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Yamaha look to reclaim Brno

 Yamaha look to reclaim Brno

The last four years have seen Honda riders win the bwin Grand Prix České republiky, but an on-form Lorenzo looks to end the streak.

Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP™ class in 2002, Honda have claimed six victories at the Brno circuit against Yamaha’s five. However, the past four years have seen Honda dominate, taking four straight victories. Starting from pole position thanks to a near perfect lap, Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) looks to return to the top step for the first time since 2010 and end Honda’s streak.

Brno is of a very similar nature to Mugello where earlier this year Lorenzo took one of his most dominant wins, as he had done the year before. But the fighting at the top of the MotoGP™ World Championship is close, riders needing to push at their limit at every round or risk fading away. Lorenzo has seen success at Brno, only finishing off the podium five times in his 13 visits, and only once in the last five years.

In 2012 Lorenzo was just meters from victory, just losing out to Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) in the final corners after one of the best battles the Czech track has seen. Back then Lorenzo also started from pole, his pole time 0.8s slower than this year’s time, highlighting the advancements made in the MotoGP™ World Championship. The other major difference is that this year Lorenzo will likely not have to contend with Pedrosa, the Honda rider unfortunately nursing a sore foot after crashing on Friday due to a technical problem.

Instead of Pedrosa Lorenzo will have Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) to battle, the trio starting together on the front row. Indianapolis saw Marquez stalk Lorenzo for the bulk of the race, waiting for his chance to strike. Indianapolis, even more so than Brno, historically favoured Honda and especially Marquez. Not only have Yamaha and Lorenzo more recently had success in Brno than in Indianapolis, Lorenzo’s race pace has an edge that Marquez’s doesn’t.

Free Practice 4 is classically the best session to look to for race pace; riders are free of the stress of having to fight for the top ten and are able to think almost entirely about Sunday. Lorenzo led FP4 but also set six laps in the 1’56s almost uninterrupted, only two of these laps in the high 1’56 range. Marquez set seven 1’56 laps but only two of his laps were outside the high 1’56s. If conditions are similar to FP4 Lorenzo looks to have the edge.

There is also Rossi, the Italian starting from the front row for just the second time this season. Despite frequently starting outside the top three, and even top six; Rossi has still been able to fight for the victory in multiple races. His pace in FP4, only a few low 1’56s, does not suggest he’ll be able to fight with Marquez or Lorenzo but we’ve seen time and time again ‘The Doctor’ has a few surprises in the bag come race day.

MotoGP, 2015, bwin GRAND PRIX ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY, Q2, Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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