The return of MotoGP after the summer break continues at a relentless pace this weekend as the Czech Republic GP follows just a few days after the last race in Austria. The teams only have a short journey to make from Spielberg to Brno, from a circuit that hadn’t hosted the World Championship in almost two decades to one that has been a fixture on the calendar since 1987. The 30th anniversary of this event welcomes a MotoGP title battle that has featured five different winners from the last five races, with Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Jack Miller, Marc Márquez and Andrea Iannone having all topped the podium since Mugello. Another 22 laps of battle will decide the latest winner on Sunday, with Lorenzo and Rossi probably the most desperate to return to winning ways as they look to close the gap down to Márquez at the top of the standings. The Spaniard currently holds a 43-point lead over his compatriot, with the Italian some 57 points adrift.
Pull&Bear Aspar Team rider Eugene Laverty dropped out of the top ten in the championship after a final corner to forget in Austria, where he was knocked to the ground by Danilo Petrucci. However, the Irishman picked himself up to cross the line, the only rider other than Marc Márquez to have done so in every race this season, and he is determined to resume a points-scoring run that had been unbroken from the start of the season prior to Austria. Laverty admits he is concerned about the way his Ducati will handle the long corners at Brno although he is confident of recent improvements made in the test and race weekend in Austria. He is also still part of an intense battle to be the top Independent Team rider in MotoGP, with just twelve points separating three riders. Yonny Hernández’s objective will be a return to the points, which he was denied by a jump-start in Austria. The Colombian is focusing on the good work done by his team in recent weeks and he is buoyed by good memories of Brno, where he was eleventh last season, a result he would love to repeat on Sunday.
Eugene Laverty: “Brno is a very flowing track, which worries me a little because it has some long corners where our Ducati seems to struggle the most this season but we made some big steps in between the test and the race in Austria. Confidence is a big thing in this sport and if we maintain the positive thinking from Austria and put the last two hundred metres of the Spielberg weekend behind us we can be competitive again at Brno.”
Yonny Hernández: “We are working in a positive direction but we haven’t been able to consolidate it with a result, so hopefully we can come away from the Czech Republic GP with a good finish. Having back-to-back races in just seven days is positive because you are still in the flow from the last race. Brno suits the style of the Ducati and it has been good to me in past seasons, so hopefully I can back that up with a good race. We have had a difficult season so far but we are still confident we can do well at Brno.”