MotoGP 2016: Brno Review
King Cal reigns in Brno
Coventry born Cal Crutchlow has written his name into the record books to become Great Britain’s first premier class MotoGP winner for 35 years at round 11 of the MotoGP world championship in Brno.
In a race that had started in grey and wet conditions with a track temperature that didn’t climb above 19°C, it was beginning to look like the race was going to go the way the Ducati riders had hoped, who this season have shown incredible stability and speed in previous wet races. True to form, as the pack streamed into turn one and the race unfolded Iannone and Dovi’ gapped the chasing riders and it looked to be set for a Ducati win.
After the leading group settled into the race and got into their rhythm Scott Redding was the first to look at breaking through from the lower ranks. Starting 13th he scythed his way past the Tech3 of Pol Espargaro and then the Suzuki of older brother Aleix a couple of corners later, running in the podium places early on he would eventually rue the soft tyre decision and drop back, eventually finishing 15th.
As the race continued the runners at the front soon realised that the switch to the slicks was not going to materialise and riders began to hope of a late rain shower to cool the Michelin wet tyres. With only Crutchlow and Loris Baz brave enough to look at using the harder of the wet tyres on both the front and back, worries quickly vanished, as this option maintained traction out of the Brno Circuits 90° corners, passes along the long straights looked easy. It was this tyre decision that saw Cal cruise up to, and ultimately pass the leading Ducatis Dovi, Iannone and Redding.
The top three were all posting lap times that were not just slower than the LCR rider but in a whole different league to him, it was clear the riders gambling on the softer front and rear wets had made a massive mistake. Cal finished some 7.6 seconds in front of Valentino Rossi – another rider who gambled on the harder option tyre – with Marc Marquez rounding out the podium. Loris Baz finished a highly respectable 4th place for the Avintia Ducati team.
The win makes Cal the first premier class winner for 35 years, very apt given that his race number is 35! Controversially, this is what he had to say after the win. “We made the right tyre choice and as far as I am concerned the other riders are wimps, if you go for one, why not go for both?”
Looking at the result, you can see is point, Iannone had pushed the softer option front that hard that there was visibly no tread in the centre of the tyre, only cut and ripped sections on the outer, he was one of the highest profile losers in the gamble. “I expected a different feeling, but I became a dad a few weeks ago, and that is still the best present! I’m so pleased for my team; they didn’t leave until midnight last night after I wrecked the bike yesterday. I’m pleased to be the brit to get the win, especially after all the stick I have had and everyone saying the others were better than me. We have had some crashes this year, but I didn’t crash today and I won the race!”
Rossi now leapfrogs Lorenzo to take 3rd in the rider’s championship by six points, while Marquez is well out in front on 197 points. The win for Cal means he resides just within the top ten, you can only guess that he will be hoping for more of the same at the British GP in Silverstone in a couple of weeks’ time.
HJC Helmets Grand Prix Czech Republic 21 August 2016
MotoGP 2016 Championship Points