Marquez makes MotoGP history with fifth win
Marc Marquez continued his stunning debut season in motorcycling's elite class when he became the first MotoGP rookie to win five races with victory in Sunday's Czech Grand Prix.
The 20-year-old notched his fourth successive triumph as he extended his world championship lead to 26 points with seven races remaining.
He pegged back world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who had surged into the lead despite starting from fifth on the grid but had to settle for third behind Marquez's Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Marquez equaled Valentino Rossi's record of 10 podium placings in his rookie season, set back in 2000, and became the first rider since the Italian in 2008 to win four successive races.
"Before we came here I didn't expect win, because Jorge and Valentino had both tested at Brno recently and Dani is always so fast here and won the race last year," Marquez told the MotoGP website.
"It is a completely different track to those at which we have raced before, and these 25 points feel different to Indianapolis.
"This was a very hard-fought win and I enjoyed myself a lot. The battle with Jorge was really good and we are pleased with the victory."
Compatriot Pedrosa earned the 78th podium of his career, putting him equal fourth in the all-time standings with four-time world champion Eddie Lawson.
"I am very happy with the result, because after all the problems with my injury and the doubts we've had at the last few races, we took a big step forward with my mental preparation today," he said.
Rossi tops that table with 145 podiums, but this time he had to settle for fourth -- the same result as his previous outing at Indianapolis.
"Today was better than Indy, especially because my gap to the front is half what it was there," the Yamaha rider said. "The first three guys are impressive, very strong; I want to stay closer to them.
"Unfortunately I was 10 seconds back, another fourth place but I want to be closer, so we have to work."
His teammate Lorenzo was left third in the standings, 18 points behind Marquez.
"The championship is not lost yet but it's now getting very difficult. We need just a few tenths to win the race so we have to pray for that at Silverstone," the Spaniard said.
"I think I had my best start in all my career in MotoGP, I took four positions and in the first laps I was really quick. Eventually though I couldn't keep the same distance to second place so little by little they caught me. Especially under braking and on the straights they were faster than me so I couldn't do much more."
Pole-sitter Cal Crutchlow of Britain crashed on lap eight when in fourth position, and finished 17th after returning to the track.