4 years ago
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The only venue that has hosted more Grand Prix events than Brno is Assen in the Netherlands, which has hosted the Dutch TT in each of the 69 years of the motorcycling World Championship. So the Czech GP is worth some last minute cramming - the summer break is over and it's time to get back on track!
First, the season so far...
- The win by new Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in Germany means that he has finished on the podium at three or more successive races for the first time since he was on the podium at Mugello, Catalunya, Assen and the Sachsenring last year.
- Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales retained his second place in the standings with his fourth place finish in Germany, maintaining his record of being either first or second place in the Championship after every race so far in 2017.
- Although Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) lost the Championship lead after finishing eighth in Germany, his current score of 123 points is the highest by a Ducati rider after the first nine races of the year since Casey Stoner scored 148 points at the same stage of the 2009 season.
- When Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) lines up on the grid at Brno it will be the 22nd successive year that he will have started a Grand Prix race at Brno, and will be just the second circuit, along with Jerez, he will have raced at in every year of his GP career. The other three circuits that have appeared on the schedule every year whilst Rossi has been racing (Mugello, Catalunya and Assen) were all circuits he did not start following his accident in practice for the Italian Grand Prix in 2010.
- Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Jonas Folger’s second place finish in Germany was just the second podium finish by a German rider in MotoGP™ since it replaced the 500cc class in 2002; the other was Stefan Bradl’s second place finish at Laguna Seca in 2013. It was also the first podium finish by a German rider in the premier class at the Sachsenring since Ernst Hiller finished third on a Kawasaki in the 1971 500cc race. Ernst Hiller was on the podium again in Germany in 1973 at the age of 44, finishing in third place at the West German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in a race where sixth place finisher was his son Reinhard Hiller.
- With his second place finish at the Sachsenring, Folger is now just 13 points behind teammate Johann Zarco in the battle to be top MotoGP™ rookie of 2017. The Tech3 team have had the top rookie in eight of the nine races of 2017, missing out only at the first race of the year when Johann Zarco crashed when leading and Alex Rins finished 9th, one place ahead of Jonas Folger.
- At the German GP Folger became the fourth Yamaha rider to stand on the podium in the MotoGP™ class in 2017. The only other time in the MotoGP™ era that Yamaha have had four different podium finishers in a single season was in 2012 when factory rider Jorge Lorenzo, Tech3 team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow all finished on the podium, along with Katsuyuki Nakasuga - who finished second at Valencia as a replacement rider for Ben Spies.
- Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa’s third place finish at the Sachsenring was the 149th time he has stood on the podium during his GP career. One more top three finish will make him just the third rider in the 69 year history of Grand Prix racing to reach the milestone of 150 grand prix podium finishes, joining Giacomo Agostini (159 GP podiums) and Valentino Rossi (225).
- Cal Crutchlow’s (LCR Honda) win at Brno last year was the first victory in the premier class by a British rider for thirty five years since Barry Sheene riding a Yamaha in the 500cc Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp on 16th August 1981.
- Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Pol Espargaro finished in 13th place in Germany, but just 32.179 seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez, which is the closest a KTM rider has finished to the race winner in the first season in MotoGP™ for the Austrian factory.
- At the German Grand Prix Danilo Petrucci became the first rider Independent Team to qualify on the front row of the grid at three successive races since Cal Crutchlow in 2013 on a Yamaha. He is the first Independent Team Ducati rider to start from the front row at three successive MotoGP™ races.
- Mixed fortunes for Scott Redding in 2017: at the Dutch TT he set the fastest lap of the race, and then eight days later in Germany his fastest race lap was the slowest of all twenty-four riders in the race.
...and the #CzechGP:
- The first Czechoslovakian Grand Prix was held at Brno in 1965. The 500cc race, held over thirteen laps of the original 13.94 km long road circuit, was won by Mike Hailwood (MV Agusta) in a time of 1hr 11 min 23.2 sec.
- The circuit was shortened to 10.92 km in 1975 in an effort to improve safety. The last premier class race held on the road circuit at Brno was in 1977 and was won by Johnny Cecotto riding a Yamaha. The circuit was subsequently considered too dangerous for the large capacity machines. The smaller capacity machines continued to compete in Grand Prix races on the Brno road circuit until 1982, before it was removed from the Grand Prix calendar for safety reasons.
- The current circuit was first used for Grand Prix racing in 1987 and hosted the Czechoslovakian GP through until 1991. Brno did not appear on the calendar for 1992, but the event was revived in 1993 as the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic and has taken place every year since.
- This will be the 30th time that the current circuit has hosted a Grand Prix event, during which time the circuit has remained virtually unchanged. Minor modifications were made to the circuit in 1996, which extended the length from 5.394 km to the current 5.403 km.
- Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP™ class in 2002 Honda have been the most successful manufacturer with seven victories, including last year with Cal Crutchlow. Yamaha have taken six MotoGP™ victories at Brno, but have only one in the last six years – with Jorge Lorenzo in 2015.
- Ducati have twice won the MotoGP™ race, with Loris Capirossi in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2007. The last podium for a Ducati rider at Brno was when Stoner finished third in 2010.
- The two riders with most Grand Prix wins at the current Brno circuit, each with seven wins, are Max Biaggi (4 x 250cc, 2 x 500cc, 1 x MotoGP™) and Valentino Rossi (1x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 4 x MotoGP™).
- The best result for a Czech rider in the MotoGP™ class at Brno is 9th for Karel Abraham in 2012 riding a Ducati. There has only been one podium finish by a Czech rider at the current Brno circuit across all classes – Lukas Pesek’s third place in the 125cc race in 2007 riding a Derbi.
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