man in tenth place was Anthony West (Montaze Broz Racing Team), who took his 3-year old Suter chassis from last place on the grid into the top ten – as a wildcard – in one of the most stunning displays of the day.


Immaculate McPhee shows his wet weather prowess

Peugeot MC Saxoprint rider John McPhee won the Moto3™ race at the Automotodrom Brno, the Scot had a almost faultless ride to the flag as his rivals fell away. Championship leader Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed out of the lead with 4 laps to go, before Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda Team Asia) also ended up in the gravel in the final few laps.

Binder led off the line, before losing places on a cautious first lap as Jorge Martin (PULL&BEAR Aspar Mahindra) took the lead and set off trying to make a gap, with a breakaway group of Martin, Binder, McPhee and Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) heading off from the pack.

McPhee stayed calm in P2, before that proved the perfect strategy as Binder crashed out of the lead. It took Malaysian rider Khairul Idham Pawi 14 laps to go to get to the front of the chasing group, before crashing out of podium contention close to the end of the race.

McPhee stayed calm and continued his solid pace at the front as he inherited the lead, the Brit kept his head and rode through a faultless last lap to cross the line for his first Moto3™ win.

Jorge Martin (PULL&BEAR Aspar Mahindra) took his first podium in some of the most difficult conditions in the season so far. Fabio DiGiannantonio (Gresini Racing Moto3) was the rookie star of the race, as the Italian completed the podium as he crossed the line ahead of his more experienced teammate Enea Bastianini.

Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) completed the top five ahead of Czech rider Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing) in a great home result of P6. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was seventh, ahead of fellow rookies Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46).

Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) completed the top ten to gain some points back on Brad Binder in the title fight. The gap between the two now sees the South African clear of his Spanish rival by 61 points.