This just in from DORNA:
Take a bow! Martin reigns the Red Bull Ring for magnificent maiden win
The wait is over for Pramac Racing as the rookie puts in a stunner for his first premier class win and the team’s first with Ducati
Sunday, 08 August 2021
Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new MotoGP™ winner in town! From injury to pole position to top step of the podium, comeback stories don’t get much better than Jorge Martin’s (Pramac Racing) first weekend back from the summer break. The Spaniard broke the lap record for pole on Saturday and then put in an imperious performance to outpace reigning Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on Sunday, taking his first premier class win and becoming the first Independent Team rider on a Ducati to win a MotoGP™ race. And for Pramac Racing, the wait is over as that victory with Ducati finally comes their way.
Mir took second and his best result of the season so far, with Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completing the rostrum to do some impressive damage control in the standings at a tougher venue for Yamaha.
The first race start of two saw Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) take the holeshot as Mir and Martin slotted in behind, but it wasn’t long before a huge moment of drama would interrupt proceedings. A couple of laps later, MotoGP™ Legend and wildcard Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) slid off out of Turn 3 – and his bike was then struck by Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini). Both riders were up and ok after the crash, but the bikes burst into flames and the Red Flag came out immediately – leaving a clean-up job to do.
Savadori headed for a check up and was found to have fractured his right malleolis, therefore out of the restart – but Pedrosa was able to get back out. After a considerable wait for the track to get cleaned and race ready, a new distance of 27 laps was set and the grid lined up again.
But again, more drama hit – this time for Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) as the number 12 couldn’t get away on the Warm Up lap and was forced into pitlane. That left a gap on the grid, and the lights then finally went out for the second time.
This time around, Martin took the holeshot but Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) struck at Turn 3, with Mir slotted into third and a gap back behind the trio already. Quartararo was on the chase, with another – after the same in the first start – moment between Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) slightly shuffling the pack just behind as El Diablo took the inside line and the room ran out.
At the front though, Miller led Martin led Mir, but Quartararo was homing in – and closest Championship challenger Zarco was the last man going with the front group. Bagnaia, meanwhile, had dropped behind both LCR Honda Castrol’s Alex Marquez and LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Takaaki Nakagami. Another rider of note was Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), as the South African started to ignite his Sunday charge, up into ninth and looking like little would stop further progress.
Up ahead, by the braking zone for Turn 3, Martin was into the lead and past Miller though, and Quartararo and Zarco switched and switched back. Mir then got past Miller to get on the chase for victory, and a gap started to open up behind the leading duo. By 21 to go, Quartararo moved past the Australian too, and Miller responded at Turn 4 before El Diablo elbowed his way back through. With that, the gap to the lead duo only grew…
Quartararo managed to hold on in third, but then more drama hit behind him to assure it. Martin and Mir had disappeared in the distance and Miller was starting to put the pressure on the number 20 in the fight for the podium, but disaster hit for the Australian with 10 laps to go. Suddenly sliding out at Turn 7, his rostrum hopes were over and the Yamaha ahead was released into some solid breathing space.
From there on out, the key question became: Martin or Mir? But as the laps ticked down, the answer became clearer. The number 89 was edging away, and then a mistake from Mir at Turn 3 just took the gap over a second… and that was that. If Martin could keep it clean, his first premier class win was there for the taking.
Keep it clean he did. Mir did too from there on out, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Pramac Racing rider in the lead just pounded on. Over the line, the comeback fairytale was complete and Martin took the flag with a second and a half in hand, making some incredible history with an emotional victory, from a pole position lap record no less. Mir was forced to settle for second but was right back in the hunt – and moved up to third in the standings – with Quartararo a distant but valuable third as Ducati territory didn’t play out that way for his closest challengers in the points.
Fourth place, meanwhile, looked set for much of the race. But Brad Binder had other ideas, and the South African absolutely smashed the final lap. Beginning it behind both Nakagami and Zarco, the KTM rider wanted more than sixth and that’s exactly what he got. Dispatching the Japanese rider AND the Frenchman in just one lap, the number 33 took fourth and the honour of top KTM on home turf. Sunday rider can also be a compliment!
Nakagami then snatched fifth and Zarco was forced to settle for sixth, losing out some ground to Quartararo. Alex Rins slotted into seventh, with Marc Marquez able to salvage eighth after some dramas for the number 93 on Sunday. Alex Marquez faded in the latter stages to ninth but still took a valuable top ten… as did Pedrosa, in the end. Bagnaia was given a time penalty for not taking a Long Lap – he exceeded track limits – and that puts the number 26 back into the top ten in Grand Prix racing. An impressive achievement for any rider, but especially more than two years after retirement.
Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) took P12 and managed to stay ahead of Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), who in turn held off Luca Marini (Sky VR46 Avintia). Iker Lecuona (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing), after a stronger start, completed the points in P15.
So that’s all she wrote for Styria… but not for the Red Bull Ring. The stunning venue welcomes MotoGP™ back for more next weekend for the Austrian Grand Prix, and there’ll be a new premier class winner lining up: Jorge Martin. Will the deck shuffle again or can he go back to back? We’ll start to see some answers on Friday!
1 Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing – Ducati – 38:07.879
2 Joan Mir – Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki – +1.548
3 Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha – +9.362
Brilliant Binder surges to 4th place at Styrian MotoGP™
MotoGP 2021 – Round 10 of 18, Red Bull Ring (STY) – Race
The Michelin Grand Prix of Styria was the scene for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder to again demonstrate his excellent race potential as the South African powered from 16th on the grid to seize 4th and equal his best classification of the season so far.
– Binder takes a top four result with two last lap passes at the first of two home Grands Prix in 2021
– Dani Pedrosa finishes in the top ten in impressive and dramatic wild-card outing
– A total of 75 KTM race bikes take to the Red Bull Ring across the categories and in the two supporting series
KTM RC16s were dispersed through the second half of the start grid with Miguel Oliveira leading the five-rider group in 12th position. The 28-lap MotoGP race had to be red-flagged after an incident which saw Dani Pedrosa’s fallen motorcycle hit by Lorenzo Savadori and the collision ruptured the fuel tank, causing a small fire and a delay to clean the track.
The restart saw Binder as the front-running KTM. The South African managed his tires and grip in a dry race and without any of the rainfall that had affected morning warm-up. Binder pushed and pushed and found himself up to 6th on the last lap. He attacked Johann Zarco and Taka Nakagami in two thrilling and well-judged overtaking moves to capture 4th with one corner remaining. The result equals his 4th from the German Grand Prix and represents his fourth top five ranking of the season.
Wild-card rider Dani Pedrosa set an impressive pace through practice and qualification for his first competitive outing with KTM and more than two years since he last took to a MotoGP grid. The Spaniard was able to restart and kept in contention for the top ten, eventually passing the flag as the second-best RC16s rider on the day.
Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci were running close together after the Spaniard was forced to take a Long Lap penalty. Petrucci’s lunge to claim a better position caused him to lose time back to 19th but Lecuona was able to bring the bike home in 15th for the final point on the leaderboard.
Oliveira was nursing a micro-fracture in his right wrist as a result of a slow-speed crash during Friday’s first Free Practice but had undergone some effective treatment to be able to enter the race. The Portuguese was circulating on the edge of the top ten and championship points when he was forced into the pits with a front tire technical issue with 12 laps remaining.
Oliveira holds 7th place in the world championship standings while Binder is 8th.
The Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich will constitute round eleven of the championship and will give KTM a second attempt at their home venue next weekend.
Brad Binder: “Today was a bit of chaos for the first race back! I almost crashed on the Sighting Lap of the first race actually. I don’t know why but it felt like the front tire had no temperature and for the first flying lap it was like it was wet. We need to look and see what happened. I went down to 25th at one point because I almost ran off the track. I passed four-five guys in the next laps until the red flag. The restart was much better and I had more confidence even if we really need a harder front tire. It is way-too weak for us. I was riding on the tire limit the whole race but managed to make a couple of moves to take 4th, which I was really happy with.”
Dani Pedrosa: “I think it is a good result and we are happy with the outcome and from what we have learned this weekend. I was riding well in the first race and I don’t know why but in the slow Turn 3 I lost the front. It was so slow that I stayed in the middle of the track and Savadori hit the bike. We created quite a big mess there. I hope he is OK. It was a bit tricky then because our second bike was set up for the wet but we could make the changes and for the restart I thought ‘OK, let’s try to finish the race’. I was more calm, more cautious and I didn’t push too much at the beginning which meant I lost a lot of ground. Once I had the feeling of the track and the bike I could push more and gained some positions as riders around me made mistakes. I was closing up to the group and it was interesting to feel how the tires were working; it is different to testing but also what I felt in practice during the weekend. The top ten is good. Thank you to KTM and all my mechanics. They did a great job because we had a few moments when they had to work really hard. Thanks also to the fans, I hope they enjoyed the race.”
Iker Lecuona: “It was a difficult day. In the wet conditions this morning, I felt very strong. I expected the race to be wet but finally it was dry. After 10 laps, I didn’t feel any grip anymore and had a lot of spinning. I struggled a lot and on top of that I got a long lap penalty. I didn’t understand why. With one point, I’m not very happy, as I knew we could have been finishing a lot closer to the front with the potential we have. But it’s just the first weekend and in a few days we have the opportunity to recover, so it’s time to restart.”
Danilo Petrucci: “We knew it would be a difficult race for me in terms of acceleration and in fact, I struggled a lot to stay in the group. I managed to stay quite close to the others but at the end I tried to pass Iker, went wide and lost many positions. I’m very sorry for this mistake! All the race I fought to recover the time lost on the straight. We will try again next week.”
Miguel Oliveira: “I’m disappointed not to finish the race. I felt that the ‘second’ race was going a bit better for me, I could find better lines and make some positions. Behind Brad I was managing the tires and keeping cool but then I started to have a lot of vibration and had to retire because of a tire problem. It’s disappointing because you feel like all the effort has been for nothing. It wouldn’t have been our best result this weekend, but we could have taken a nice top ten from all that we have been through here. The wrist is getting better day-by-day and all the things we are doing to take care of it are working. Hopefully through the week we can arrive to the best shape possible for the second race here in Spielberg.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “We are very happy on one side of the garage because Brad rode really well to get to 4th place, especially in the second half of the race. On the other side we’re really disappointed for Miguel and for what happened to his front tire. We had five bikes on the grid and four finished, including Dani in 10th which was pretty incredible. Iker scored a point and it was very difficult to manage the situation with the red flag and the front tires. We’re happy with the results we made and also that there were no repercussions for anybody in the incident at Turn 3. We’ll now look ahead to perhaps an even better weekend to come. We are working well and working hard. It was great to see the KTM fans and the staff here. This racing project is the result of many people giving a lot of effort at the circuits and in the factory so we’re happy they can see the show and the results on track.”
Michelin Grand Prix of Styria photos can be downloaded HERE
Results MotoGP Michelin Grand Prix of Styria 2021
1. Jorge Martin (ESP), Ducati 38:07.879
2. Joan Mir (ESP), Suzuki +1.548
3. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +9.632
4. Brad Binder (RSA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +12.771
5. Taka Nakagami (JPN) Honda +12.923
10. Dani Pedrosa (ESP), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +19.389
15. Iker Lecuona (ESP), Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +31.076
18. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +48.114
DNF. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Unfortunate race for the Ducati Lenovo Team in Austria. Bagnaia finishes eleventh at the Styrian GP, while Miller is forced to retire after a crash
Jorge Martín takes his maiden MotoGP victory with the Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team.
The Grand Prix of Styria, held this afternoon at the Austrian Red Bull Ring circuit near Zeltweg, had not been positive for the Ducati Lenovo Team. Bagnaia, who was starting second from the front row, had managed to take the lead almost immediately, but after a few laps, the race was interrupted due to an accident. Once the track conditions were restored, riders lined up in their original qualifying positions for a new 27-lap race. However, at the restart, Pecco was unable to find the same feeling with his Desmosedici GP. As he dropped back of the field, the Italian rider crossed the line ninth. Still, it was later relegated to eleventh place after suffering a three-second penalty for exceeding the track limits.
It was an unlucky race also for Jack Miller, who, at the restart, had managed to take the lead after just a few corners. As he was overtaken shortly afterwards by Martín, Mir and then Quartararo, the Australian rider was forced to push to catch up with the Frenchman again. Unfortunately, ten laps from the end, when he seemed to have closed the gap, Miller had a crash and was forced to retire.
However, the highest step of the podium at the Styrian GP was taken by a Ducati machine: Jorge Martín, rider of the factory-supported team Pramac Racing and yesterday’s poleman, took his first MotoGP victory in his debut year in the category.
After today’s race, Bagnaia occupies the fourth position in the overall standings, 58 points behind the leader, while Miller is fifth with 100 points. Ducati and the Ducati Lenovo Team remain in second place in the manufacturers’ championship and teams’ standings.
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 11th
“I’m really disappointed with how the race went today. The first start was perfect, even though I didn’t feel completely comfortable with the front tyre. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same feeling with the rear of the bike at the restart, which prevented me from riding the same way as before. Moreover, I received a three-second penalty for not taking the long lap penalty, but I was never told in the race to do so. It’s a shame because today we really had a great chance to fight for the win. We’ll try again next week”.
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – Retired
“I had the podium within my reach today, and I lost it because of a crash. Unlike the first race, where I couldn’t get a good start, I felt much more comfortable in the second race. After Quartararo passed me, I had to push, and once I set my pace, I could catch up. Unfortunately, when I had closed in the gap from him, I lost the front suddenly. I am disappointed with myself and sorry for my team. Now we’ll try to move forward and come back stronger next week”.
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track in less than seven days, again at the Red Bull Ring, for the Austrian GP, scheduled for 13th-15th August.
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ STOPS AFTER THE SECOND START ON THE RED BULL RING IN THE STYRIA GP
A FRACTURE FOR LORENZO SAVADORI, WORKING TOWARD RETURNING IN TIME FOR SILVERSTONE
The Styrian GP saw Lorenzo Savadori involved in a spectacular crash. During the third lap, Lorenzo struck a bike stopped on the track due to a crash seconds earlier by Dani Pedrosa with no physical consequences for the rider. A fire broke out after impact, engulfing both bikes and forcing Race Direction to red-flag the race.
Lorenzo came through with a fractured malleolus and he will undergo surgery tomorrow with the goal of coming back in time for the Silverstone race at the end of the month.
At the second start, after starting rather well thanks to his good qualifiers that placed him on the third row, Aleix was the victim of contact with Marc Marquez that cost him several positions. It was a situation almost identical to what occurred at the first start. Aleix recovered and was lapping with quite good times, but his comeback stopped when his bike did, with the latter currently under analysis.
“Unfortunately, in both races, I started extremely well, but I was pushed wide twice and lost positions. In any case, I was recovering and I had the pace to finish in the top six, but the bike had a problem. It’s a pity because we lost important points, but also because of Lorenzo’s accident, once again on this track. I hope he will be able to recover quickly and be back on the track. Now we’ll just be thinking about next week’s race.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo put in a strong performance at the Spielberg Circuit and pushed to the limit to equal his best previous result in Austria. The stellar third place tastes even sweeter as he extends his championship lead to 40 points. On the other hand, it was a disappointing Sunday for Maverick Viñales, especially after his brilliant start to the initial race before the red flag situation. Having to commence the re-start from pit lane ended any chances he had to finish at the top.
Quartararo and especially Viñales had a good start to the race from third and ninth on the grid respectively. They were in third and fifth place, part of a busy seven-rider front group, and looking on the pace when the red flags came out on lap 3.
The race was halted due to safety conditions following an incident at Turn 3 involving Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori. A lengthy track clean-up operation followed. At 14:38 local track time there was a quick re-start procedure, with pit-lane exit being open for only 60 seconds and the riders resuming their original starting position for a 27-lap race.
Another good start by Quartararo saw him finish the first lap in fourth place. He put it all on the line to defend his position from Johann Zarco and did so successfully. Six laps into the race the Frenchman put in two attacks on Jack Miller to snatch third.
With a 1.479s gap ahead of him, El Diablo put his head down, but he wasn‘t able to close in on the front runners. The Yamaha man then got under pressure from Jack Miller but with 10 laps to go the Australian crashed out whilst trying to stick to the number-20 M1. The remainder of the race was a lonely ride for Quartararo, but he was delighted to finish it in third place, 9.632s from first.
The dream start Viñales had in Race 1 was not to be in Race 2. His bike stalled between the sighting and the warm-up lap and as a result he had to start from pit lane. On lap 8 the Spaniard caught up with Cal Crutchlow to take over 20th place. Three laps later, he picked off Luca Marini. Top Gun was in the flow, but then received a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits. He swiftly executed the punishment but fell back to last place again.
Viñales opted to keep going and collect extra dry track data. With 11 laps to go, he again passed Crutchlow for 19th place and Miller’s crash gained him another position. But with four laps left, he lost a place again to Crutchlow. He pulled into the pits at the end of the last lap to finish through pit lane in 19th place.
Today‘s results see Quartararo increase his lead in the championship standings to a 40-point advantage and a 172 points total. Viñales remains in sixth, with a 95 points total. Yamaha is still in first place in the constructor championship with 200 points, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is also in first place in the team standings with 267 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in Spielberg next weekend for the Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.
First of all, we are relieved that no riders were injured during the incident involving Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori. Fabio did well not to let the red flag interruption faze him. He ’ended‘ Race 1 in third position, replicated his good start from earlier at the restart, and once again took hold of third place. On the other hand, the re-start kicked off a very unfortunate turn of events for Maverick. He had such a good start from ninth in Race 1 and was in the mix at the front when the race was halted. To have the bike stall at the re-start and having to start from pit lane was a very bitter pill for him to swallow. So, today‘s results are met with some mixed feelings from our team. But the most important thing we take away from this is that both our riders can challenge for the podium here in the dry. Spielberg is not traditionally a ’Yamaha circuit‘, so this shows the improvement we‘ve made, and we are eager for the rematch at this track next weekend.
It feels so good, because when there is a red flag it‘s tough, even if it‘s not a big crash. I made an impressive overtake in Race 1, Turn 6. I was a little bit on the limit and to repeat this was so difficult. I knew that Jack Miller was so fast. I was extremely good on braking in Turn 3. I knew that that was a good point to overtake if I was given that possibility. The goal was to finish on the podium, and we did it! I am so happy for Jorge Martin, and as a bonus he took some points from Joan Mir. Let‘s see what happens next week, but this leaves a good taste.
We changed the clutch. I made a normal start on the grid for the warm-up lap, but the bike stopped. I’m happy that in the first race I was able to start well. I was fighting at the front, but in the second race the feeling was not the same. We changed the tyres, and I don’t know why but the bike was spinning so much, even on the main straight. I tried to go up the order, but then I had problems with the bike, and I stopped.
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Valentino Rossi took 13th after a red flag interrupted StyrianGP, whilst Cal Crutchlow came home 17th in his first race for the team – deputising for Franco Morbidelli.
Rossi had a poor first start but held his 17th position off the line when racing resumed following the red flag period, caused by a Turn 3 incident. After losing then regaining two positions, Valentino continued to make progress to move into 14th on lap 19 then took a further position to end the StyrianGP 13th. He now has 20 championship points and sits 19th in the riders’ standings.
Crutchlow experienced issues with his start both times that the lights went out, however in his first race since the end of last season, the Brit was able to improve his pace throughout the first half of the race and continue to set personal best sector times throughout the 27 laps. At the end of his debut race for the Malaysian squad, Cal had moved himself into 17th position.
There will be no rest for Rossi and Crutchlow, with the Grand Prix von Österreich getting underway in only a few days’ time (13-15 August).
The MotoGP race weekend began with the announcement of Valentino Rossi’s retirement so we consider it to be a great honour to have him in our team in what will be his final year. We wish him all the best and we will support him all we can for these final races. We just want him to have fun and to celebrate his career in this second half of the season. He had a decent opening few laps and he had good pace, finishing 13th which was positive today. We didn’t set any specific race targets for Cal and he did a good job to finish 17th, especially having had time away from riding.
The Moto2 race this weekend was positive for us, with Xavi finishing in the top-ten and Jake making a massive step up from his previous races. To finish 11th was very positive and we look forward to seeing what he can do here next weekend.
We took a gamble in Moto3 by putting Darryn and John on slick tyres, with the expectation that the track would dry out quicker than it did. This approach worked well for Darryn, who did a superb job in finishing sixth, but John wasn’t able to make the same progress and finished 13th. To score points with all our Moto2 and Moto3 riders today was great and we hope to continue in the same way for the rest of the year.”
It hasn’t been a bad day today because we managed to score some points after starting from 17th. In both starts I lost positions at the beginning. I felt good after the first start; I might have been behind the other riders but I had a good rhythm. Then after the second start we suffered with the rear grip a little bit more than in the first. In the end the race wasn’t too bad, I didn’t make any mistakes, my pace was good and we finished in the Top15. I was able to fight with those around me for position and I think we had a similar pace to what we had yesterday. For sure I want to do better, but today was not bad. We have some things to work on to try to be stronger next week.
It was good to be back racing again. Physically I felt quite good and I’m happy to finish the race. I had an issue at the first start, which then affected my opening laps and I lost an important gap. Then on the re-start, we fixed the previous issue and I got into a good rhythm, so I’m happy with my race. I had a problem with the rear traction but it was good to complete the race distance. I’ve been able to gather some data for us to look through and the rear grip issue is something for us to try to understand. It was enjoyable to be back out there and I’m looking forward to doing it again next week.
Repsol Honda Team endure difficult Styrian Grand Prix
A strong morning in the wet left the Repsol Honda Team hopeful of putting together a solid Sunday in Austria, but eighth and 16th place finishes left them wanting more.
Wet morning Warm Up saw Marc Marquez and his Repsol Honda Team RC213V shine as the #93 topped the session. A 1’31.403 put him 0.048s clear of Miller and over a quarter of a second ahead of the rest of the field, but as the grid formed up for the race, the weather was still undecided as clouds loomed. Declared a dry race, Marquez seized the moment off the line to fight forward and join the leading group. But an incident at Turn 3 after just a few laps brought out the red flag and the race was stopped.
Marquez’s restart again saw him gain ground off the line, but he would drop back after contact into Turn 1. Falling as low as 14th in the opening laps, the eight-time World Champion rallied to recover throughout the race. Picking his way through and avoiding mistakes, Marquez eventually took eighth at the flag. A lack of traction and feeling with the new set of tyres for the restart left Marquez a second slower per lap than in practice.
Fast out of the blocks in Warm Up, Pol Espargaro was feeling confident in the wet as race day began. With the rain not returning for the race, Espargaro did his best to maximise on his potential but Espargaro’s race was made yet more difficult by a Long Lap Penalty with eight laps to go, dropping him outside the points. Crossing the line in 16th, Espargaro was left disappointed with his return from the summer break as he continues to search for rear grip.
Takaaki Nakagami put together an impressive race, battling tooth and claw until the finish. In fifth place, he ended the day as the top Honda finisher.
There are only a few days to rest before the action resumes at the Red Bull Ring next weekend for round 11 of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. Determined to improve, the Repsol Honda Team are straight back to work analysing the weekend’s data with the aim of doing better in a week’s time.
“I am happy with the weekend; our pace was good and I was riding well. But I am not happy with the race. In the first race I was feeling really good and I thought ‘this is my race’. In the second race we changed tyres and already on the out lap I could feel something strange. There was a lot of spinning and I couldn’t find any grip. I tried to cool the tyre a bit and then push again but I was one second slower than during practice. All we could do was finish the race and try to show our true performance next weekend. In the first race I was optimistic when I passed Aleix and touching was more my mistake, in the second race I had a better start and was inside and in front but then he released the brakes and turned in so I had no space and made contact, losing time. This is racing, it happens.”
“Obviously it has been tough and honestly speaking a little embarrassing being this close to last. I think everything started in Qualifying because we were not that strong and also we tried the medium rear and ran out of rear tyres when the red flag made us restart. We went out with a rear with four laps already on it and I think with it going from cold to hot, to cold to hot with the warmers and the track condition I think we destroyed the tyre already before the race. There was a lot of spinning on the straight and in fourth gear I wasn’t accelerating. I wasn’t stopping. I don’t think there were any positives, it was just surviving. In the first start I think we could have done something more interesting.”
TAKA FINISHES AS TOP HONDA AT THE RED BULL RING
8 August 2021 | Styrian GP Race
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami claimed an impressive fifth-placed finish at an incident-packed Grand Prix of Styria. Sunday’s MotoGP race at the Red Bull Ring had to be restarted following a dramatic early incident between Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Salvadori, but Nakagami showed his pace and battling qualities to end up narrowly outside the podium places.
Departing from tenth on the grid, Taka made a solid start only for the race to be restarted after three laps with the original grid line-up reinstated. Second time around the Japanese star made quick progress and, after getting the better of LCR team-mate Álex Márquez, battled towards the front of field throughout and was just edged out for fourth by KTM’s Brad Binder.
Takaaki Nakagami – 5th
“I’m really happy with P5, it’s a great result and up to the last corner of the race we were fighting for P4. We had good pace and it was good battle throughout the race and to start from P10 and finish in P5 is quite good. I’m happy about my feeling on the bike and we were able to improve the bike from yesterday. We finished as the top Honda which is the most important thing and I’m really looking forward to the next race here in Austria and we can definitely fight for the top places”.
Tech 3 KTM
Lecuona saves one point in Austria – Petrucci crosses the line in 18th
In an eventful Styrian Grand Prix, which was red flagged and restarted with 27 laps today, Tech3 KTM Factory Racing eventually scored one point with Iker Lecuona. The Spanish youngster started from P18 on the grid and made up several positions on the first lap already and managed to climb all the way up to P12 just after half time of the race. Unfortunately, he got a long lap penalty with three laps to go, which saw him going back to P16, but he fought hard for the final point on the last lap to end up 15th on the line.
On the other hand, Danilo Petrucci likewise made up four places by the end of lap one and was fighting to make his way towards the points scoring positions. Although he did very consistent lap times, the Italian couldn’t stick with the group ahead of him and ended the first race after the summer break eventually in P18 following a slight mistake on the final lap, which saw him dropping back.
“It was a difficult day. IN the wet conditions this morning, I felt very strong. I expected the race to be wet, but finally it was dry. After 10 laps, I didn’t feel any grip anymore and had a lot of spinning. I struggled a lot during the race and on top of that I got this long lap penalty. I didn’t understand why. With one point, I’m not very happy, as I knew we could have been finishing a lot closer to the front with the potential we have. But it’s just the first weekend and in a few days we have the opportunity to recover, so it’s time to restart.”
“We knew it would be a difficult race for me in terms of acceleration and in fact, I struggled a lot to stay in the group. I managed to stay quite close to the others, but at the end, I tried to pass Iker, went wide and lost pretty many positions. I’m very sorry for this mistake! All the race I fought with the bike, trying to recover the time lost on the straight. We will try again next week.”
“We were quite disappointed when we saw the red flag, because Iker got a really great start in race one, but he did the same again in race two. I think Iker is good to start and to push hard during the first lap. I believe he did a good race, steady, always in the points. He went up to P11 even, took his space and we were quite safe in P12 until he unfortunately got the long lap penalty, which ruined our race. I think this is a tough track for that and we saw that we were not the only ones. But eventually he dropped to 16th and passed Danilo on the last lap. So we got a point. It’s a small reward, but I think Iker did a strong weekend, both, in dry and wet conditions and I’d like to thank him for that. It’s still a bit of a bitter feeling to have lost that P12, that was ours three laps to go.”
“On the other side of the garage, I think Danilo was never in a position to score points until the last laps when Iker got his long lap penalty. He was not far in terms of lap times, he has been fighting with Rossi, Marini and Bastianini at some stage of the race. He ended up the race with interesting feedback. There’s not much more to say than thanks guys, to have pushed the whole weekend. Let’s try to maximize on the data and the knowledge we have now on that track in order to be better next weekend.”
MEASURED 2ND PLACE FOR MIR IN DRAMA-FILLED STYRIAN GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – August 8.
MICHELIN® GRAND PRIX OF STYRIA
MotoGP Race Classification 2021:
Joan Mir: 2nd
Alex Rins: 7th
Team Suzuki Ecstar were raring to go as the 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship got underway again following the five-week summer break. The Styrian Grand Prix was held under cloudy skies, with the threat of raining lurking around the Austrian track, although this failed to dampen the spirits of the sizeable crowd.
Joan Mir and Alex Rins gave Suzuki’s new ride height adjuster its debut in the 28 lap race, and both got off to great starts on their GSX-RRs. Mir initially slotted into second place before going wide on the second lap and falling to fifth, he quickly regained his composure and got back into fourth with a determined move. Meanwhile Rins was into eighth and looking keen to make moves before a horror crash involving Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori brought out the red flag. The field returned to the pits while a huge clean-up operation got underway on track.
The race was restarted after a long delay but Suzuki’s riders remained focused, and they once again started well; Mir taking third and Rins eighth on the first lap. Once Mir had moved into second he proved his pace and began to hunt victory with several fastest laps of the race. Rins dropped back a few places after his strong start, but he didn’t give up and continued to fight to bring home the best position possible. He battled through brake issues and took seventh at the finish line.
Back at the front, Mir found himself over a second behind race leader, Jorge Martin, after running wide at Turn 3. He sensibly decided to settle into a consistent rhythm to secure a podium instead of risking a crash, he managed this well and took a great second place.
The solid finishes of both riders brings them up one place each in the standings – Mir now third and Rins 13th. The squad also moves up to fourth in the Teams’ Championship.
“It was a tough race, it wasn’t easy trying to follow Jorge and towards the end of the race I made a mistake when trying to catch him and I went wide. Jorge was impressive today and very consistent with his lap times, so I want to congratulate him. In the end I’m satisfied and I feel very proud of the team and the factory who have made a great job over the summer. I’m happy to know that the new device is working, we have more acceleration and it puts us on a more level playing field – this gives me hope for the next races. Starting the second part of the season with a podium is a nice feeling and I feel confident for next weekend.”
“Today was a mixture of good and bad for me, I struggled a lot with the front brake and I didn’t feel comfortable on the hard braking zones. Lap by lap I tried to adapt to this and manage it, and I was able to gain some places. In the end I finished seventh, but for sure the bike was capable of finishing closer to the front so we need to adjust it and resolve the issue for next weekend. I’m pleased that we can race again in just a few days at this same track because it gives me another chance to improve and bring a better result. The ride height device felt good, it gave me a step forward in acceleration and I’m happy to keep working with it from Friday.”
Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader and Team Director:
“This weekend in Styria has been special for us as a team because we have been waiting a long time to try our new ride height device and finally we could use it for the first time in a race. Despite being a new system, it’s already working quite well and it seemed to help our riders with acceleration today, this also helped Joan to reach the podium. I cannot thank the engineers in Japan enough, they have done such an amazing job. I’d also like to congratulate Joan, who was very close to a win today. Alex had very consistent lap times today and I believe that next week he can finish even higher. Overall, we’re feeling very satisfied.”
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Today was a good day and Joan did a very good job. We missed a little something to get the win, but second place and the podium is still a really nice result. I have to thank the engineers who managed to prepare the new device in such a short time and to such a high standard. Alex had more potential than seventh place today, so it’s a bit of a pity for him, but we’re happy to have both riders collecting useful points and we hope next week at this track we can get even more.”
MICHELIN® GRAND PRIX OF STYRIA
MotoGP Race Classification 2021:
1. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 38:07.879
2. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +01.548
3. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +09.632
4. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +12.771
5. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +12.923
6. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing +13.031
7. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +14.839
8. M. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team +17.953
9. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL +19.059
10. D. PEDROSA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +19.389
11. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team +18.667
12. E. BASTIANINI – Avintia Esponsorama +25.267
13. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT +26.282
14. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Avintia +27.492
15. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +31.076
16. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team +31.150
17. C. CRUTCHLOW – Petronas Yamaha SRT +40.408
18. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +48.114
M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 39:11.028 – 27 laps
J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 26:09.851 – 18 laps
M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 20:21.024 – 14 laps
A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 05:48.654 – 5 laps
MotoGP™ World Standings:
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 172
2 Johann ZARCO Ducati 132
3 Joan MIR Suzuki 121
4 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 114
5 Jack MILLER Ducati 100
6 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 95
7 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 85
8 Brad BINDER KTM 73
9 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 61
10 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 58
11 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 52
12 Jorge MARTIN Ducati 48
13 Alex RINS Suzuki 42
14 Pol ESPARGARO Honda 41
15 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 40
16 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 34
17 Enea BASTIANINI Ducati 31
18 Danilo PETRUCCI KTM 26
19 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 20
20 Luca MARINI Ducati 16
21 Iker LECUONA KTM 14
22 Stefan BRADL Honda 11
23 Dani PEDROSA KTM 6
24 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia 4
25 Michele PIRRO Ducati 3
26 Tito RABAT Ducati 1
27 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha
28 Garrett GERLOFF Yamaha