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MotoGP Round 11 Preview: Czech It Out

I apologise for the terrible pun, but it might be the last time I get to use it. Brno is in trouble, and this could be the last race at one of the true great circuits.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images


Why yes, I am excited about the Czech grand prix, why did you ask?

The issues surrounding the race at Brno have been well documented (if you don't know what I'm talking about, have a read of this) but the fact remains that Brno is one of the greatest circuits on the calendar, and this year celebrates its 50th year on the calendar.

I love it that much, I've got two videos for you this week. The first is the world feed intro video from 2012, which gives you a run down of the circuit (and makes me want to go to the Czech Republic).

The second is the onboard ride aboard the 2012 factory Ducati.

Seriously, I can't describe just how much I love Brno. The fact we may not have this track any more....not cool.

In The News

The news all weekend will undoubtedly be dominated by the future of the circuit. Local politicians are due to meet with management from the Automotodrom on Thursday to attempt to secure a future for the race, but if no agreement is in place by Sunday evening, Brno is done. The Red Bull Ring in Austria will be on the calendar next year, and Dorna chiefs have signalled that an 18-round series wouldn't be a bad thing, so in a practical sense the loss of Brno wouldn't be bad, but for the fans? Track chiefs are expecting a higher crowd than their 240,000 from last year. None of this makes any sense.

Athina Forward are back for Brno. Claudio Corti has replaced Stefan Bradl, and will line up alongside Loris Baz in MotoGP. Their Moto2 outfit will also be running, with the same pairing of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Simone Corsi.

Alex Rins dedicated his win in Moto2 at Indy to Bernat Martinez and Daniel Rivas Fernandez, the two Spanish MotoAmerica riders who were killed at Laguna Seca in July.

Newly confirmed drivers since my merry-go-round piece:

- Pol Espargaro confirmed for Tech 
- Andrea Iannone confirmed for Ducati
- Karel Abraham confirmed for AB
- Scott Redding and Jack Miller's slots now unconfirmed (I have some very dodgy information apparently)

Bradley Smith still doesn't have a ride for 2016, and when interviewed on BT on Sunday, team principal Hervé Poncharal said that Indianapolis wasn't the place to announce Smith's status. The difference between Smith and his already-announced team mate Pol Espargaro is that the Spaniard has a central Yamaha contract, as opposed to Smith who is contracted by Tech 3. He may well retain his seat, but Poncharal's demeanour on Sunday suggested he has alternatives up his sleeve.

Last year's Czech grand prix saw Dani Pedrosa become the first person not called Marc Marquez to win in 2014. Tito Rabat and Alexis Masbou won the Moto2 and Moto3 races, meaning that for once there is a previous winner in the Moto3 class.

Last Time Out

Have you forgotten already? Indy was barmy. Here's my recap, or just check out this table.

MotoGP Moto2 Moto3
1st Marc Marquez Alex Rins Livio Loi
2nd Jorge Lorenzo Johann Zarco John McPhee
3rd Valentino Rossi Franco Morbidelli Philipp Oettl
Championship Leader Valentino Rossi (195) Johann Zarco (199) Danny Kent (190)


Marc Marquez's win gave me one from three on a silly day in America, which is still better than I managed in Germany.

For Brno...

- Jorge Lorenzo to win MotoGP
- Tito Rabat to win Moto2
- Danny Kent to win Moto3

Race Times

All Times Given As BST - -5 Hours For EDT
Saturday Qualifying Sunday Race
MotoGP Q1 - 13:10-13:25 Q2 - 13:35-13:50 13:00
Moto2 14:05-14:50 11:20
Moto3 11:35-12:15 10:00