MotoGP: Pedrosa wins, ends Marquez's victorious run
The world champion's winning streak has met its end, no thanks to the man piloting the other Repsol Honda
The unexpected has occurred. Marc Marquez wasn't going to keep winning all races through the next decade, and we knew that. Still, if we'd have to place our bets on someone taking the top spot at Brno today, we'd all back the world champion. However, today, we have a new result. A new winner. And most importantly, a much-needed dash of excitement in the battle for the championship.
Yesterday, Marquez had mentioned his own team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, as his biggest threat at the Czech GP, and guess what: as it so happened, it was indeed Pedrosa who brought an end to Marquez's spectacular run.
It isn't uncommon to see Marquez have a bad start these days, and it was the same story today. The Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso powered ahead, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa both making headway having started on the second row. Before you could realise what was happening, Marquez was down in sixth, chasing after Valentino Rossi.
What followed was an absorbing battle between him and Iannone - both men fought tooth and nail, trading paint twice before Marquez finally got the better of the Italian, who was overtaken by the Doctor shortly after.
On any other day, it would've been a matter of a few laps before MM93 would start to reel them in. However, today, something was amiss. He'd cut down a tenth of a second from the gap between himself and second-placed Lorenzo, and then give away a couple of tenths. Just as it seemed like he'd try to get closer to the Yamaha in front, the Yamaha behind came charging and pushed him off the final podium spot.
Pedrosa, on the other hand, had a marvellous race, slicing through the pack with ease, and pulling out a comfortable lead over Lorenzo. Though the Yamaha did get fairly close to the Honda right at the end, Pedrosa had done just about enough to finally inject some life into this year's championship.
Rossi too rode beautifully, braving an injured little finger to take his seventh podium finish of 2014.
The battle between the Andreas for fifth place was engrossing, but it was Iannone on his open-class Pramac who managed to edge out Dovizioso's factory bike. Stefan Bradl, Aleix Espargaro, Bradley Smith and Alvaro Bautista all rode a largely lonely race to round off the top ten.
Out of 29 premier-class appearances, Marquez has only failed to finish among the top three on three occasions, including today's fourth-place finish. He'll be disappointed, yes, but he's still got a 77-point advantage over his closest rival, Dani Pedrosa. That said, Pedrosa's broken the monotony of results this season, and if there's ever been a sliver of hope for Marquez's rivals, this is it.
Silverstone's up next in two weeks' time. If it turns out to be a thriller like last year, things will get very, very interesting.
1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Marc Marquez
5. Andrea Iannone
6. Andrea Dovizioso
7. Stefan Bradl
8. Aleix Espargaro
9. Bradley Smith
10. Alvaro Bautista
11. Scott Redding
12. Michele Pirro
13. Hiroshi Aoyama
14. Karel Abraham
15. Leon Camier
16. Alex De Angelis
17. Hector Barbera
18. Mike Di Meglio
19. Broc Parkes