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4 days ago
By motogp.com

Brno: The Great British take-off

motogp.com's season recap visits another history-maker - as Crutchlow and Baz go hard in the Czech Republic

Tags MotoGP, 2017

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MotoGP Rewind: A recap of the #CzechGP

Although no one knew it at the time, the Italian GP at Mugello had started a row of MotoGP™ race results that were about to make history. In the Czech GP, the man who knew all about making history was LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.

First Brit to win since Barry Sheene in 1981 (a nice, well-rounded 35 years afterwards for the rider whose number is 35), second Independent Team winner of the year – and new dad, with Crutchlow and wife Lucy having welcomed their first daughter, Willow, soon before the race in Brno. The Brit chose the harder tyres, as did Avintia Racing’s Loris Baz on his way to P4 – although the Frenchman had much less choice in the conditions given his height. Like the Movistar Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, Crutchlow found himself moving backwards fairly rapidly in the earlier stages as those on softer rubber shot away at the front, but longevity paid off and the Brit stormed back through from as low as P15 at one stage to take a stunning maiden win clear at the front, with Rossi on the chase behind and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) controlling his softer rubber to complete the podium.

Lorenzo had a nightmare in Brno. His only race finish in which he failed to score – crossing the line 17th – the ‘Spartan’ suffered from a front tyre problem like that which also affected the Ducati Team and some others, and when he felt simply unable to keep going on the tyre, he came in to switch it – and the second bike wasn’t ready. The reigning Champion found the clock against him in the countdown to the end of the race, unable to make it back up into the points despite having shown great pace mid-race.

Rossi did make inroads as he came home second, in front of Marquez - but with the number of races remaining and the number 93 keeping it on the road, the Spaniard was still very much in control of his fate - a staggering 53 points clear at the top as the number 46 and number 99 seemed to be taking it in turns to beat him.

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#CzechGP: MotoGP™ Full Race