The obligatory quick reminder of Marq Marquez out for this Brno and likely the first Austrian Round, due to a second surgery replacing the orignal and damaged plate in his arm.
A nice weekend for racing at Brno with temperatures getting into 30C (86F) and rather calm winds. The first free practice saw Maverick Viñales loose the front and dump his Yamaha shortly into the session. With others suffering off track excursions.
It culminated in Pecco Bagnaia suffering a serious crash at the end of turn one just past the checker, failing to haul down from 300kph and suffering a fractured tibia. Like Marc, he will likely miss these next 2 rounds. His performance was cut short by technical problem last GP on the Pramac Ducati while in 2nd place. It’s very possible he could have been a podium contender if not winner here. Best wishes on recovery!
3 of the 4 Yamaha riders parroted the same gripe being a problem with tires and significantly dropping off. However a slightly jovial Valentino Rossi aiming for podium 200 got down to brass tacks explaining the poor condition of the circuit with limited tire traction and significant bumps causing the issues. Yamaha has recently struggled at Brno. Last year was a battle of Honda, Ducati and Suzuki for top spots in damp conditions.
The conditions continued to plague riders in the top class during the rest of the free practices, with various ruined corners and crashes. Just watch a pissed off Fabio, the 2020 championship leader flubbing a corner during FP2
And top in practice Franco Morbidelli binning it in FP4
Q2 had some big surprises with Johann Zarco clinching pole with 1:55.687 on the Satellite Ducati somehow finding 0.3s. Aleix Espargaró somehow putting the normally noncompetitive Aprilia second row in 4th. Fabio ended up 2nd after crashing the Yamaha on way to the checker.
Qualifying and racing are very much 2 separate things as evident here with such poor track conditions.
The Ducati of Zarco drops immediately back as the 2 Petronas Yamahas and the Aprilia pounce into the first corner. Apparent was the issue of the Fabios Yamaha in race trim simply not being that quick, with the Aprilia able to briefly hold second place and then drop off while Morbidelli began to slighly pull ahead of both early. However just behind were 2 seriously quick factory KTM. While the Yamahas scooted off for the first half of the race, the KTM seemed to be managing the tires incomprehensibly better. With Zarco’s Ducati also holding on.
There wouldn’t be 2 KTM’s for long as Pol Espargaró runs wide following a Quartararo line and then ends up cutting into the slightly behind Ducati of Zarco on Apex. An unfortunate racing accident with neither rider having visibility of each other.
While a serious setback for KTM the 33 of Rookie Brad Binder continued with a pace simply not achievable by Morbidelli. Whatever the wizards in the KTM garage had done, this bike still had the tires and was a late race monster. Making the inevitable pass for 1st look easy:
Down in 4th place Fabio continued on the Yamaha with shot tires. He came under attack by Alex Rins on the Suzuki, Valentio Rossi and Miguel Oliveira. All three of which were able to make it past the points leader late in the race. With the final result being:
Congratulations to Brad Binder for securing the top spot as a rookie since Marc Marquez in 2013. This also marks KTMs first ever victory in the top class of MotoGP.