Andrea Dovizioso registered an impressive run to give Ducati its first win at Brno, after a 12-year hiatus. The Ducati rider was in top form in qualifying as he posted a blisteringly fast lap in the closing stages to take pole. However, it was Valentino Rossi, who made a spectacular start to lead the Czech Grand Prix. Rossi ended Lorenzo’s six-race run of leading the race, heading into the first corner of the race. Rossi’s lead was short-lived as Dovizioso passed him under braking to lead the race in the opening lap itself. Following the Italian duo closely were the Spanish pair of Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo. While Rossi was stuck behind Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Marquez were involved in an intriguing tussle and exchanged positions on a regular basis.
With 13 laps more in the race, Rossi made a lunge and managed to pass Dovi to regain the race lead, getting a loud cheer from the Czech fans. But the Yamaha rider was struggling for grip as he had opted for the softest tyre compound among the leading pack of riders. By the halfway stage of the race, Rossi was easily passed by Dovizioso and Marquez in a matter of few corners and was relegated to third. Adding to his woes, Lorenzo and Crutchlow also overtook him with just eight laps remaining in the race. With five laps remaining in the race, it was clear that it would be a three-way battle for the race win between Dovizioso, Marquez and Lorenzo.
The Czech fans were lucky to witness one of the finest wheel-to-wheel racing in recent memory as all three riders were pushing to the absolute limit for the race win. On the penultimate lap, Lorenzo made an aggressive move on Marquez, which resulted in both the riders losing a bit of time and this gave Dovi a slight breathing space. The Italian rider made full use of this and powered his Ducati to take an emphatic win. Lorenzo rode defensively throughout the last lap and despite the reigning champion’s best efforts he had to settle for third place.
On the other hand, Rossi managed to squeeze his way past Crutchlow in the final corner of the race to finish fourth. Marquez will be content with a podium finish as he now extends his championship lead over Rossi by 49 points. The next race will be held at Austria, which is Ducati’s favourite hunting ground. However, given the unpredictable nature of the 2018 season; it wouldn’t be an easy outing for the Ducati riders next weekend.