News Report 26 August 2012
Czech Republic

2012 MotoGP Czech Republic - Brno

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5403 m
08 / 26 / 2012
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Lorenzo Claims Second in Sensational Brno Grand Prix Duel


Yamaha Factory racing rider Jorge Lorenzo put on an incredible show today in the Grand Prix of Czech Republic, dueling with rival Dani Pedrosa for an incredible 22 laps to take second at the line. Lorenzo took the hole shot from pole and led for the first 11 laps with Pedrosa running consistently half a second or less behind. The pair swapped positions mid-race and continued their Spanish duel, racing at speeds in excess of 300km/hr less than half a second apart until a dramatic final lap showdown. The Yamaha rider made a brave pass inside Pedrosa heading into the final chicane, only to run slightly wide and allow the fellow Spaniard back through. The drama continued through the final corner and to the line, Pedrosa claiming victory by a margin of just 0.178 seconds.

Team-mate Ben Spies had a promising weekend compromised yet again as his run of bad luck continues to haunt him. The Texan’s clutch overheated from the race start, taking a couple of laps to cool down before it became 100% effective again. The issue initially dropped the unlucky rider down to 14th before he made a spirited comeback, climbing six places to eighth by lap eight where unfortunately he crashed.

Today’s race results keep Lorenzo leading the Championship with a 13-point advantage of Pedrosa. Spies remains in 10th position. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team will remain in Brno for a one-day test tomorrow.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position 2nd - Time: +0.178

“I really enjoyed that race, mainly in the last laps, Dani and I tried everything for the win. We are so close in the Championship that every point is important. It was a very strategic race, in some parts of it I was slowing down to relax a bit and get some air and I think Dani was a little later on as well, staying calm and preparing for the last laps. When Dani was pushing a lot I took a lot of risks to stay with him and finally I had to try to pass him, the victory was so close I had to try. This time Dani was cleverer than me and braver so congratulations to him, next time maybe it will be different! A big thank you to my team as well who worked really hard and made a very competitive bike for me.”

Ben Spies


“The crash today was no other fault than myself, I was trying to get back into a rhythm and catch the group in front of me because I could see they were coming back and I had a good lap times for coming through. I’m really disappointed not just for me but for the team as they’ve done an excellent job this weekend, we’ve showed speed and motivation all weekend which is hard to do after Laguna and Indy. The race was really over for me before turn one because the clutch overheated off the line. It was no one’s fault; we checked the data and my practice starts are identical to my race starts. We checked the clutch and there is nothing wrong with it, it just overheated and took over two laps to cool down enough to give it 100% by which time the race was over. I still tried to get the best out of it I could and just made a small mistake.”

Wilco Zeelenberg

Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“That was a fantastic MotoGP race today, the last lap was amazing to watch. Second place is not completely satisfying but anyway they both made a great show and if they had continued for another ten laps I think they would still have been right there together. Dani deserved to win today because finally he passed the line first. Jorge behaved really well and tried to do all he could to win it. To take so many risks when you are eighteen points in the lead is very brave so I’m proud of him.”

Massimo Meregalli

Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“It’s tough to say that we had another issue. From the start Ben’s clutch slipped for almost two laps which compromised the beginning of the race. Having checked the data we know Ben didn’t do anything unusual in his race start. Jorge rode yet another perfect race, his pass on Dani at the end was incredible, unfortunately Dani was able to get back past him to cross the line first. We’re looking forward to testing here tomorrow and in two weeks in Aragon to take another step forward with the 1000cc M1. Tomorrow Jorge will test the first 2013 prototype 1000cc M1 and Ben will be testing 2012 M1 set up solutions.”

Classy Crutchlow claims stunning first MotoGP podium

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow rounded off a memorable weekend with a stunning ride to his first MotoGP podium finish in today's bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky at the Brno circuit.

After signing a new one-year deal to remain with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in 2013 yesterday, the 26-year-old then powered his YZR-M1 to second place in qualifying to score a career best grid position.

He then capped the best weekend of his MotoGP career with a fantastic ride to third position in today's 22-lap race, a result that saw him become the first British rider since 2000 to finish on a MotoGP podium.

Crutchlow brilliantly capitalised on his fourth front row start of the season to lead the pursuit of fast starting Spanish duo Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa in the early laps. He was immediately able to set a fast and consistent rhythm and he impressively pulled away from Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in fourth.

The Italian was doing everything within his power to cut the gap to Crutchlow as he went in search of a sixth podium in eight races. But Crutchlow demonstrated fantastic concentration and speed to ensure Dovizioso never threatened to deny him a landmark first rostrum.

Dovizioso was able to comfortably secure his seventh successive top four finish after he had held off an early challenge from compatriot Valentino Rossi.

Today's result continued a phenomenal season for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad. Crutchlow's third position was the sixth podium in the last eight races for the French-based squad. And with 272-points in the Team World Championship standings, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team trails Yamaha's Factory squad by just 39-points with six races of the 2012 campaign remaining.

Cal Crutchlow

Position 3rd - Time: +12.343

“It feels fantastic to finally score my first podium in MotoGP. This has been the perfect weekend for me because I signed a new contract with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and then scored my best ever qualifying result yesterday. So to cap it all off with a podium is a great feeling and hopefully I've already gone a little way to repaying the faith Tech 3, Yamaha and Monster have shown in me. It wasn't an easy race because I was on my own for most of it and it was a real test of concentration. The pleasing aspect is my pace was really consistent throughout, but it had to be because I knew Andrea was behind. I basically raced my pit board so I knew where he was but I knew he was going to be hard to beat when you look at how well he has been riding lately. I felt comfortable holding the gap to him but I couldn't afford to make a mistake because I knew he'd be ready to pounce. It felt great when I came across the line and saw my crew celebrating because they have given me unbelievable support. I feel the pressure is off a little bit now, so hopefully today's podium is the first of many. To end a 12-year drought for a British rider to get on a MotoGP podium is also a great feeling. It seems a long t ime since Jeremy McWilliams did it, so I hope the British fans don't have to wait that long for the next one!”

Andrea Dovizioso

Position 4th - Time: +18.591

“I was confident going into the race that I could fight for the podium. But there is no doubt that Cal did a better job than me and I congratulate him for getting his first podium in MotoGP. When I was close to him in the early laps I could see he gained some time in corner entry and he had more corner speed than me. But he lost on the exit but for sure he was gaining more than he lost. I spent the whole race pushing at my maximum to recover the gap to him but it was not possible. He was very consistent and I couldn't push him into making a mistake, so he did a great job. We have finished inside the top four again today but this result demonstrates that we still have some margin to improve. We have collected a lot of data and we will analyse that now to understand how we can be faster.”

Hervé Poncharal

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager

“I am so happy for Cal because the step he has made this season compared to 2011 has been incredible. He has worked so hard to get that first podium and today he finally got it, and I couldn't be happier for him and his crew. It has been an incredible weekend for Cal. We thought it was great to sign him on a new contract yesterday and then he got his best ever qualifying position. This gave us a lot of optimism but he rode the perfect race. He got a good start and pushed hard right from the first corner and that is what you need to do in this class. He was very consistent too and he never gave Andrea one chance to close the gap. We know that Andrea is a great rider and he has been in tremendous form, so for Cal to beat him today confirmed he did a truly remarkable job. This season has been beyond our wildest dreams and we have now been on the podium in 50% of the races. I'm sure this will take some pressure of Cal and we are going to see him battling for the podium again in the last six races. Andrea had another very good ride too. He really pushed Cal as hard as he could and he showed what a great sportsman he is today by acknowledging that he was beaten by the better man. We are now looking forward to going to Misano where we will give our maximum effort to extend this incredible run of results.”