2017 - MotoGP - Michelin sees quick-change Marquez take Brno glory
Michelin had its range of rain and slick tires put through their paces during today’s MotoGP™ race at Brno as reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took victory in changeable conditions at the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské Republiky.
The 22-lap race was declared wet and all riders started the event with MICHELIN Power Rain tires. Marquez began from pole and was the only rider to choose the soft compound option rear tire, which he paired with a medium front. He led into the first corner, but was passed by Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), who took the honour of leading the first time the riders went over the finishing line. The sun was now starting to shine and temperatures began to rise and start to quickly dry the track, as Marquez became the first rider to enter the pits and change to a bike fitted with MICHELIN Power Slicks tires. Using the front and rear medium compound option, he immediately put them to good use, cutting through the field and taking the lead on lap-six. He continued to push and soon had a 20-second advantage as all the other riders followed him into the pits to change to their respective machines fitted with slick tires. Marquez controlled the race from the front and crossed the line to take victory and extend his lead in the championship.
With all riders choosing wet weather tires from the start and then coming into the pits to change, it took a while for the race to settle down and positions to become clear in-front of the 87,541 fans at trackside. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) made his way through the field - after re-joining in eighth - to take second place. Third went to a hard-charging Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), the Spaniard was 13th after his pit-stop and pushed through to take third, his charge being highlighted as he set the fastest lap of the race on the 17th circulation. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was one of the last riders to come in and change bikes and he then had to set about passing other riders as he returned to the track in 14th. He did this with some impressive overtaking manoeuvres as he pushed his way to fourth at the chequered flag.
As the riders changed to their different machines within the flag-to-flag rule, the most popular pairing of MICHELIN slick tires was the medium front and medium rear. Some riders chose to go with soft front and rear, whilst some others opted for medium front and soft rear, again highlighting the choice that is open to all competitors, teams and manufacturers.
Cal Crutchlow took fifth and the honour of First Independent Rider. Sixth went to Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), as he led Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Racing) across the line. Eighth was Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), a result which could have been better, but he was penalised three places following an unsafe release when he changed bikes in pit-lane. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took an impressive ninth to give him and the KTM team their best result of the season and meant that five different manufacturers finished within the top-nine places.
The top-10 was rounded out by Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).
The three podium places were filled by Spanish riders, which was a fitting tribute to one of Spain’s, and motorcycle racing’s, greatest champions. MotoGP Legend Ángel Nieto sadly died this week following a quad-bike accident, the whole paddock gathered in tribute to the 12+1 World Champion this morning and pay their respects to a man who rode to success on Michelin tires many times in his championship winning years.
Michelin will now remain at Brno for a one-day test around the 5,403m Brno Grand Prix circuit in the Czech Republic, before the whole paddock packs up and heads to Spielberg in Austria for round 11 of the championship next Sunday.