Three weeks after the Sachsenring race, the Ducati Team has now arrived at Brno in the Czech Republic for the tenth round and the turning point in the 2018 MotoGP season.
After taking part in the tenth edition of World Ducati Week, which was held last weekend at a scorching Misano Adriatico circuit, Andrea Dovizioso (who will celebrate his 100th race in Ducati Team colours on Sunday) and Jorge Lorenzo were able to get a few days break to prepare for the second half of the season which sees three particularly challenging races in the month of August.
Even though Dovizioso likes the layout of the Moravian track a lot, the Italian has never had much luck at Brno and his best result was second place in 2011, while in last year’s race, which was held on a wet then dry track surface, the Italian rider managed to make his way back up to sixth place after a stop in the pits to change bike.
Jorge Lorenzo can boast two wins at Brno in 2010 and 2015 in addition to three more podiums in his ten participations in MotoGP. In last year’s race the rider from Mallorca was unfortunate: he led for the first three laps, but because of a problem during his pit stop to change bikes, he had to settle for fifteenth place overall.
The Czech GP weekend programme will get underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55am, while the 21-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th (88 points)
“After the WDW at Misano and a short break, I’m now ready for the second part of the season and very excited about the next round in the Czech Republic. Brno is one of the most beautiful and most difficult circuits on the MotoGP calendar, but it has a lot of fascination. We are still missing something in the management of the tyres during the race, but I expect us to be competitive and fight for the victory at every circuit from Brno onwards.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 6th (85 points)
"After a few days of rest we arrive at Brno with our batteries recharged and with high expectations. This is one of the circuits where I feel most at home and I’m sure that here we’ll be a lot stronger than what we were at Assen and Sachsenring. Brno is the ideal circuit to start the second half of the season and I think we will be competitive right from the very first day. I can’t wait to get out on track, and I’m sure we are going to have a great time."
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: Marquez (Honda), 1’54.596 (169.7 km/h) - 2016
Circuit Record: Pedrosa (Honda), 1’56.027 (167.6 km/h) - 2014
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 1’54.596 (169.7 km/h) - 2016
Top Speed: Iannone (Ducati), 316.4 km/h - 2015
Track Length: 5.4 km
Race Duration: 21 laps (113.5 km)
Corners: 14 (6 left, 8 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Podium: 1st Marquez (Honda), 2nd Pedrosa (Honda), 3rd Viñales (Yamaha)
Pole Position: Marquez (Honda), 1’54.981 (169.165 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Viñales (Yamaha), 1’57.052 (166.172 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 32 (born on 23rd March in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 285 (187 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 18 (9 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 18 (5 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 99
Age: 31 (born on 4th May 1987 in Palma di Mallorca, Spain)
Residence: Lugano (Switzerland)
Races: 277 (183 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
First GP: 2002 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 67 (46 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2003 Brazilian GP (125cc)
Poles: 65 (39 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 Malaysian GP (125cc)
World Titles: 5 (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc)