Marc Marquez is on the record as saying that Brno’s Masaryk Circuit is not one of his favourites so should Czech MotoGP punters take the remarkable championship leader at his word and oppose the Spaniard in the 11th round of the season?
That is the million-dollar question for punters who want to bet on the outcome of the Czech MotoGP given that Marquez has won the last three races in this year’s series and his major rivals for this term’s title, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, are still inconvenienced by collarbone injuries.
Marquez took advantage of the clavicle issues of Pedrosa and Lorenzo to win the Indianapolis MotoGP last weekend and the quick turnaround must favour the fully fit youngster who leads the championship by 21 points from Pedrosa, with Lorenzo another 14 points back in third position.
One expected Pedrosa and Lorenzo, who had had the best part of a month to get over the worst of their collarbone issues, to push Marquez all the way in the United States of America but they told reporters after the race that they had to go through the pain barrier just to keep up with the rookie.
The schedule of back-to-back MotoGPs on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean has got to advantage Marquez over his Spanish compatriots but how does one back the favourite at 2.30 to win in Brno given his quite obvious dislike of the Masaryk Circuit? Let’s examine the facts.
Marquez has made five appearances in Masaryk Circuit races for one first, one second, one seventh, one eighth and one retirement. It is noteworthy that Marquez’s results in Brno have improved race after race after race, with his victory coming in the Moto2 class last year. From an unusually low starting position of fourth, Marquez weaved his way to the front to win what was a very tight contest. The first four motor cyclists were separated by a total of 0.51 seconds.
There is little to choose between the Czech MotoGP numbers of Pedrosa and Lorenzo. Both motor cyclists have won the race once – Pedrosa in 2012 and Lorenzo in 2010 – but one would have to put Pedrosa on top. Pedrosa has one first and two seconds from his three completed Czech MotoGPs since becoming a force in the competition, whereas Lorenzo has one first, one second and one fourth. Furthermore, Pedrosa’s qualifying performances are a just little bit better.
If one must bet on the winner of the Czech MotoGP it really boils down to either Marquez at odds of around 2.30 or Pedrosa at odds of around 3.60 (both at Stan James). One would have to lean towards Marquez, even though he is the shorter priced. His negative comments about the Masaryk Circuit may have more to do with keeping expectations under the control than how he really feels about the Brno track. The motor cycling world is in awe of Marquez at the moment and it would be totally understandable if he wanted to relieve some of the pressure by suggesting that he should not be the clear favourite.
With regards to Czech MotoGP exotics, there may be decent value in backing seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi to finish in the top three at 2.38 available with betting exchange Betfair. Rossi has posted three podium placings in his last four races and the Masaryk Circuit is where his Yamaha team does a lot of its testing laps. With Pedrosa and Lorenzo still feeling under the weather and most pit-lane analysts suggesting that the Yamaha motor cycles will handle the Brno track better than the Honda bikes, Rossi may be worth a little nibble.
Finally, Marquez is trading at 1.50 with WillHills to take out the MotoGP title in his first season in the top class. Marquez is having an incredible rookie campaign, with his Indianapolis MotoGP victory drawing him level with Kenny Roberts as the only motor cyclist to win four races on debut. Roberts achieved the feat in 1978 when he won the Austrian, British, French and Italian rounds. It took Roberts 10 races to reach four wins, the same as Marquez.