At 11:00 local time, the lights of the Brno Automobile Motorway, host of the Grand Prix České republiky and the tenth round of the 2017 season, were turned off. On the starting grid again affected by rain, the Leopard Racing Team duo started from the second and third 2nd row respectively with Joan Mir and Livio Loi, concentrating on the 19 laps of race after showing their speed throughout all of practice.
Mir made a steady start to sit in third position behind the poleman Guevara and the Dutch KTM of Bendsneyder. Meanwhile Livio Loi, after a discreet and encouraging start, suffered from obvious front end problems, resulting in a slow slide out of the point scoring positions. On the seventh lap, Joan Mir was overtaken by his main rival in the standings, Romano Fenati. The pair pushed each other and the leading four opened up a bigger and bigger gap.
Aron Canet, who, with fast laps, destroyed the gap and arrived to contend the podium. At that point Joan Mir put his head down and tried to break away, followed by the ubiquitous Fenati. The two got rid of the other two KTMs and became locked in battle for the final three laps, one on one for the win. With the racing line now dry, the talent of Palma de Mallorca left his Italian rival no room and closed all the doors, crossing the finish line in first.
With his sixth season, and his second consecutive after the Sachsenring, Joan Mir’s championship lead has increased to 42 points over Fenati. This is also the first victory in the Czech Republic in the short yet successful history of the Leopard Racing Team. But above all, right from the Champion of Palma de Mallorca, comes a special dedication to the unforgettable Angel Nieto and his family on the podium.
#36 Joan MIR – 1st:
“The break made me good! Indeed, from the first day I arrived, after what had happened to Angel [Nieto], I wanted to dedicate a victory to him. I’ve been busy since the free practice, but the conditions (the same we had today in the race) were not easy and I thought of a complicated race. Today, as the track dried up, I always felt comfortable on the bike and I really want to thank the whole team for the work done. I knew that with a dry track I could keep a good pace. When I saw that the second group was reaching us, I stopped my lazy times and I was in charge: it is not easy to push if there is only one dry line. I could not think about anything else and I did not want to relax, because all my rivals are very fast, and they always comes right back. This victory is for Angel and his family: if it had not been for him, neither I nor many others would have begun to follow motorcycles. It would be nice to name him the circuit of Jerez.”
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