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21 days ago

Classics: Relive 3 of the best Czech GPs

Ahead of the 2016 HJC Helmets Grand Prix České republiky, relive three of the best Czech GP’s from the past.

The 1996 500cc World Championship saw Mick Doohan aiming for his third consecutive title, with the main threat to this achievement coming in the form of his Honda teammate Alex Criville. The Czech GP was round 11 of the season and heading into it Doohan was leading the standings having won 6 of the previous 10 races. Criville though, was full of confidence, having won the previous grand prix at Zeltweg, only the second time he had managed to beat his teammate to the line so far that year. Criville knew he had to win to salvage any hopes of lifting his first championship, while Doohan was out for revenge for the previous race. The ensuing duel between the two was epic, with the winning margin just 0.002s…but who came out on top?

MotoGP Classics - Brno 1996 - Closest ever for Criville

In 2003 it was Valentino Rossi who was looking to make it three premier class titles in a row, while the man aiming to stop him was his arch-rival Sete Gibernau.  The Czech GP was round ten of the season and arriving in Brno Rossi held a 29-point advantage over Gibernau in the championship standings, although the Spaniard had recorded four wins to Rossi’s three. In fact Gibernau had managed to beat Rossi to the line in the previous three races, much to the Italian’s chagrin. At the previous race in Germany Gibernau’s margin of victory over Rossi was just 0.060s and the ‘Doctor’ went into the Czech GP knowing he had to stop the rot in Brno if he wanted to be crowned champion. What followed next was a brilliant race long battle between the two and rookie Troy Bayliss, with the margin of victory even smaller than at the German GP and less than seven tenths separating all three across the line…

MotoGP Race - Full Video

The 2012 MotoGP™ season saw an epic three-way battle for the title between Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and defending champion Casey Stoner. That year the Czech GP was round 12 of the season and saw Jorge Lorenzo leading the championship from Pedrosa by just 18 points with Stoner a further 21 points back in third. A qualifying crash for Stoner at the previous race in Laguna Seca saw him need ankle surgery and meant he would miss the next three races, effectively meaning his title challenge was over. Lorenzo had won five races to Pedrosa’s two, but the latter had emerged victorious by over ten seconds in the previous round, the Indianapolis GP. Once again we would be treated to an excellent race-long scrap between the two remaining title contenders, but who would win the ‘Battle of Brno’?

Brno 2012 - MotoGP - Race - Full