Brno MotoGP winner Valentino Rossi said he had been geared up for another massive tussle over victory with his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo before the Spaniard fell. Lorenzo had closed in on Rossi and passed him with six laps to go, only to then crash out as they diced.
Before the race Rossi reckoned Lorenzo to be hard to beat today, and thought the event could turn into a repeat of their famous inter-team fights at Catalunya and the Sachsenring earlier this year.
"I knew that today would be very tough because Jorge in practice went with fantastic rhythm," said the reigning champion. "So I tried to make the perfect race -- a great start, stay at the front and push like a devil, more than 100 percent for the first 10 laps. So I made that work.
"When he overtook me with like six [laps] to the end, I was ready for the battle because I was confident in the bike, and I thought it was possible to do a good show. But then in Turn 3 he lost the front so it was very bad for Jorge."
The result puts Rossi 50 points clear of Lorenzo in the championship with six races to go, and with Casey Stoner now out of contention due to the illness that has sidelined him for three rounds, what was once a close three-way battle has turned into a potentially straightforward title run-in for Rossi.
"A pity [for Lorenzo], but it's good for us because now we have 50 points [advantage]," said the Italian. "It's a long way to the end, but I will keep pushing and stay concentrated."
He also praised the efforts of his crew after improving his Yamaha steadily throughout the event.
"This weekend we did a great job from Friday," said Rossi. "During the practice days we struggled a lot with the front end feeling and we were quite fast, but not fast enough. But after the warm-up we made another small modification which gave me better feeling with the front tyre."