Hot off the heels of a superb 1-2 win in Austria last Sunday, which marked the return of Ducati to the victory rostrum in MotoGP for the first time since 2010, the Ducati Team has now moved about 300 km further north-east to the Czech Republic for the eleventh round of the 2016 world championship, which takes place at the Automotodrom circuit in Brno. Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, first and second in the Austrian GP, are already gearing up to take to the track again for MotoGP’s next round.
The circuit offers a truly fantastic spectacle for the fans, but also for the teams and riders, with its main features being a succession of variable-radius corners together with numerous steep uphill and downhill sections. Fast and flowing with plenty of room for different trajectories, the Brno circuit is one of the most popular tracks on the calendar.
In last year’s edition of the Czech Republic Grand Prix, Iannone finished fourth overall, despite a technical problem that hampered the performance of his Desmosedici GP15, while Dovizioso was classified in sixth place after holding on to fifth until the final lap.
Statistics-wise, the Austrian weekend marked a series of milestones in the history of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer in MotoGP since its debut in 2003: win #32, the third 1-2 win after Valencia 2006 (Bayliss-Capirossi) and Phillip Island 2007 (Stoner-Capirossi), the 35th pole position, the 35th fastest lap, the 100th and 101st podium, while for Dovizioso it was GP #250 in his career.
The Czech Republic GP weekend programme will get underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 22-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
“It is still very difficult to explain my feelings after the win in Austria, but I can only say that it was a truly incredible weekend. Now we go to Brno for the next race and I think that this circuit is also very good for us. Last year I finished fourth despite a technical problem but now we have a good pace for fighting for the podium at every round. For sure also our rivals are very strong at this track but I think there is a good chance for me to score a good result again.”
“After our 1-2 in Austria, Ducati must now take a lot of confidence into the next few races even though we must never stop working to improve the little details, because our rivals are very strong and the Yamahas at Zeltweg were able to finish the race close to us. In Brno it will be more difficult but in the last few races we have improved everything in the bike so I am sure that we can also be competitive in the Czech Republic.”
The Automotodrom Brno
Until 1982, races at Brno took place on a street circuit on the outskirts of the city but a new permanent track was built in the mid-1980s and the Czech Republic Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 1987 after a gap of several years. Hugely popular with riders and fans, the circuit is situated in the hilly woods around Brno, which offer a fantastic view of the action from trackside.
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’54.989 (169.1 km/h) – 2015
Circuit Record: Pedrosa (Honda), 1’56.027 (167.6 km/h) – 2014
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’54.989 (169.1 km/h) – 2015
Top Speed: Iannone (Ducati), 316.4 km/h – 2015
Circuit Length: 5.4 km
Race Distance: 22 laps (118.9 km)
Corners: 14 (6 left, 8 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Podium: 1st Lorenzo (Yamaha), 2nd Marquez (Honda), 3rd Rossi (Yamaha)
Pole Position: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’54.989 (169.1 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’56.048 (167.6 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 30 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 250 (152 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 16 (3 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 29
Age: 27 (born on August 9th 1989 in Vasto, Italy)
Residence: Vasto (Italy)
Races: 188 (61 x MotoGP, 51 x Moto2, 76 x 125cc)
First GP: 2005 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 13 (1 x MotoGP, 8 x Moto2, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2008 GP of China (125cc)
Pole Positions: 10 (2 x MotoGP, 5 x Moto2, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2008 GP of Malaysia (125cc)