Spanish Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez won the Czech MotoGP in Brno on Sunday for his fourth successive win and extended his lead at the top of the overall standings.
Marquez won a thrilling race ahead of compatriots teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha rival and defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo as the Spanish trio dominated proceedings.
Marquez finished the 22-lap race of 118.866 kilometres (74 miles) in 42min 50.729sec, 0.313sec ahead of Pedrosa and 2.277sec ahead of Lorenzo.
The 20-year-old leads the championships on 213 points after 11 of 18 races, ahead of Pedrosa with 187 points and Lorenzo with 169.
"I enjoyed the victory but also the battle with Jorge, and also Dani was there," said Marquez.
"So I'm very, very happy. Jorge and Yamaha were so strong here (and) Dani won last year. I didn't expect a victory, I expected to finish on the podium," he added.
In his first MotoGP season, Marquez has scored the fifth victory and the fourth in a row, beating a 35-year-old record by American Kenny Roberts who won three straight premier-class races as a rookie in 1978.
In that same year, Roberts also won the championship – a feat unrivalled by a rookie to the present day.
Starting fifth, Lorenzo sneaked into the lead before the first turn and widened the gap on the Honda duo to 1.4 seconds by the end of lap two.
Marquez and Pedrosa then worked patiently to narrow his lead.
Marquez then struck three times in lap 16 and got ahead of Lorenzo, who however took the lead back two laps later.
But Marquez fought back immediately and then widened the lead on Lorenzo who also gave up to constant pressure from Pedrosa two laps before the end.
The gap between reigning world champion Lorenzo and fourth-placed Valentino Rossi reached almost eight seconds.
Pedrosa and Lorenzo, both recovering from fractured collarbones, did not conceal their disappointment.
"I was trying to follow the train. I just wasn't able to do the overtaking – I wasn't that strong in braking today and also I was losing touch in the exit of the corners," said Pedrosa, who won at Brno last year.
"I wasn't able to get close and to make a pass. I think my attack was a little, one lap maybe, too late and I missed one lap in the end," he added.
Lorenzo admitted he was "a little disappointed" after the nerve-wracking battle with the Honda duo.
"I started very well, the first lap was very fast but I couldn't do so much to defend the position from Honda," he said.
Weather was a cause for concern all day as heavy clouds gathered over the Brno circuit, forcing the teams to have bikes with wet tyres ready – but it all ended with just a few raindrops.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow, the pole-sitter, crashed in lap eight. He rejoined the race but earned no points as he only managed the 17th spot. - AFP, August 25, 2013.