Despite not being able to replicate their Brno success from 2018, the 2019 Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky confirmed that Ducati’s Championship challenge is back on track with a double podium for a second consecutive year in the Czech Republic. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was able to remain with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) all the way until the final quarter of the race, whilst Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) made it into third with just a couple of laps remaining.
After a 40-minute delay, Dovizioso got a strong start from fourth on the grid, drawing alongside Marquez into Turn 1 before slotting behind his Championship rival into second. From then on in, Dovizioso was able to keep the pace of Marquez but never once got the chance to move ahead. ‘Dovi’ returns to the podium for the first time since Mugello, when he was third.
Speaking about his Czech Grand Prix, the 33-year-old said: “I am happy; from the first practice, our speed came back and at this track, our bike worked a bit better. In the race, I think we did the perfect race.
“At the beginning of the race, I was able to stay with mark and set good lap times with the harder tyre. For that, I am happy, but Marc was able to keep that speed for a bit longer because when he pushed again, he braked a bit later. We will work even harder for Austria.”
Jack Miller made it two Ducatis on the podium for the 18th time in MotoGP™, matching their record for double podiums in a season, which stands at three. The Australian powered off the line from second and, although dropping back in the middle of the race, he recovered the final podium position from Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) at the end of the Grand Prix.
Charismatic as ever, Miller stated the delight of his second podium of the year: “Pretty happy with how it all went. Like you say took the gamble on the hard front, hadn’t used it all weekend because of the conditions, basically Saturday was a write-off and Friday we were all just trying to get into Q2 because we knew Saturday was going to be a write-off.
“So, I was able to make the hard front work, you probably saw on the warm up lap I pushed pretty hard to make sure it was going to work. I’m pretty happy, the team have done a great job and there’s no better way to kick off the second half of the season than being here on the podium and like you say, it was a real podium this time.”