2019 Czech Republic GP (MotoGP) – Preview

The mid-season break is over, and Marc Márquez returns from his mid-season break with a firm stranglehold on the 2019 MotoGP World Championship after claiming his seventh-straight premier class victory at the Sachsenring, and his 10th-straight across all classes at the German venue.

So, with 10 races remaining in the season, can anyone prevent Márquez from winning his sixth MotoGP World Championship, and his eighth across all classes?

The answer will be revealed at Round 10 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship at the Brno Circuit in the Czech Republic.

Márquez (185 points) leads the championship for the Repsol Honda Team by 58 points over Mission Winnow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso (127 points) after his fifth race win of the season in Germany, and is in imperious form in 2019, having finished inside the Top Two in every race so far with the exception of crashing out of the lead at the Circuit of the Americas.

Meanwhile, Dovizioso has been struggling to keep up with the great Spaniard, having failed to finish on the podium in each of the last three races, and is in desperate need of a second race victory in 2019 this weekend at a circuit which should suit the Ducati, having won at the Brno Circuit last year in a thrilling race with then-teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Márquez.

Dovizioso’s teammate Danilo Petrucci (121 points) is third in the world championship, despite having not been on the podium in the last two races, while Team SUZUKI ECSTAR rider Álex Rins (101 points) is in fourth position in the standings despite crashing out of the last two races, which of course came after finishes the previous 16 completed races (not including the 2018 British Grand Prix).

However, a resurgent force is coming in the form of Maverick Viñales (85 points) from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP after winning in Assen, and finishing in second at the Sachsenring after a difficult opening seven races of 2019, where he only achieved one podium, and had three retirements. In my opinion, Viñales is one of the few riders when he is at his best and has the bike underneath him that can give Márquez a difficult time, and I believe he has at least another victory or two in him during the last 10 races of this season.

However, things are heading downhill for Valentino Rossi (80 points) after three retirements leading into the Sachsenring, where the seven-time premier class world champion only finished in eighth, 19.110 seconds behind Márquez, and you feel like the end might be nigh, maybe not in terms of his career, but in terms of high-level competitiveness for Rossi, and it is going to be interesting to see whether Rossi can turn his form around to prove that he is still capable of challenging for podiums and race wins on a consistent basis.

Behind the Top Six in the world championship, there is a strong three-way battle for seventh in the standings between Jack Miller (70 points) from Alma Pramac Racing, Fabio Quartararo (67 points) from Petronas Yamaha SRT, and Cal Crutchlow (67 points) from LCR Honda, while there is also a three-way fight for 10th in the championship between Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pol Espargaró (56 points), Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli (52 points), and Crutchlow’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami (50 points).

So, who is going to win the 2019 Czech Republic Grand Prix?

This should be a strong circuit for Ducati, and Andrea Dovizioso should be very hard to beat, along with Danilo Petrucci, and to a lesser extent Jack Miller. However, you cannot discount Marc Márquez from the fight for the race win, and given that he is won twice at the Brno Circuit in the premier class, and three times across all classes, you feel that he can triumph over the Ducati riders, and if he does, he will take one big step towards winning a fourth-straight world championship!

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2019 German Grand Prix – Preview

It was a record-breaking sixth British Grand Prix victory for Lewis Hamilton in front of his home crowd at Silverstone in what was a Mercedes one-two, while it was a race to forget for Sebastian Vettel, colliding into Max Verstappen in the braking zone to Vale (Turn 16), and then receiving a 10-second time penalty on his way to 16th.

And, with the form of Red Bull Racing-Honda starting to improve, Ferrari will be starting to feel the heat as they both attempt to chase down Hamilton and Mercedes at the 2019 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring, Round 11 of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Hamilton (223 points) leads the championship by 39 points over his teammate Valtteri Bottas (184 points) after a dominant performance by Mercedes at Silverstone. Bottas grabbed pole position ahead of Hamilton, and led during the early stages of the race, despite Hamilton putting him under tremendous pressure, before pitting on Lap 16 for a new set of medium-compound tyres, giving Hamilton the lead, before a safety car four laps later gave Hamilton a “free” pit-stop, and a strategic advantage in that he was able to pit for a new set of hard-compound tyres, and go to the end of the race on that set, while Bottas had to pit again (since he hadn’t used at least two of the three available tyre compounds), and with Hamilton showing superior speed, the five-time world champion was able to cruise to victory.

This weekend in Germany, it is a must win for Bottas, given that Hamilton will be very hard to beat in Hungary in just over a weeks’ time, to remain a realistic hope of winning his first world championship.

Max Verstappen (136 points) is third in the world championship for Red Bull Racing-Honda after finishing the British Grand Prix in fifth after recovering from the collision with Vettel in the middle of the race, and remains ahead of the four-time world champion in Vettel (123 points), and his teammate at Ferrari in Charles Leclerc (120 points), who managed to claim third at Silverstone behind the two Mercedes.

Behind the Top Five in the championship, Verstappen’s teammate Pierre Gasly (55 points) is sixth after finishing fourth at the British Grand Prix, his best race finish since joining Red Bull at the start of 2019, while McLaren-Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. (38 points) is seventh in the standings, pulling away in the lead of the battle of the rest so to speak, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen (25 points) of Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari, his teammate at McLaren-Renault Lando Norris (22 points), who is ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (22 points) based on two sixth-place finishes compared with one, to complete the Top 10.

Looking at the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes (407 points) have extended their lead over Ferrari (243 points) to 163 points, with Red Bull Racing-Honda (191 points) closing to within 52 points of Ferrari. Behind the Top Three, McLaren-Renault (60 points) continue to pull away from Renault (39 points), who likewise continue to pull away from Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari (26 points), while we have a great battle for seventh between Racing Point-BWT Mercedes (19 points), Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda (19 points), and Haas-Ferrari (16 points), with Williams-Mercedes (zero points) sadly behind this battle, and last in the Constructor’s Championship.

So, who is going to win the 2019 German Grand Prix?

Mercedes are the favourites, but it is going to be an absolute scorcher at the Hockenheimring, with maximum temperatures set to be around 34 to 39 degrees Celsius, at least on Friday, if not on Saturday as well, which will bring both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing-Honda back into the discussion, but as I currently write this preview, there is set to be rain on Saturday and on Sunday, with the temperature set to drop to around 25-26 degrees Celsius for Sunday.

It is set to be an exciting weekend, and perhaps one of the races of the season, and with a point to prove, especially after the last three races since Canada, and after crashing out of the lead in the German Grand Prix last year, I predict Sebastian Vettel will get Ferrari’s first race win of 2019, and his first race victory since the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix.