The summer break has concluded and the riders are gearing up for action as the Czech Grand Prix begins.
Riders like Cal Crutchlow took advantage of the summer break by relaxing and training at various locations. He spent some time with his wife Lucy in London and then found himself training on the Isle of Man. The weather was typical of the region with sunshine and loads of rain!
CC35: “We’re happy with the setting we got in Sachsenring, but whether that will work here we’ll have to see as it’s a completely different circuit. But we’ll try out best and I’m definitely looking forward to the second half of the year”. Crutchlow is adamant of his fitness and reflects upon the Brno race of 2018 as an incentive to be better and finish strong this time around by managing his tyre wear more carefully. Crutchlow can be at the top of the podium and is capable of battling with ferocity. The weather conditions will be important as riders decide which tyre compound works for them the best.
Fellow Honda rider Marc Marquez is strong, riding beautifully and hard to beat. With Jorge Lorenzo out until a Silverstone return, the Spanish Ant is absolutely on form and fully committed mentally to the job at hand. It will be very hard for any rider to derail Marquez confidence and composure at this point of the season. If anything, the only thing that would keep him away is an injury. If Marquez stays 100% fit, he is bound to obtain the title early and then defy limits of gravity and lean angle for fun in the later parts of the season.
MM93: “I am very excited to get back on the bike. Summer break is always nice to relax a little bit, but soon you miss the team and the bike! I am ready to get back to work and Brno is a fun circuit to ride. We finished the first half of the season in a very strong way and now we must keep our focus to continue this. Brno is a circuit where lots of riders are often strong so we can’t take anything for granted. I hope Jorge’s recovery is going well and we will soon have him back in the team.” In terms of rider analysis, Marquez is the guru at the moment and his ability to find lines that were previously unrideable are inspiring to the human eye. He defies logic at times and also puts his bike in places that baffle commentators time and time again. We love watching MM93. With Jorge Lorenzo, the season has been memorable for in terms of an injury tally. It is clear that Lorenzo has found issues with the Honda though is working through them and is sure to be competitive when back to 100% fitness. His time on the bike has lacked and as soon as he feels comfortable, the ability to go toe to toe with Marquez will come. We just have to be patient as his body needs time to heal.
Danilo Petrucci is eager to get back on to the red beast and go fast! The Italian rider is relaxed and feeling good about his chances in the second half of the season. His focus is clear and positivity a vital ingredient to being successful on and off the track. DP09: “After some nice holidays I can't wait to get back on the bike. I like Brno as a track, and the Desmosedici GP has always been quite competitive there, last year in particular.” Petrucci is excited to try some upgrades and also find the rhythm again to shake things up at the front with current leader Marc Marquez in fine form and aiming to wrap up the World Championship as quickly as possible.
In contrast, Andrea Dovizioso knows he needed some time away from the track to find himself again. DesmoDovi was struggling emotionally and mentally with the hardships of poor results. We say poor results because anything further back than third is not a good job as he is very critical of his performance after a race. Ducati is second among the manufacturers with 157 points. The goal is to stay ahead of their competition and close the gap to the front runner Repsol Honda. AD04: "The summer break is always a good time to recharge and put things into perspective. Despite the fact that our position on the finish line at Assen and Sachsenring was acceptable, our feeling on the bike wasn't been the best in those circuits. Without a doubt, we need to stay positive in this moment: we've worked hard under each aspect during these three weeks and we're ready to tackle the second half of the season with great motivation. We'll race on tracks where we should be very competitive and able to show our full potential."
The Yamaha factory and its independent team are ready for business! The back to back races at Brno and Spielberg are going to be tough physically after being on holiday for some time. It will be interesting to see if the training Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi carried out will put a spring in their step as they arrive at Brno. Out of the two, Vinales would be the happiest in terms of his performance based on the last race. MV12: “We went on holiday feeling very happy, with the conviction that we’re on the right track and with the peace of mind that you get after a job well done. We have been able to rest a little bit during the summer break, but it was also helpful to complete a lot of training in order to arrive at this GP feeling physically and mentally strong. The next two rounds are held at two tracks that I like a lot but where we’ll have to work hard to obtain positive results. I think that I can show all my potential there and confirm that we are working in the right direction. Brno is one of my favourite circuits, so I’ll give it my 100% to continue improving step by step.”
It was not an ideal finish for teammate Rossi who is already considering the key focal points for 2020. You can feel that 2019 is a season of lessons, learnings and heart ache as opposed to raging success that the Doctor is used to achieving. VR46: “It will be an important second half of the season because we need to improve, and we'll also begin preparing for 2020, starting with Monday's test. Brno is a track that I've always liked. I want to work well with my team to make it a nice weekend. We need a good result, so we'll do our best.”
Young guru Fabio Quartararo has thoroughly enjoyed his summer break with feelings of success and is geared up for a second half of the season like never before. The rookie rider has impressed us all. The circuit suits his riding style and the expectation is high. FB20: “Brno is a track I really like, because it’s fast, it has fun uphill changes of direction, and not so many straights. I’ve been able to have some rest over the break to help to heal my arm and shoulder, and I’ve also been training hard ready for the rest of the season. My arm and shoulder feels good now, and I’ve been doing some motocross to confirm it. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it’ll be during a race weekend again. My expectation will be the same as in the past few races, inside the top eight. We also know that we can be really fast in qualifying, so we can expect even better from that.” Fabulous Fabio will make it hard for the veterans to enjoy their race that is for sure! The French rider is quick and calculated.
It is also with great sadness with the announcement of the Mission Winnow Ducati press officer Luca Semprini passing away. We send our wishes to Luca’s family and friends at this difficult time. The team will be riding with him in their thoughts. Luca shared the passion of the Ducati brand and journalism throughout his life and he will be greatly missed. Track action gets underway today with a mixed sense of emotions guaranteed to be on display.