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Greasy when hot

 Greasy when hot

Scorching track temperatures saw a multitude of crashes during MotoGP™ FP2 at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky as Lorenzo forged ahead.

A heat wave has hit the Czech Republic and it produced a session filled with crashes during FP2. A total of seven MotoGP™ World Championship riders fell during FP2, one of the highest rates of attrition for a session so far in 2015, the majority caught out by the greasy surface of Brno is the blazing conditions. While his close rivals fell, Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) stayed upright to end the day on top.

Track temperature during the second MotoGP™ session of the day was upwards of 47°C, reaching 50°C at certain points on track. These are temperatures more akin to Sepang in October, unusual for an August day in Brno. This saw the grip levels drastically reduced in the afternoon session, a major contributing factory to the high number of falls. Qualifying and FP4 on Saturday have similar conditions forecast, the added pressure of producing a single flying lap may see yet more crashes.

Turn 5 saw both Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) fall in the sweltering heat. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had his second crash of the day in FP2, falling at Turn 7. Both corners were highlighted as the biggest problem areas by multiple riders at the end of the day due to the bumps on entry.  Jack Miller (CWM LCR Honda) highlighted the issue: “I saw a lot of riders going down and it was a little bit scary at the start there. It’s really bumpy here, entering the corner on the brakes it just doesn’t want to co-operate.”

However, it was not due to the weather or track conditions that both Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) found themselves in the gravel trap. “I had a problem with the front fork which I didn't realise until some oil hit the rear wheel as I was leaning over to the right into turn fourteen. The bike threw me off quite violently and I took a big knock to my left foot,” said Pedrosa after the session. Unfortunately for Rossi there was a small amount of oil on track, causing him to crash for the first time since Sepang last year.

Perhaps the biggest ramification of the crash is Pedrosa’s doubts over continuing the weekend due to pain in his foot. Pedrosa’s left foot, which he has broken before and has extensive metal work in, received the blow: “I went to Clinica Mobile for a check-up and they performed an x-ray on my left ankle. Thankfully they confirmed there was no break or fracture, just a heavy contusion so I will have some treatment tonight and see how the situation is in the morning."

Not only did Lorenzo lead the way but also with Pedrosa potentially out of the running, or at least racing at below being fully fit and confident, Lorenzo’s chances of a race win grow. A crash can lose a championship as easily as a podium can win one, riders will have to take extra care if the conditions continue as even a small mistake can have dramatic consequences in conditions such as these.


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