The win brought Lorenzo level with team-mate Rossi on 211 points, but ahead in the standings with five wins to his team-mate’s three.
The Binder brothers from Krugersdorp also enjoyed a good day at the office with Brad posting his second podium finish of the season and Darryn just out of the points in 16th.
Rossi got bogged down at the start and found himself down in fifth at the first corner, as Lorenzo and Marquez immediately opened a gap at the front, which increased to 1.5 seconds by the end of the first lap. Rossi was held up behind Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso and, by the time he got past on the second lap, the gap to his rivals was already more than two seconds.
Lorenzo and Marquez both lapping almost half a second quicker than Rossi; after six laps the gap was up to four seconds. Then Lorenzo began pulling away Marquez, opening up a gap of two seconds by the end of lap 12 and going on to take his 38th MotoGP win by more than four seconds, while Rossi came home 10 seconds off the pace to continue his run of having finished on the podium at every race this season.
Andrea Iannone finished fourth after a dramatic dice with team-mate Dovizioso and Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who was nursing a bruised left foot after his highside in practice. Pedrosa started ninth and caught up to the Ducati pair – who were fourth and fifth at the time – six laps from the flag.
Iannone made slight break after he and Dovizioso almost touched, leaving his team-mate to deal with Pedrosa. The result was an epic battle over the last few laps as that swopped places on almost every corner but it was Pedrosa who made the decisive move up the inside of turn 11 on the final lap and held on to cross the line just 0.075sec ahead.
Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith got another great start, running as high as third on lap one, but gradually fell back to come home as the leading satellite rider in seventh, ahead of the Espargaro brothers – Pol on the second Yamaha Tech 3 and Suzuki rider Aleix, with Ducati privateer Danilo Petrucci rounding out the top 10.
POINTS AFTER 11 OF 18 ROUNDS
Johann Zarco extended his championship lead with his fourth win of the season, coming home 1.421sec ahead of Tito Rabat and 1.785sec clear of Alex Rins for an all-Kalex podium.
Rabat got a great start. Leading into the first corner but lost at least three-tenths after a near high-side in Turn 9 on lap two. Zarco immediately took the lead and opened a one-second lead which he held to the end.
Try as he might, Rabat simply could not make any meaningful dent in Zarco’s lead, and himself came under threat from Rins, who had chosen a harder rear tyre, on the final lap. It looked like he was lining up a move into the final chicane, but Rabat managed to hold him off and cross the line 0.364sec ahead.
Rabat’s team-mate, reigning Moto3 champion Alex Marquez, posted his best result of the season in fourth after an excellent battle with his old junior-class rival Rins.
Speed Up’s Sam Lowes, the only rider in the top 17 who wasn’t on a Kalex, had technical problems in qualifying and started 13th, but fought his way through the pack to finish fifth, ahead of Jonas Folger, Thomas Luthi (who actually led for part of lap one but dropped back as the race progressed) Sandro Cortese, Luis Salom and Franco Morbidelli.
Niccolo Antonelli took his maiden Grand Prix win by just 0.152sec from similarly Honda-mounted Enea Bastianini in a frantic 12-lap sprint after the original race was red-flagged, with Brad Binder completing the podium on a KTM.
Two dramatic four-bike crashes – the first, at Turn 1 and involving Tatsuki Suzuki (Mahindra), Niklas Ajo (KTM), Phillip Oettl (KTM) and Jules Danilo (Honda), and the second, at Turn 3, taking out Andrea Locatelli (Honda), Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Husqvarna), Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) and Hiroki Ono (Honda) – brought out the red flags.
At the re-start 11 riders broke away in a battle royal that at times saw them entering corners eight abreast, with Antonelli, Miguel Oliviera (KTM), Binder, championship leader Danny Kent and his Honda team-mate Efren Vasquez swapping the lead among them.
Antonelli grabbed the lead with two laps to go and came home ahead Bastianini and Binder, with Vazquez fourth ahead of the Honda of Jorge Navarro, while Romano Fenati, who’d started 22nd after a three-place penalty for riding slowly on the racing line in qualifying, ran as high as second on the final lap but dropped back to sixth in the final few corners.
Kent collided with Navarro two laps from home and fell back to seventh at the line, while Oliveira, local hero Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) and John McPhee (Honda) completed the top 10.
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Original source: Lorenzo conquers in 'Battle of Brno'