Valentino Rossi got the best of his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo again at the Cardion AB Czech Republic Grand Prix on Sunday with the young Spaniard crashing out with five laps to go, as the pair battled for the race lead, handing Rossi a 50 point title advantage with six races to go.
In front of a crowd of nearly 140,000 fans the Fiat Yamaha duo had built up a ten second lead over the rest of the field but with Lorenzo desperate for points after his Donington DNF the 22 year-old from Mallorca pushed too hard again and slid out, with Rossi eventually finishing more than 11 seconds ahead of second placed Dani Pedrosa.
Behind Pedrosa, two more Honda riders, Toni Elías and Andrea Dovizioso, dueled for the final podium slot, with San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Elías just outdoing Repsol Honda’s Dovizioso. Repeating his 2008 Brno podium was a perfect reaction from Elías as he learned he has lost his Gresini ride for next year.
Just over a tenth of a second behind his compatriot Dovizioso there was a morale-boosting result for Loris Capirossi in fifth place for the Rizla Suzuki team. Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, bolstered his confidence in sixth, from eighth on the grid.
Hayden’s countryman Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will be disappointed to have ended up seventh after qualifying fifth and both Americans will be looking for top five results at the next round in Indianapolis.
The Brno top ten was completed by Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini), James Toseland (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda).
Mika Kallio and Marco Melandri were left bickering in the gravel after the pair crashed out when Kallio braked too late on the penultimate lap and both riders hit the deck.