|Moto2 in action Photo:Ponsracing.com|
The predicted rain stayed away in Brno ahead of round eleven, the Czech Republic Grand Prix, and despite the scrap of Moto3 Niccolo Antonelli found his way back to the front from his pole start – the fist person to do so in the lightweight class at Brno since 2005.
Johann Zarco got past Tito Rabat after an early wobble for a new record, his consistent season is underlined by his tenth consecutive podium – a win – and a new best for Moto2.
Moto3 only lasted one lap after two big crashes on lap one. The first was at turn one and saw Suzuki, Oettl, Ajo and Danilo out.
The second was at turn three and saw Locatelli lose his Gresini and collect Dalla Porta, Ono and Rodrigo.Ono went to the medical centre for a fractured right foot. Gabriel Rodrigo was treated trackside for a long time before being taken away by ambulance. He lost consciousness for two minutes so stayed in hospital in Brno overnight and was also treated for a leg injury.
The restart for the twelve lap sprint began with another big crash with Quartararo, Hanika, Vinales and Rodrigo (again) involved.
At the front the lead was changing rapidly and in classic Moto3 style all the great passing, fast laps and huge lunges meant nothing as a ten man strong group went in to the final lap in contention for the win.
It was to be pole man Niccolo Antonelli who was best prepared and pulled out a small lead at the start of the final lap as his rivals tripped each other up racing each other.
The Ongetta-Rivacold rider had done enough for his first ever win, holding off fellow Honda rider Enea Bastianini who had a great race making up 13 places for a podium finish, just 0.1s behind Antonelli as he tried to reel in his fellow countryman.
The were joined on the podium by KTM rider Brad Binder who was by far the best finisher for the Red Bull team, equalling his best result of the year.
Jorge Navarro pulled off some great moves but found himself in fifth for Estrella Galicia 0,0 when it mattered most, but was top rookie in Brno. Just behind him was a very determined Romano Fenati, hunting for the win until the final corners for Sky Racing Team VR46, impressive to even be in contention after his 22nd place start following a qualifying penalty.
Danny Kent saw his points lead cut again in the championship by second place man Bastianini as he could only manage seventh on the day for Leopard Racing.
Eighth across the line was the second Red Bull of Miguel Oliveira, ninth was the best finishing home rider in any class Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC), whith John McPhee the last of the lead group, fading slightly but still safe in tenth for SaxoPrint-RTG.
Jorge Martin was the best placed Mahindra in eleventh, winning a three way duel with his Mapfre team-mates with Francesco Bagnaia twelfth and Juanfran Guevara 14th. Sky Racing’s Andrea Migno got involved in their battle late on to snatch 13th. The final point went to Philipp Oettl, still able to make up nine places in the race after also being involved in the opening crashes.
Tito Rabat got a great start before an early wobble gave advantage to title leader Johann Zarco, the Ajo Motorsport rider then put in a peerless performance, answering every challenge from his Spanish rival to lead over the line convincingly by 1.4 seconds. The Frenchman increases his championship lead to 79 points in the process.
Rabat had trouble approaching from the rear to as rookie Alex Rins was rapidly catching and put in a late attempt for second place.
Rabat held on despite his closing fellow countryman bearing down on him, leaving the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 rider to take third and complete the podium.
Alex Marquez had given his fellow rookie Rins a run for his money at the start of the race before losing touch with his rival, but his clear fourth was a best since joining Moto3 with the EG 0,0 Marc VDS team.
Sam Lowes put a poor qualifying behind him to do everything right on race day and strom through the pack to take an impressive fifth for Speed Up, holding of a late challenge from AGR Team rider Jonas Folger who came to life after being passed by the Brit.
Tom Luthi was next to take the flag in seventh after falling back through the field – the Interwetten man had lead briefly at the first corner. He was followed to the finish by a pair of rider with previous success at Brno Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) in eighth and Luis Salom (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) in ninth. The top ten was completed by Franco Morbidelli for Italtrans.
Also in the points were Forward Racing’s Simone Corsi in 11th, Taka Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) in 12th Dominique Aegerter (Technomag Racing Interwetten) in 13th Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) in 14th with Mika Kallio racing hard for the final point on offer in 15th for Italtrans.
For the full Moto3 result click here
For the full Moto2 result click here