The production-derived series made a return, after an absence of several years, to the beautiful track of Brno and there was no shortage of 'show'. We went from the total Jonathan Rea domination on Saturday, to mistakes and problems for almost all the big names come Sunday, Alex Lowes profiting and taking his first Superbike win as a result.
But that's not all, because the weekend kicked off with rain on Friday morning, before continuing in the sunshine and then closing once again in the wet, Chilean rider Scheib grateful for the conditions as he powered to the Stock1000 win. Di Hendra Pratama and Cluzel were the day's other winners, the Frenchman starring in another great duel with Sandro Cortese.
THE GOOD – After 118 races, 9 podiums and a greater than average number of crashes, Alex Lowes has scored his first ever win in Superbike. A weight is lifted off the Brit's shoulders, as he continues to fight for a spot with Yamaha for next season. We're sure that this result will have helped to raise his share value.
THE UGLY – Federico Caricasulo began the year with just one goal, to win the Supersport title, but things are not going as the Italian had hoped. Brno brought a weighty zero, which sees him fall to sixth in the standings, 43 points from leader Cortese. He needs to make a rapid return to the top if he wants to keep his dream alive.
THE BAD – The relationship between Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea always been up and down, with peaceful phases alternating with moments of conflict. At Brno, a real squabble broke out, the number one accusing #66 of having caused his crash in race 2. A tense situation then, and Rea's recent contract renewal could open some new chapters.
THE DISAPPOINTMENT – How much must it hurt to lap more quickly than the first-placed rider while lying 16th? Ask Marco Melandri who, due to a problem with the rear brake, ran long at turn three just as he'd taken the race lead, having to wave goodbye to what would probably have been an (almost) comfortable win in race 2.
THE CONFIRMATION – If there is one consistent rider right now, it's Michael Van Der Mark. Three podiums in the last four races, and the sensation that he's increasingly at home on the Yamaha. The title is as good as off the table, but the Dutchman can no doubt win further races this season.
THE PASS – over to Superstock1000, the only race run in the wet. Hats off to Alessandro Delbianco, who put together a healthy race, concluding with the second step of the podium and enhanced by the pass he made on Marino during the last lap. Hats off also to Cluzel and Cortese for their fine duel, the Frenchman getting his own back after what went down at Donington.
THE MISTAKE – Contact with Rea definitely didn't help Tom Sykes' concentration and a few laps later he took himself out when he crashed at turn ten. A Sunday to forget for the Englishman.
THE SURPRISE – The Supersport300 had proved to be KTM and Kawasaki's turf up until Donington, but at brno it was Yamaha's turn, the bike masterfully ridden by Galang Hendra Pratama. The Indonesian rider waved goodbye to his rivals, having started from pole, and ran a solitary race to the line, despite the red flag putting a premature end to procedings.
THE INTERESTING FACT – And now you shall call him King Jonathan. With win number 60 on Saturday, Jonathan Rea has overtaken the most successful SBK rider of all time, or rather Carl Fogarty, on 59. He didn't need this record to secure his place in history, but Johnny is leaving nothing to chance.
I TOLD YOU SO – After race 1 Alex Lowes had warned: “I've collected a lot of information and think I can do a lot better than fifth place”. Very true…