Crutchlow takes historic win for Great Britain at Brno
Cal Crutchlow was peerless in the treacherous conditions at the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic, as he took his and the LCR Honda Team’s first-ever victory in the MotoGP class. In doing so, he became the first British rider in 35 years to seal a premier class win – ever since Barry Sheene ran out victorious in the Swedish GP of 1981.
The historic day came amidst tricky weather at the Brno circuit, with rain falling all day but stopping just before the MotoGP race. Crutchlow and his LCR Honda Team took the gamble of fitting a hard wet tyre to the front and rear of his bike, only one of two riders to do so, and despite having taken time to get up to pace, it soon became the combination to be on.
Having started in tenth place on the grid, Crutchlow was down to 15th by the end of lap three, but he was soon on the move, passing riders at will before hitting the front with just over seven laps remaining. The Brit never looked in trouble, and came across the line with a huge stand-up wheelie to celebrate, over seven-seconds clear of his nearest challenger, Valentino Rossi.
Title leader Marc Marquez finished on the rostrum in third on the Repsol Honda with another resilient performance to keep any damage to his championship advantage to a minimum, with Rossi only closing the deficit by four points.
Behind the top three, French rider Loris Baz also stormed through at the end to nick fourth place on the Avintia Ducati ahead of team-mate Hector Barbera.
Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty rode an excellent race to finish sixth on the Aspar Ducati ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Ducati), while Austrian GP winner Andrea Iannone somehow limped over the line in eighth.
Iannone had enjoyed a lengthy spell in the lead on the factory Ducati but with a few laps remaining, it was clear he was struggling badly and TV footage showed his front tyre was completely destroyed. Iannone's team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, was forced into the pits when he was running inside the top three after the centre of his front tyre became worn out. He returned to the track on intermediates but retired from the race soon afterwards.
Suzuki's Maverick Vinales and Tito Rabat on the Marc VDS Honda completed the top ten, with Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Ducati) and Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda crossing the line in 11th and 12th respectively.