MotoGP: Flag to flag masterclass from Marquez

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Marc Marquez has delivered a masterclass in flag to flag racecraft to take an incredible win at the Czech Grand Prix, taking his third victory of the 2017 MotoGP season by over tens seconds from teammate Dani Pedrosa.

The Repsol Honda rider admitted after the race that he made a mistake opting to start the race on a soft wet rear tyre, burning it out in the opening lap of the race – but was handed a lifeline when a drying track meant that the error forced him to pit at exactly the right moment.

“On the grid, I took the risk to use the soft rear tyre because I thought it would give me extra grip for five laps before pitting to change bikes, but it didn’t go like that. I soon started to struggle a lot and lost many positions. When I saw that, I decided to immediately get in and take the risk of the slicks. When I re-joined the race, honestly it was still too damp in some parts and I nearly crashed during the first lap out.

“When you go out for the flag-to-flag, it’s so difficult to get the feeling with the bike again, but I tried to quickly understand the grip. Honestly, today I took some risks but it was one of those days when you just have to do it. After pulling a great gap, I just tried to manage, to ride well, and to finish the race. I’m really very happy with the result.”

Pedrosa was second after a strong ride of his own, while the Movistar Yamaha duo of Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were third and fourth after being forced to battle their way through the pack following the chaos of the flag to flag pit stops.

Cal Crutchlow was the best of the Brits in fifth, pleased with a strong result despite yesterday’s high speed fall, while Andrea Dovizioso was the best of the Ducatis in sixth, just ahead of the satellite machine of Danilo Petrucci. Aleix Espargaró was eighth despite a three place penalty for a pit lane collision with Andrea Iannone during the bike swaps. Pol Espargaró took KTM’s first top ten finish in ninth, while Jonas Folger rounded out the top ten.

Early front runner Scott Redding dropped to 16th at the flag after suffering a holed exhaust, while Sam Lowes was 18th and Bradley Smith retired with an engine issue.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer