What a day in the MotoGP class at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic who have been making history as the cool conditions have improved throughout the day.
Free Practice 3 saw Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo set the fastest ever lap in Brno as he finished the session at the top of the leaderboard, but then Marquez took all of that away.
Free Practice 4 underway
Free Practice 4 is the last chance for riders to finalise settings ahead of the short Qualifying sessions. There was a battle for the title as the fastest man on track between Lorenzo, his Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi and Ducati Team rider Andrea Iannone.
Pol Espargaro crashes
Unfortunately for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Pol Espargaro he crashed in the first half of the session. The front folded under as he came rather close to the white line on the left-handed turn. The bike ended up in the gravel meaning the Spaniard only had one for Qualifying.
He looked angry as he punched his fists in the air. He fell when he was currently in ninth position whilst chasing his teammate Bradley Smith. He was the highest placed independent team rider at that moment in time.
Iannone ran off the track with 20 minutes of the session remaining. Fortunately he was able to brake before he hit the barrier. He entered the pits straight after the incident.
LCR Honda going for Olympic gold?
Everyone appears to have Olympics fever, including the MotoGP bikes. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) crashed out in the closing stages of FP4 at turn 11. Like Thomas Luthi’s Moto2 Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex did, Crutchlow's bike also somersaulted over the fence.
This occurred last year when Rossi’s bike did this. As a precaution, another fence to catch any flying bikes was installed behind the tyre wall. The gravel causes them to lift and flip and luckily both machines missed any Marshals and spectators.
Crutchlow returned to the pits via an Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team scooter and immediately checked with Race Control that nobody was hurt.
Lorenzo finished the final practice session as the fastest man ahead of Iannone, Marquez, Rossi and Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Maverick Vinales in fifth.
Time for qualifying
The riders who finished outside of the top ten during Free Practice 3 made their way on track as soon as they could to start the session. The top two would progress through to the next Qualifying session (Q2) where they would be able to compete for the chance to start the Czech GP from the front four rows.
The riders were clearly pushing it as initially Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista missed his braking point and ran on at turn six. Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team rider Tito Rabat also did the same but this time ran into the gravel at turn three.
A steady session saw Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), who appears to be struggling with the Honda, and Smith progress through to the next session as they finished in the top two. Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati teammates Danilo Petrucci and British rider Scott Redding were just outside the top spots.
Final session before race day
The top ten riders from Free Practice 3, plus Pedrosa and Smith were keen to get out on track as soon as the horn sounded to signal the start of Qualifying 2.
Lorenzo took a relaxed approach as he chose to remain in his pit garage for a few moments. The riders appeared reluctant to have their rivals tow them and they rode around waiting for an empty spot to begin their push.
Rossi had chosen to run on the hard front and soft compound rear Michelin tyres for the session whereas Lorenzo opted for soft compound tyres on both the front and rear.
Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso appeared to be having problems at the start of the session and had to pull back into the pits early on in the session, He returned to the track with ust over seven minutes remaining, still yet to compete a flying lap.
Meanwhile on track Lorenzo pulled it out of the bag again, breaking the record by setting a lap of :53.959 and claiming the pole position… for now. He returned to the pits where he sauntered around looking very relaxed and probably feeling very pleased with himself.
Meanwhile, Avintia Ducati rider Hector Barbera, had gained the title as the fastest independent team rider as he slotted into third after chasing the Repsol Hondas around the track.
More problems for Dovizioso
The Italian still was not happy with his Ducati Desmosedici GP and he nearly became victim to the notorious bump on turn 13. The rear tyre of his Ducati was flying through the air as he tried to stop on the front as the bump spoiled his momentum. He came into the pits again still 1.2 seconds off the pace at the bottom of the pile in twelfth.
Near miss in the pits
Both Rossi and Vinales had taken to the pits temporarily before their last attempt on track. The both appear to be working well together even though they do not team up until next season when Vinales replaces Lorenzo at Yamaha when he moves to Ducati.
As the two left their garages they almost came into contact but neither of them reacted and continued out onto the track. Already a great relationship has formed between the two.
Things heated up
It wasn’t just the physical temperatures that were heating up at Brno, but the action on the track. Several flying laps came in from the top men as they fought to claim pole position ahead of the Czech GP at Brno.
Lorenzo crossed the line confirming his pole position reducing the fastest lap time to 1:54.849; he crossed the line with two minutes of the session to go. Had he done enough?
Lorenzo’s success short-lived
Along came Marquez whose lap was two tenths of a second quicker in the first two sectors of the track. As he came to the final section of the track he came across Rossi who was chasing a Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.
Marquez had to overtake Rossi on the inside of a right-handed corner, and was stuck behind the other Yamaha where he attempted to overtake him around the outside.
Marquez sets a new record
Marquez crossed the line at 1:54.596; the fastest lap ever at the Automotodrom Brno. His time was 0.253 seconds faster than that previously set by Lorenzo. Marquez will start the eleventh round of the MotoGP from pole position ahead of Lorenzo and Iannone completes the front row in third.
Barbera the highest independent team rider in fifth
Aleix Espargaro heads the second row in fourth ahead of Hector Barbera, the highest placed independent rider Barbera in fifth and Rossi will start from sixth. Dovizoso finally managed to complete a flying lap gaining seventh on the grid in the process ahead of Vinales in eighth and Pedrosa in ninth.
Crutchlow will start from tenth as the second highest placed independent team rider ahead of Smith in eleventh and Pol Espargaro in twelfth. The results from Q1 mean that Petrucci will start from thirteenth ahead of his teammate Redding in fourteenth and Irishman Eugene Laverty (Pull & Bear Aspar Team) in fifteenth.
Miller out of the Czech GP
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider Stefan Bradl will start the Czech GP from sixteenth ahead of Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati), Yonny Hernandez (Pull & Bear Aspar Team) and his teammate Bautista.
Estrella Galicia 0,0Marc VDS Honda rookie Rabat completes the grid in twentieth; his teammate Jack Miller will not be racing as his team and management chose to make him rest following his crash during the warm-up of the Austrian GP.