News Report 17 August 2008
Czech Republic

2008 MotoGP Czech Republic - Brno

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5403 m
08 / 17 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Fifth win of the season takes Rossi fifty points clear


Valentino Rossi moved two races clear at the top of the championship with his fifth win of the season today, enjoying an easy ride home after his closest rival Casey Stoner crashed out on lap seven.

Rossi, starting from second, lost some time at the first corner getting past John Hopkins and for the first couple of laps Stoner looked in danger of clearing off, but the Italian soon found his rhythm and was gradually making up time on the Australian when he saw him slide off into the gravel. The pair had already opened out an impressive gap from the chasing pack and Rossi was left to race the remaining 15 laps alone and unchallenged, eventually coming home 15 seconds clear of Toni Elias. The seven-time world champion’s 67th premier-class victory takes him within one race of the all-time premier-class record, held by his compatriot Giacomo Agostini.

Rossi is now 50 points clear of Stoner with Pedrosa 15 points off in third, whilst Lorenzo’s six points see him remain fourth in the standings, ten points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 1 Time: 43'28.841
“I was confident today because my bike was fast from Friday practice, and with Jeremy we made a small modification to the front after warm-up to allow me to be a bit faster in some sections, and it worked very well. I lost about half a second getting past Hopkins at the start and Casey was incredibly fast at that stage, like he’d already done ten laps! For a short time I was worried but then, after two laps, I understood that my bike was working very well and that I was fast enough to try to catch him. I had closed a little bit already and gradually the red bike was becoming a bit bigger in front of me, and I think this is when he started to push harder and made his mistake. I was anticipating a very hard battle if I did catch him, so when I saw the red bike slide out I could hardly believe it – this made things a lot easier for me! After that I just enjoyed riding my bike; my Bridgestone tyres worked very well until the end and my M1 felt very good. Of course I can’t count this as a complete victory because Casey fell, and I am sorry for him, but this is racing and I have to be happy with this result. We are 50 points clear which is a lot and I am very excited to be going to Misano in this situation. However we know that 50 points is still not always enough when you have someone as strong as Casey and so we won’t relax. Now we have two days of testing and we will try some new electronics in order to help me open the throttle earlier and also, of course, test some Bridgestone tyres.”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“Of course this is a very important victory for us and we’re very happy today. It’s clear that Valentino did a very good job at the start not to let Stoner get too far ahead, and he was starting to make up ground and put some pressure on him when he unfortunately crashed. Of course this made our job a lot easier! We need to keep going like this and not lose our concentration, but we’ve had two very good races and we are confident that we are in good shape. We have two days of testing now which will be very important for the final six races, and then we go to another home race at Misano and try to make up for last year!”

Lorenzo finishes tenth with gutsy ride in Brno

Fiat Yamaha Team rookie Jorge Lorenzo finished a creditable tenth in Brno today, making up seven places after starting last on the grid. The Spaniard made the most of the tools he had available to pass several riders, including two on the last lap, and hangs onto his fourth place in the championship as a result. His team-mate Valentino Rossi won his fifth race of the season and was saved another tense battle with Casey Stoner after the Australian crashed out of the lead on the seventh lap.

Lorenzo was able to pass Colin Edwards early on and he then gradually settled into a rhythm and passed both James Toseland and Dani Pedrosa to take 12th. During the middle part of the race his lap times gradually improved and brought him closer to the next group and he was rewarded with an exciting final lap, which saw him pass first Sylvain Guintoli and then John Hopkins on the line to take tenth.

Six points for Lorenzo see him stay ten points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso in fourth place in the championship, whilst Rossi is now 50 points clear of Stoner. The Fiat Yamaha Team now have two days of testing before they head to the next round at Misano in Italy in two week’s time.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 10th Time: +39.573
“This race is a bit sad for me because we have the potential to do a lot better. However considering what has happened this weekend and, above all, the problems with the front tyre, I think we have done almost as much as we could. At the start I didn’t want to take too many risks and I could feel that the front tyre was getting worse on each lap, but on the other hand the rear tyre was getting better each lap! I know that we have had had problems this weekend but I know that Michelin are working very hard, so now we will try to use the test to make some improvements. I want to say thank you to all of my team for their hard work, congratulate Valentino for his victory and finally also Toni Elias for his podium.”

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
“Today we couldn’t have done any better than this, but we can’t be satisfied to finish tenth. But overall Jorge did a great job and a good race, and he was able to find a good rhythm in the middle part of the race, continue until to the end and pass many riders, plus he was able to score some valuable points. Motivation in our team is still high because we have many more races to do and tomorrow at the test we will start again to work very hard with Michelin, look at the problems we have had here and try to find a way to improve things for the remaining races.”

Tech 3 Yamaha show fighting spirit in Brno

Tech 3 Yamaha’s James Toseland and Colin Edwards raced to top 15 results in today’s Czech Republic GP.

In front of a record crowd of over 146,000 fans at a cool and cloudy Brno, the 22-lap race proved to be a tough challenge for Toseland and Edwards, who both gave their maximum effort in difficult circumstances to claim 13th and 14th places respectively.

Starting from the back row of the grid, Toseland made his customary good start, gaining two places on the first lap. The 27-year-old once again showed his never-say-die attitude, despite some traction issues as he scored points for the ninth time in 11 races.

Edwards was one place further back as he too encountered some grip issues in an effort to maintain his pursuit of Toseland, as the Tech 3 duo fought closely in the opening stages. The American still remains firmly in the hunt for fourth place in the world championship, lying 18-points behind fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo with six races remaining.

Tech 3 Yamaha also remains in contention for a top four finish in the Team World Championship, and is still the leading non-factory team in the standings heading to the Misano round on August 31.
James Toseland 13th – 75 points
“It was a difficult race and the result is clearly not where we want to be. I don’t want to be fighting at the back of the top 15, and neither does my team or Yamaha and it is disappointing. All I can do is go out there with whatever I have got underneath me and give it my maximum and I did that. But this team and Yamaha deserve to be higher up and today wasn’t good enough. It would be easy to let my head drop but I have never been that type of rider and I am not going to start now. I was reasonably happy with my start but I had a few moments with the front tyre on the first couple of laps and I soon realised that I was at my maximum and that I wasn’t going to be able to do much more. It is disappointing because I have slipped out of the top ten in the standings and that was one of my big goals before the start of the season. We have got to keep working hard as a team and hope that Michelin can quickly turn it around for the rest of the season so we can try and get back into that top ten and keep the morale up of the team. Colin had even more problems than me so it must have been tough for him, but this is the situation we are in. We will all keep pushing hard and see what we can do.”
Colin Edwards 14th – 102 points
“I could see straightaway behind James that he was having some issues with the front tyre, which we expected. I still thought I could put a good pace together but it never happened. I just didn’t have the confidence I needed to push harder with the tyres and the more I pushed I didn’t seem to go much faster. James was able to leave me pretty easily as my issues started to get worse but I wanted to stay out there and try my best for my guys at Tech 3 and Yamaha, who as always have been working like crazy to help me this weekend. I thank them for that, but there was nothing else I could do. Towards the end I just decided to take a few more risks and I went a bit quicker, but there was no way I was going to catch anybody. I’ve had a bad run lately but I’m still in contention for fourth in the championship, and I’ll keep fighting. But we need big improvements from Michelin. The good start we had to the season seems like a long way away now, and we have to work with Michelin to try and solve some of the issues because I didn’t enjoy today at all.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“We thought the disappointment of Laguna Seca would be forgotten after the summer break and we would have a positive weekend in Brno. Unfortunately from the very beginning of the weekend we understood it was going to be another tough weekend. Clearly we couldn’t challenge the tyre opposition. We have been trying a lot of different settings to try and cope with that, but it was difficult. The most difficult was qualifying in the rain conditions and we were far behind. We knew starting from the last two rows it would be a tough race but James and Colin still tried as hard as they could and they stayed on track and scored a few points. But this is not how we started the championship and today was a really difficult day. To see the chequered flag with a few points is a relief but for sure there will be a lot of meetings and a lot of thinking of what to do for the future because we keep on losing ground in the championship and this is very disappointing.”