The bwin Grand Prix České republiky saw NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro as first Open finisher, in eighth position at the finish line.
Espargaro once again qualified as the lead Open class rider, starting from tenth on the grid. The elder Espargaro brother made a solid start to the race, getting involved with a fight with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders.
Problems with the front saw Espargaro finish in eighth position, unable to catch Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) despite a steady rhythm later in the race. The Spanish rider was able to hold off the challenge of Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), finishing over 0.7s ahead of the satellite rider.
It was a good debut also for his team mate Alex de Angelis, who recovered positions, finally finishing 16th. De Angelis was quite satisfied with his result and he looks forward to the test day planned on Monday for the MotoGP teams, to improve his confidence with the new machine.
“We are the first open bike and I’m satisfied with todays’ result as we did the maximum we could. It was a difficult weekend and the team did an excellent job. We worked a lot on the set up, changing many things and this morning we tested some other solutions,” said Espargaro.
He added, “Brno is a very fast track and we knew that we were going to suffer. Moreover, as in Indy, I was struggling with the front, so I’m happy that we could fight with Bradley and my brother Pol. I did the maximum and we got some good points for the championship.”
De Angelis said on his MotoGP return, “It’s exciting to be back in MotoGP, this was my first race in the premier class this year. We improved session after session and tomorrow we will have a day of testing to gain more confidence with this new bike. Regarding the race, I stayed for 4-5 laps with the group, it was a good start and I aim at improving race after race. I want to thank the whole team, they have done a great job to allow me to start to know this bike.”