Marc Marquez has extended his lead in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship standings to 63 points after comfortably seeing off the challenge of both Andrea Dovizioso and Alex Rins at Brno.

In a race delayed by 40-minutes after a shower made two corners treacherously wet without dampening any other parts of the circuit, once lights did eventually go green Marquez calmly turned pole position into a lead he’d retain to the chequered flag.

Indeed, though Marquez was tracked by the two riders arguably closest to Marquez on raw race pace this season – Dovizioso and Rins – neither could do more than trace the Repsol Honda rider in close, but unthreatening company during the first-half of the race.

However, with a sixth MotoGP win in sight, Marquez stepped it up a gear and put the hammer down, leaving Dovizioso with no response, a momentary front-end slip the only blemish on an otherwise faultless lights-to-flag success. The win ekes his margin out to 63 points in the standings heading to Austria next weekend, where Ducati is so far unbeaten.

Though he looked under threat for second in the final laps, Dovizioso kept it tidy to complete his first podium result since Mugello, even if the manner of it will be considered somewhat demoralising.

Rins put up a good fight early on, only for the rear tyre on his Suzuki to drop off alarmingly in the final few laps. That invited Jack Miller back into the podium fight having slipped into a lonely fourth, the Australian needing no second invitation by pouncing on the penultimate lap for his second MotoGP rostrum of the season,

Rins held onto fourth, preventing a charging Cal Crutchlow from denying him right at the end of rhe race. The LCR Honda rider demonstrated podium-potential pace once he had clawed his way to fifth from 11th on the grid but was too far back to put it to best use.

A disappointing afternoon for Yamaha peaked with a sixth place finish for Valentino Rossi, a distant nine seconds off the win. Satellite counterpart Fabio Quartararo climbed to seventh position at the chequered flag, easily holding off an out-of-sorts Danilo Petrucci, who made no progress from his grid position in eighth.

Takaaki Nakagami wrapped up a positive weekend for both LCR and Honda to finish ninth, while Maverick Vinales suffered for a sloppy start that dropped him to 15th on the opening lap. Though the Spaniard made good headway in the closing stages, he could only progress as far as tenth.

Having promised so much in qualifying, KTM endured a somewhat sobering afternoon as its front row starter Johann Zarco saw his race unravel quickly.

Getting away poorly on the damper side of the home straight, Zarco dropped from third to 12th by Turn 3 where he then made contact with Franco Morbidelli, prompting the Italian to crash out and take the hapless Joan Mir with him. Zarco continued on but went backwards, crossing the line 14th.

His team-mate Pol Espargaro fared better, holding his starting position of fifth initially and doggedly defending his position before steadily dropping back to 11th.

Francesco Bagnaia picked up points for 12th, ahead of Miguel Oliveira – the Portuguse rider enjoying arguably his best race weekend of the season – Zarco and final point-scorer Stefan Bradl on the same race winning factory Honda half-a-minute up the road.

 

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