Dovizioso does a 3-peat at Red Bull Ring

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

Riders standings

           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