It’s the fourth race of the shortened season, the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg took center stage for the MotoGP contenders, last Sunday. Ducati factory squad’s season finally kickstarted right with Andrea Dovizioso taking the win. Suzuki rider Joan Mir was at the runner-up spot while Jack Miller secured third for the factory Ducati Satellite squad. Brno GP winner Brad Binder was fourth best for factory KTM squad.
In a multiple red-flagged raee, Dovizioso captured his third consecutive victory at the Red Bull Ring. since the return of this race on the calendar in 2016. The race was delayed after the start due to an accident, but would resume with the Ducati man in pole position. He battled Miller for a few laps and successfully dispatched the Pramac rider for the lead. Mir in the Suzuki made some progress as he moved up to fourth by the time the red flag came out. Both Suzukis of Mir and team mate Alex Rins made good progress at the restart, with Rins third and Mir fourth. Rins would go up to second at mid-distance of the race, but he crashed out without injuring himself. With Rins out, Miller took runner-up spot with Mir right behind. At this point, Dovizioso had a comfortable lead at the head of the order. On the last lap, there was a dogfight between Miller and Mir, which saw Mir take second from Miller in the last corner before the start-finish.
Dovizioso finished tops and brought himself back in contention in the Riders standings. He is second in the overall standings, only 11 points behind Fabio Quartararo.
The Austrian GP didn’t favor the Yamahas all too well, with only Rossi able to score a fifth spot, as the highest ranked Yamaha rider. After the Johann Zarco – Franco Morbidelli crash, the race had to be restarted. Rossi and Vinales were both lucky to escape the Zerco-Morbidelli crash. Rossi would bounce back strong and made a good start from seventh place and put his head down. He was fighting with Binder but couldn’t quite make a move on him. With multiple riders crashing out, the Yamaha rider found himself in fifth place. He kept applying pressure on Binder until the very end but finished fifth, 5.837s from first.
Vinales would fall to last place after the restart, due to a technical issue. The Spaniard stuck with it. He rode a strong comeback race once he got back into the groove and made up a total of ten positions. Spurred on by the progress he was making, he began to quicken his pace and set his best time in the second-to-last lap to finally cross the finish line in tenth place.
The Yamaha SRT squad had no luck this time around as Quartararo managed to finish eighth behind Takashi Nakagami and Danilo Petrucci. Quartararo battled hard through the race with a brake issue and had to comeback from dead last. He made a positive comeback by picking off riders one by one. He would eventually cross the line in eighth, ahead of the second KTM Tech 3 rider of Iker Lecouna.
The next race remains at the Red Bull Ring for round six and the third of three races in a row, 21 – 23 August.
Race of Spielberg results
1 DOVIZIOSO Andrea Ducati 28’20.853
2 MIR Joan Suzuki +1.377
3 MILLER Jack Pramac Racing 1.549
4 BINDER Brad KTM 5.536
5 ROSSI Valentino Yamaha MotoGP 5.837
6 NAKAGAMI Takaaki LCR Honda 6.403
7 PETRUCCI Danilo Ducati 12.498
8 QUARTARARO Fabio Yamaha SRT 12.534
9 LECOUNA Iker KTM Tech 3 14.117
10 VINALES Maverick Yamaha MotoGP 15.276
QUARTARARO Fabio 67
2 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 56
3 VINALES Maverick 48
4 BINDER Brad 41
5 ROSSI Valentino 38
6 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 37
7 MILLER Jack 36
8 MIR Joan 31
9 MORBIDELLI Franco 31
10 ZARCO Johann 28