MotoGP: Marquez crashes twice in Brno practice as Pedrosa sweats on new injury


Repsol Honda experienced something of a mixed Friday at Brno as riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa both hit trouble in practice for the MotoGP Czech Republic Grand Prix.

Marquez ended the day as the second-fastest rider with a quickest lap of 1:56.513 to top FP2, but finished 0.014 seconds behind Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo’s time in FP1.

However, the Spaniard crashed out at turn seven during his final lap in the second session, bringing his day to an early end. This followed an earlier incident in FP1 where he had fallen at turn 13.

Speaking after the session, two-time MotoGP champion Marquez admitted that he was struggling to find consistency during practice at Brno.

“I am fast over a single lap, but I am finding it harder to set a constant pace,” Marquez said. “In FP2 we finished first, but more importantly we have made a step forward with our pace, because it seems that Lorenzo is has a very fast rhythm.

“This afternoon we got close to him and we will see if tomorrow we can continue to improve, in order to be as close as possible to the top.”

Honda has been left to sweat overnight on the fitness of second rider Dani Pedrosa after the Spaniard suffered an injury to his ankle after falling in FP2.

Pedrosa confirmed after the session that although he has not broken his ankle, he will wait until the morning before making any firm decision about his participation in the remainder of the race weekend.

“I had a problem with the front fork which I didn’t realise until some oil hit the rear wheel as I was leaning over to the right into turn 14,” Pedrosa said.

“The bike threw me off quite violently and I took a big knock to my left foot. I went to Clinica Mobile for a check-up and they performed an x-ray on my left ankle.

“Thankfully they confirmed there was no break or fracture, just a heavy contusion so I will have some treatment tonight and see how the situation is in the morning.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.