With the brief summer break over, MotoGP returns this weekend with the Monster Energy Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at Brno, for what in spectator terms is the most popular (highest attended) event on the calendar – in excess of 200,000 spectators will flock to the circuit over the three days of practice, qualifying and racing.
The first Grand Prix to be held at Brno was in 1965, over what was then a 13.94km circuit consisting of public roads. The current circuit was introduced in 1987 and until 1991 hosted the Czechoslovakian Grand Prix.
There was no Brno Grand Prix in 1992, but after the country split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia the event was reborn in 1993 and has continued ever since, and the only venue to have hosted more Grand Prix races than Brno is Assen in the Netherlands.
After dominating events once again at the Sachsenring in Germany in the last round, where he claimed his ninth straight win across all classes at the circuit, Marc Marquez extended his championship lead to 46 points over Valentino Rossi who remains in second place.
The Sachsenring gave Rossi his highest placed finish of the season to date. We now have to go back to Assen last year for Rossi’s and Yamaha’s last victory; a run of 19 races without victory, the longest winless sequence Yamaha has endured in the class. The last win by Yamaha at Brno was with Jorge Lorenzo in 2015, and before that it was 2010, again with Lorenzo.