Czech Republic GP at Brno. Dovizioso has a good run to finish sixth. Crutchlow forced to retire early on, while Pirro finishes in twelfth place.

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Andrea Dovizioso finished the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno in sixth place after a battle with his fellow Ducati rider Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing Team). After crossing the line in second place at the end of lap 1, Dovizioso then dropped a few places in the next few laps to find himself in sixth position, behind Iannone. On lap 16 Dovi managed to get past the Pramac man, but three laps later was repassed by Iannone and he finished the race in sixth place, 17 seconds down on winner Pedrosa.

It was an unlucky race for Cal Crutchlow, who crashed in the run-off area on lap 2. The British rider managed to rejoin but returned to the pits on lap 8 to retire for good.

Michele Pirro, racing as a wild-card for the Ducati Test Team, moved into eleventh place on lap 7 and kept that position until the final stages, but he was passed by Redding with three laps to go and he took the chequered flag in twelfth place.

Tomorrow Pirro will again be in action at the Brno circuit with the development team’s GP14, while the two Ducati Team riders will be next out on track on August 25-26 at Misano Adriatico for private testing, before leaving for Silverstone where the British GP takes place on Sunday August 31.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th
“We have to be satisfied with the race today because we again reduced our gap from the guys at the front. Both Iannone and myself could maybe have lapped even quicker, but we never pushed 100% for the whole race because we were too far from the leading group and there was no one behind who could threaten our position. We both started on the soft tyre and tried not to ruin it too much: maybe the harder option was a better choice but in any case our final positions would not have changed. Unfortunately I was not able to fight with Iannone in the last few laps because my engine had a bit of a drop in performance during the race and as a result I was unable to stay in his slipstream.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – DNF
“It was obviously a disappointing race to go out on lap 2. I made a mistake in the braking in turn 3, had to avoid Aleix Espargarò in front of me and swerved off the track. I was disappointed for that because I was quite confident we could have had a not-so-bad battle today. But when I reentered the track I had a sore shoulder from going through the gravel and holding onto the bike before it tipped over so there was no point carrying on with the pain and I preferred to save myself for Silverstone.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 12th
“Today’s result was a bit below par because I thought I had better pace, but I struggled a lot in the race. My arms were also suffering, seeing as I haven’t raced for almost two months. In any case I tried to keep the pace to gather data and indications for my engineers. Tomorrow, during the test, we’ll continue development work because we still have a few things to check and try out.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“At Brno we again demonstrated that we have made the Desmosedici GP14 a bit more competitive. For sure it was a great satisfaction to see two Ducati bikes on the front row after a gap of eight years, but we know we still have to improve our race performance. In any case Dovizioso’s sixth place, and fifth for Iannone, are results we must view as positive especially because they show we have further reduced the gap from the leaders. Now we will be continuing the development work in tomorrow’s test at Brno with Pirro and next week at Misano Adriatico with our factory riders, before going to Silverstone for the British GP at the end of August.”