The Brno weekend concluded with a “rising red” from Borgo Panigale that completes the work begun during free practice, continued by placing Dovizioso in pole position and ending with a fantastic one-two thanks to Andrea - first with his second win of the season - and Jorge Lorenzo alongside him on the podium, truly in form and close to the number 04 Desmosedici which he could even have bested if he had not lost time and resources in his duel with Márquez.
It was a well-earned first place for Dovizioso, arriving through the usual meticulous work done along with the Ducati technicians who chose two hard tyres. They chose the same solution for Jorge, who wanted to beat his teammate after their pre-race back-and-forth. The two Ducati riders fear and respect one another and this will be their last year on the same team, so in addition to wanting to keep the championship open, from now on, Andrea and Jorge will make it a question of honour and pride: See? I'm better than you!
Perhaps the Ducati top brass is regretting their decision from months ago. The Majorcan by now has the Desmosedici well in hand, the Italian has had it in hand for at least a season and a half and, in this stage of the championship, they form the strongest and most complete pair. Also, looking at the performance of Petrucci, Bautista, Miller and Rabat (who crashed today, but is fast in any case) the bikes from Bologna are the best assisted on the entire grid, a trend that is reminiscent of what they demonstrated in the best Superbike seasons when the factory and privateer reds dominated far and wide.
Despite not having won, Marc Márquez confirmed that he is the undisputed number one in the Honda camp. The six-time world champion is the only one who pushes the HRC branded RC 213V to the limit (and sometimes beyond), because Pedrosa, even today, did not maintain his teammate's pace and is already thinking of his well-deserved retirement, while Cal Crutchlow, who finished with an outstanding fifth place, was unable to reach the podium. Morbidelli made it into the top fifteen with a thirteenth place finish, Nakagami is still not a top rider (we will wait and see if he ever becomes one) and Stefan Bradl did more damage than a hailstorm between being slow and going down on the first lap of the race. For these reasons, number 93's third place finish is even more valuable, as is his championship lead which appears (for now) solid and conveniently in his hands.
In fact, lying second in the overall standings is Valentino Rossi, the most decorated rider on the track and the one who took the first win of his career in Brno. He is the rider who - along with Max Biaggi - has 7 wins in the Czech Republic. Despite these impressive stats, this year Valentino did not lift the winners trophy, but today number 46 was once again the best Yamaha rider on the track.
Valentino bears the cross, while the other Yamaha riders struggle greatly. After Forcada scandal in the factory garage, Viñales didn't even finish one lap, taking home a zero and morale is lower than his boots. Zarco, seventh today, did not have a podium pace and Syahrin only took home one point. Action will need to be taken from Iwata soon because the Championship train is moving fast and he who hesitates is lost.
In the Suzuki camp they know this well and, in fact, in Brno Sylvain Guintoli, the fast tester of the most up-to-date GSX-RR, came aboard to lend a hand. Factory riders Iannone and Rins finished with the same results as the qualifiers, with the Frenchman finishing rather far back, testing some new parts in the race which will also be entrusted to Andrea and Alex in the tests tomorrow. After some more brilliant streaks and a few podiums, the Hamamatsu-based manufacturer's racing department will also need work harder and better.
It is still an uphill battle for Aprilia and KTM. One point arrived in Noale from Aleix Espargaró, but none from Scott Redding. Pol Espargaró was taken to nosocomio (hospital) for a bad fracture suffered during warm up, Bradley Smith ended up in the gravel in the early stages and the Austrian brand - which is investing a lot in the Motorcycle Racing World Championship - has still not seen any fruit in the Premier Class. We'll see if the choice of Poncharal and Zarco to go from Yamaha to KTM will prove to be on target. For now, some doubt remains.