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Photo: motogp.com Photo: motogp.com

MotoGP Round 10, Brno: The championship is hotting up

Written by  Aug 02, 2017

The MotoGP grid rolls into Brno for round ten of the Championship and so far, we've seen ten different podium finishers, four different Championship leaders and five different race winners, and there's a whole host of riders who are eager to add to that tally.

In Brno last year, it was LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow who took the victory, with a massive seven second lead on nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi. Marc Marquez rounded out the podium, but all eyes will surely be on him to extend his current Championship lead. Marquez hasn't won the Czech GP since 2013, but has been in the top four in each Brno race since.

He'll be heading to the track brimming with confidence and a five point lead over his closest rival Maverick Viñales. There's no discounting his team mate, Dani Pedrosa, either. He won in Jerez and has been on the podium three times since, but with the Repsol Honda team having tested at the track in mid-July they're sure to have an advantage.

Viñales (Movistar Yamaha) has seriously impressed everyone since the start of the season. He has won three of the nine races on machinery that is completely new to him, after stepping up to the factory Yamaha squad at the beginning of the year. Team mate Rossi can never be ruled out, and his nine World titles truly do speak for themselves.

The pair's performances faltered mid-season, but they reigned it in at the Sachsenring where they finished fourth and fifth respectively. They'll both be eager to win in Brno, as both sit within the top five of the overall standings.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) is having a stellar season so far. He won two consecutive races in Mugello and Catalunya and led the Championship during that time. He now sits in third overall, separating the two Yamahas. His team mate, Jorge Lorenzo, is telling a completely different story.

When he announced he would be moving from factory Yamaha to factory Ducati for 2017, it was both shocking and not. Everybody wants a go at taming the Desmosedici, but only Casey Stoner could really do it. Rossi tried and struggled, and Lorenzo seemed to want to go to Ducati and do everything his team mate [Rossi] couldn't

. But so far, it's not working out too great for poor Jorge. In Jerez, he stood on the podium for the first time this season and he followed that up in Le Mans with a sixth place. Two rounds later in Catalunya, he finished fourth but these are not results we should be celebrating for the young Mallorcan.

Although it takes time to adjust to the new machinery, we should be seeing some results. He'll be looking for a strong points haul in the second half of the season, starting in Brno.

And who can forget the heroics of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team? MotoGP rookies Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger have exceeded expectation this year, with both of them achieving one podium each and numerous rostrum fights.

Team boss Herve Poncheral certainly knows talent when he sees it, and he seems to have hit the big time with these two. Last year, both were competing in the Moto2 World Championship and Folger won the race with a five second gap over Alex Rins. Zarco finished in eleventh, so it's clear that he won't be going down without a fight.

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) has proved that he was worthy of the GP17 machinery, as it came to a 'points fight' between him and team mate Scott Redding to decide who would get the newer Ducati.

He's got to grips with it quickly and is rapidly improving. A win should be on the cards for Petrucci soon, will it be at Brno?

Part two of the MotoGP season begins on Friday with Free Practice 1 at 9:55am (GMT+2), who can hold their nerve to take the first victory after the summer break? 

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