Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa put an end to the record-breaking win streak of teammate Marc Marquez at Brno, taking the top-step for the first time since his victory at Sepang in 2013. Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo finished in second-place followed by his teammate, Valentino Rossi, in third. Marquez, who crossed the line in fourth, will mark this year’s round in the Czech Republic as the first MotoGP race he finished off the podium.
As riders leaned into the first turn they were chasing Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone, who secured the front after a strong start. He was followed by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, the two future teammates holding steady in the number one and two spots through the initial lap. Behind, Pedrosa, Marquez, Lorenzo and Rossi settled in and started shuffling, with Lorenzo making a big move on the second rotation to get past both Ducati riders for the lead. Marquez and Rossi were battling for fifth position while Pedrosa sized-up Dovi, making the pass into podium position before the end of the lap. Pedrosa moved through on Iannone soon after and set his sights on Lorenzo, who was pushing hard to open a gap on the field out front.
Dovi slipped further back in the ranks as Marquez and Rossi brought the fight closer to podium position. During the initial stages, Marquez got ahead of Rossi and began to tangle with Iannone for third. Iannone was not one to back down lightly, and he and Marquez gave fans a show with a back-and-forth battle for position that included plenty of contact through the turns. Rossi held close in fifth, but never made any attempt to get involved with the battle just ahead, which was just as well since soon after Iannone’s tires started to drop off, forcing the Italian to slip back in the ranks.
Out front, Pedrosa had closed the gap on Lorenzo and five laps into the contest made the pass for the front. It would prove to be the decisive move as Pedrosa would go unchallenged through the remaining laps for the win.
"I am very happy to have won this race! This year it has been a tough road to victory, but today everybody in the team is very happy," said Pedrosa. "This year we have an amazing rival in Marc, who has had great performances at every round so far. Maybe today wasn't his best day, but I think that we also worked very well this weekend; bringing home the win for the team feels fantastic."
The top four riders were spaced out as the race reached mid-point, but Rossi was showing signs of cutting his gap to Marquez for third. With 10 laps remaining the Doctor had reached the defending champion’s rear tire and found a line past while entering Turn 6. Marquez held close after the Yamaha moved ahead, but proved unable to stage any serious attempt at retaliation.
"Today was one of those Sundays in which I neither felt completely comfortable, nor had found the best setup for the bike," explained Marquez. "It wasn't down to a mistake by me or by the team, it was simply that we didn't have the same feeling as on other Sundays. In a way it's taken a weight off my shoulders, as now people won't be asking me if I can win every race anymore. It was also important that we were able to focus on staying in fourth, even though it was tough not to be fighting for the win; we took 13 points that are important for the World Championship and we have a big advantage. What matters is who wins the title -not who wins the most races."
As Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi and Marquez held to their top-four positions, Dovi and Iannone fought to the end for fifth-place. The two Ducatis had a back-and-forth in the final lap which saw Iannone gain the upper-hand. Dovi crossed in sixth followed by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl in seventh.
Forward-Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro took eighth followed by Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith in ninth and Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista in 10th.
Smith’s teammate, Pol Espargaro, was one of a few riders to crash during the race. Dovi’s teammate, Cal Crutchlow, was another. Crutchlow returned to action after his early incident, but eventually pulled into the pits to retire due to damage to his bike.
Marquez leaves Brno with his healthy points lead intact. Pedrosa sits 77 points adrift of the leader in second-place, Rossi is third an additional nine points back while Lorenzo is fourth.
MotoGP Brno Results 2014
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
4. Marc Marquez (Honda)
5. Andrea Iannone (Ducati)
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
7. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
8. Aleix Espargaro (Forward Yamaha)
9. Bradley Smith (Yamaha)
10. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
11. Scott Redding (Honda)
12. Michele Pirro (Ducati)
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
14. Karel Abraham (Honda)
15. Leon Camier (Honda)
16. Alex De Angelis (Forward Yamaha)
17. Hector Barbera (Avintia)
18. Mike Di Meglio (Avintia)
19. Broc Parkes (PBM)
MotoGP Championship Points 2014
1. Marc Marquez, 263
2. Dani Pedrosa, 186
3. Valentino Rossi, 173
4. Jorge Lorenzo, 137
5. Andrea Dovizioso, 118
6. Aleix Espargaro, 85
7. Pol Espargaro, 78
8. Andrea Iannone, 73
9. Stefan Bradl, 65
10. Bradley Smith, 65