Grand Prix of Styria – Race Classification:
1. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 16’56.025
2. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing Ducati +0.316
3. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.540
4. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.641
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati +1.414
6. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +1.450
7. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +1.864
8. Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +4.150
9. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +4.517
10. Iker LECUONA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +5.068
11. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team Ducati +5.918
12. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +6.411
13. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +7.406
14. Johann ZARCO Esponsorama Racing Ducati +7.454
15. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +10.191
16. Alex MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda +10.524
17. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +11.447
18. Stefan BRADL Repsol Honda Team Honda +11.943
19. Bradley SMITH Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +12.732
20. Michele PIRRO Pramac Racing Ducati +14.349
21. Tito RABAT Esponsorama Racing Ducati +14.548
MotoGP World Standings:
1. Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha FRA 70
2.Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 67
3. Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 56
4. Brad BINDER KTM RSA 49
5. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 48
6. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 46
7. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 45
8. Joan MIR Suzuki SPA 44
9. Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 43
10. Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 35
11. Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha ITA 32
12. Johann ZARCO Ducati FRA 30
13. Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 29
14. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 25
15. Alex MARQUEZ Honda SPA 15
16. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 15
17. Iker LECUONA KTM SPA 13
18. Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati ITA 9
19. Bradley SMITH Aprilia GBR 8
20. Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 7
21. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 7
22. Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 4
23. Stefan BRADL Honda GER
Oliveira stuns Styria to win the 900th premier class race in style
A thriller to the last, the final corner sees the Portuguese rider make history – and win for KTM on home turf
Sunday, 23 August 2020
The BMW M Grand Prix of Styria was already a guaranteed history maker as it hosted the 900th premier class race, but what a race it was. Another Red Flag and shortened sprint to the line gave us a dash of early drama, but more milestones were achieved once again in 2020 as Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira took his first ever premier class victory in serious style. It’s the first premier class win for the Tech 3 squad, the first for Portugal, and the first KTM win on home turf for the factory and for Red Bull. It all went down to the final corner too as the Portuguese rider sliced past the duelling Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and kept it inch perfect to beat both to the line.
On the first start, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) took the holeshot from the front row – kind of – but the Suzuki headed wide and was then told to give the place back up. Espargaro was second before a scrappy few corners that saw the Spaniard demoted, before Miller took over at the front from Mir – position change complied with, voluntarily or not – and the number 36 slotted back in ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). The two would duel as Miller tried to bolt, but it was Mir who would manage that as he made his way back into the lead and then set the fastest lap.
Miller and Nakagami just about stayed with him though, as Pol Espargaro and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) dueled it out for fourth in a little clear air. Behind them, Dovizioso had his hands full with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), too. Soon enough though, Dovi pulled away – and a KTM armada of Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Oliveira and his teammate Lecuona all slammed past the Yamaha in quick succession, leaving Viñales tenth.
The Spaniard appeared to have an issue and put his arm up once, but then disaster would strike not long after he’d managed to tuck back in and carry on. At Turn 1, the number 12 was forced to do a high speed bail out and he jumped off his machine just in time, the stricken Yamaha then hurtling towards the air fence and catching fire. That caused the Red Flag to come out to do repairs, but Viñales was immediately on his feet – rider ok and seemingly pretty mad about the incident.
Mir, Miller and Nakagami’s advantage was gone in a sudden puff of drama, and we were heading back to the grid for the quick restart procedure not long after. How would the start shuffle the pack second time around?
Mir got the perfect start from pole, with Miller getting bogged down from third. Pol Espargaro powered away from the line well but ran slightly wide into Turn 1, allowing Miller to regain ground on the run into Turn 2 and 3. Miller, sporting fresh soft Michelin front and rears, was then leading. The GP20’s speed powered the Aussie through. Mir fought back on the exit but the Ducati rider held the inside line for Turn 6, with Nakagami one rider getting a bit beaten up at the start as the Japanese rider dropped to seventh.
Just like they were in the first part of the race though, KTM’s Oliveira and Binder were scrapping away in the fight for P4, with Dovizioso also up with the leading group. Miller then slammed in a 1:23.928 as the pace in the restarted contest heated up, with Mir second but the Spaniard on the same front tyre he’d used to pull clear of the field before the red flags – was it costing him?
With eight laps to go, Pol Espargaro set the fastest lap of the race. The KTM rider then made his move on Mir at Turn 3, before the number 44 was then clambering all over the back of Miller. Pol then attempted a pass up into Turn 1 but he was in deep and wide, allowing Miller to blast straight past and Oliveira and Mir to close in, the Portuguese rider now up into third.
The leading quartet was gapping Dovizioso and Nakagami, and then Dovi was wide at Turn 1 and then again at Turn 9 with six laps to go. It worked for a while as it was a lead group of seven, although Binder then lost touch as the South African ran wide at Turn 1 a lap later.
Pol Espargaro then took the lead from Miller at Turn 9 but he wasn’t able to pull the pin. Next, Mir was wide at Turn 4, allowing Dovizioso to grab fourth as Miller and Oliveira tagged onto the back of Pol’s RC16. The top five were close, but Mir and Dovizioso were dropping off slightly and ultimately couldn’t get in the fight in the final lap.
Heading onto that last lap, it all came down to two KTMs vs a Ducati: Pol Espargaro vs Miller vs Oliveira. Two riders chasing their first win, one chasing their first dry race win. It was Pol Espargaro who begun the lap in the lead and got a good run out of the first corner, but coming into the braking zone, the KTM went very defensive – maybe too defensive. That compromised his exit and Miller was all over him before managing to get alongside the number 44 and make the move stick into the tricky, downhill right-hander.
Miller held firm through the left-handers, but coming up was where the KTM rider was strongest. Pol Espargaro got the run up the hill and managed to slice back up the inside of Miller, meaning everything was going down – once again – to the final corner in Styria.
Getting a better run down into Turn 10, Miller braked late and the Aussie, of course, went for it. And he technically got it done as he got past the KTM – but both headed so wide, the door was wide open behind them. Enter wily Oliveira, who had been calmly stalking the pair, as the Portuguese rider blasted past the two errant machines and straight to the line for his first historic victory, in a historic race.
Miller held onto second to pick up his second Red Bull Ring rostrum of 2020, with Pol Espargaro forced to settle for P3, although it’s his first dry podium in MotoGP™ after an impressive ride at the front.
Mir came fourth and was a key victim of the restart, but it’s another impressive performance and haul of points for the Spanish sophomore. Dovizioso couldn’t make it two-from-two as the Italian crossed the line 5th, 1.4 from the victory, but the Italian closes the gap to Quartararo as they’re now three points apart. Another unfortunate victim from the red flag was Nakagami, who has to settle for P7 in Styria after looking odds on to picking up a maiden podium. Binder’s late Turn 1 run-off cost him a chance of a top six finish, the Czech GP winner crossing the line in P8, although four tenths clear of leading Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP).
It was a difficult day for the Iwata factory with Viñales’ crash seeing the Spaniard take zero points from Styria. Quartararo’s P13 finish ultimately keeps him top of the standings, but the Yamaha riders will be happy to see the back of the Red Bull Ring and head for happier hunting grounds at Misano.
10th place went the way of rookie Iker Lecuona, who caps off a fantastic day for Red Bull KTM Tech 3 with his second top 10 on the bounce Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) finished just ahead of Quartararo, with Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) – who started from pitlane in the first race and recently broke his scaphoid – and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) completing the points.
It really was another Spielberg stunner, and a truly history-making day. Who would have predicted that? Three points between Quartararo and Dovizioso really spices things up heading to one of the Italian’s home tracks at Misano, and Miller isn’t far off either. From there down to ninth overall, there’s almost nothing in it in one of the most astonishing seasons we’ve seen.
A hard-earned two-week break now sees the paddock catch our breath before Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli awaits. Predict what will happen there at your own peril… but most definitely tune in!
1 Miguel Oliveira* – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – KTM – 16:56.025
2 Jack Miller* – Pramac Racing – Ducati – +0.316
3 Pol Espargaro – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM – +0.540
*Independent Team riders
Miguel Oliveira: “I’m very emotional, there’s so much I want to say but I won’t be able to. Just a big thank you to all the people who have believed in me, there are so many coming to mind right now but starting from my family at home, the team, my sponsors, the Portuguese crowd, thank you so much for your support. History today, for me and my country, and I couldn’t be happier to have done it here and the home of KTM and Red Bull.”
Oliveira wins jaw-dropping Styrian MotoGP™ as Espargaro also takes podium finish
MotoGP 2020 – Round 05, Red Bull Ring (Austria/Styria) – Race
Red Bull KTM toasted their second MotoGP victory in the space of two weeks with Miguel Oliveira’s brilliantly judged first-ever success at the Red Bull Ring for the BMW M Grand Prix of Styria. The 25-year old not only claimed the first win for his Red Bull KTM Tech3 team in MotoGP but also for Portugal. Pol Espargaro fought for the checkered flag until the last corner and scored his second career podium in 3rd place. KTM had all four RC16s in the top ten; more than any other brand. Celestino Vietti posted KTM’s second Moto3 victory in a row.
A second Grand Prix in the space of seven days took place in the picturesque but challenging setting of the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Espargaro set off from Pole Position for the fifth outing of the season. The Spaniard launched from P1 for what was the first Pole for the factory (and the rider) in less than four terms in the premier class of MotoGP and just four years after KTM had announced their MotoGP plans and ambitions at the same circuit.
An accident midway through the 28-lap spectacle produced the red flag for an air fence to be repaired at Turn 1. The 900th premier class race was restarted with a 12-lap distance and with all four KTM RC16s hunting the leading group. Espargaro surged to the front and engaged in a thrilling duel with Jack Miller on the last circulation. Miguel Oliveira was also extremely close and poised to make the most of any mistake. When Espargaro and Miller ran deep into the final turn Oliveira read the situation to perfection; powering past to claim the checkered flag on what was his 150th Grand Prix start. The result was also noteworthy for Red Bull KTM Tech3, representing their maiden triumph in the premier class in just their second campaign wearing KTM colors.
Brad Binder secured 8 points for 8th position and remains 4th in a very close world championship table. The South African rookie was again very quick to make ground with the front-runners. Iker Lecuona charged to 10th. The Spaniard ended a positive fortnight at the Red Bull Ring: he notched his best ever MotoGP classification the previous Sunday with 9th and then his second top-ten result at the Styrian event.
KTM are 3rd in the Constructors standings, just 6 points away from the top. Their excellent progress as the youngest manufacturer at the highest level means they now concede their concession status and will join their rivals in terms of testing, wildcard and engine limitations. An achievement in itself. Oliveira’s success ended Ducati’s clean sweep at the Red Bull Ring since 2016.
Miguel Oliveira: “I’m very emotional…there is so much I want to say but I cannot at the moment. A big thank you to all the people that believed in me starting with my family, everyone in the team, sponsors and the Portuguese crowd. Thank you so much for your support. This is history today for me and my country and I couldn’t be happier to do it here in the home of KTM and Red Bull.”
Pol Espargaro: “Anyone can win those kinds of races! Pretty crazy. I was fighting with Jack until the last corner and Miguel was able to profit but that’s racing. It was a beautiful race. Anyway, we made the podium, we are up here and I’m super-happy.”
Brad Binder: “It was a good race. The first one was going really well and I was slowly catching up ground. To get up to 6th was already great. I felt really, really good. Unfortunately with the red flag and the restart I didn’t make the best decision with the tires and really struggled to stop, even running off at Turn 1 but I was able to come back to 8th. All-in-all we should be happy. I gave my best out there and the bike was fantastic. The team worked really well and I’m super-excited for the next race. I think we can do a good job at Misano.”
Iker Lecuona: “For sure, I’m really happy. I finished in the top 10 again. In the first race, I overtook many riders, I had a very good pace and I was in ninth position. The best for me was to pass [Valentino] Rossi, because he was always my idol. This moment was very important for me. In the second part of the race my start was not great, I lost some positions, but I came back, stayed in 10th position and was having some great fights. I’m really happy. Thank you to my team. Thank you to KTM for the opportunity and congrats to KTM for Pol and obviously to my teammate Miguel!”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “An unbelievable race. We had all four bikes in the top ten at our home race and with two riders fighting for victory. Pol was pushing all the way with Jack on the last lap and we know that the last two corners are crucial at this track. Both went wide but fortunately Miguel was in a great position to bring home the race and we’re super-happy about that. Both riders deserved it because Pol rode so well. Brad and Iker also scored good points and we have shown that the performance of the RC16 is really there.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “It is hard to find the right words after such a wonderful day. I remember so well our first GP in Qatar when we started from last place and my words to our CEO Mr Pierer that we would turn things around and park our bike on the other side of the grid. We’ve had a double today: Pole and a win at our home Grand Prix with Moto3 as well and all four MotoGP bikes in the top ten with two on the podium. The project overall has been amazing. We have gone our own way and that approach is paying off. The team spirit and the atmosphere with so many people here at the circuit and back at the factory pushing like crazy bringing the results: it’s like a dream come true. I will need some time now to realize what has happened these last weeks.”
Hervé Poncharal, Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Principal: “What an incredible day, incredible emotions! It is something like forty years we’ve been in this business and we never won a MotoGP race. Today our dream came true. Here in Austria, which is in front of our title sponsor Red Bull, in front of the KTM management, our manufacturer. I would like also to dedicate this victory to Miguel because he has been pushing a lot. Year one was not easy; he was injured the second half of the season. We’ve been fast since the beginning of this year, the bike improved, he improved. Now we’ve done it. I’m very proud to see two KTMs on the rostrum. Clearly, this is now one of the bikes to beat. So let’s celebrate tonight and let’s hope there will be some other exciting days like today.”
CRUTCHLOW LOOKING AHEAD AFTER SPIELBERG DISAPPOINTMENT
23 August 2020 | Austrian GP Race
Cal Crutchlow finished in 17th position in the Grand Prix of Styria after another action-packed race at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider had been in the points places prior to a red flag with 12 laps remaining, but was edged out following the restart which came about when Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales was forced to bail out at the turn one following brake failure.
Having qualified in 17th, the Briton looked more confident in the morning warm-up session when he was 13th fastest overall. However, he was unable to make the headway he wanted in either the first or second races and eventually missed out on the points to compound a frustrating weekend. With a two-week break ahead, Crutchlow is determined to ensure he’ll be more competitive for the next round in Misano.
Cal Crutchlow – 17th
“Today was essentially what we expected from the race. I qualified 17th and finished 17th, so not the greatest day. I wanted to improve the bike from yesterday and it seems that we were not able to particularly. I felt better in the first part of the race than the second part, which was probably the rear tyre choice – I used the medium rear tyre in the first race and felt a little bit better than with the soft rear tyre. In the second part, the bike was moving around a lot during acceleration and corner entry. I tried to stay with the group, but was unable to and we need to continue to work with my team and study the data from these last races going into Misano, by which time we hope to have solved some of our problems. The team and HRC are working hard for this and we look forward to going to Misano in two weekends’ time.”
ANOTHER DOUBLE RACE IN AUSTRIA DUE TO A RED FLAG
ALEIX RECOVERS AND FINISHES IN THE POINTS
It was almost a photocopy of what happened seven days ago at the Red Bull Ring: today a red flag once again interrupted the first part of the race, which then restarted for a 12-lap distance.
Aleix Espargaró exploited both starts well, moving up positions and finishing with an outstanding twelfth place. But, more than anything, the Aprilia rider’s pace was extremely positive as he managed to keep the gap behind the leaders to just 6.4 seconds on a difficult track and in less-than-easy conditions. The Austrian double race confirms the good base of the RS-GP project, ready to take on the double “home” rounds in Misano.
“I am satisfied. Especially in the second race, we maintained an excellent pace. We could have battled in the top 6. It’s a pity about the problems in qualifying that forced me to start from so far back. When you start the race with a gap like that, making up ground is very complicated, even when you’re lapping very fast. In any case, we are leaving this track, which is a hard one for us, demonstrating some steps forward compared to last year. In fact, I am convinced that our potential is higher. Unfortunately, up to now we haven’t been able to fully exploit it for one reason or the other.”
“Unfortunately, the conditions didn’t favour me today. We were ready to make the RS-GP work well with higher temperatures, but that’s not how it went. Anyway, in the first race we were keeping up with the group, so the red flag was not an advantage for us. We didn’t have any new soft tyres to put on and the restart ended up being basically a qualifying session. Many riders with new tyres managed to maintain a pace that was unsustainable for us. I see the glass half full after this weekend. We have definitely grown and I hope to be able to confirm that on a track like Misano that is kinder to us.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi had two brilliant starts in Race Part 1 and Part 2, making up various places, which was the key to him securing ninth place at today’s Grand Prix of Styria. Maverick Viñales suffered a technical issue with the brakes in Race Part 1, which resulted in him abandoning his bike right before Turn 1, causing a red flag situation. He was lucky to walk away from the incident without any injuries but had to sit out the restart as per racing protocol.
Rossi had a tremendous start from P14 in Race Part 1, making up five positions in the opening lap. However, the momentum didn‘t last. He was in eleventh position after lap 16 when his team-mate‘s misfortunes caused a red flag situation.
Pit lane reopened at 14:35 LT for 60 seconds in a quick restart procedure. The Doctor started Race Part 2 from P11 and moved straight up to ninth, picking up another place in the second lap. He was now in eighth, at the back of a four-rider fight for fourth place, but he struggled to match their pace and lost a position to Alex Rins with 7 laps to go. However, the Italian retaliated immediately when Rins went wide. Rossi’s quest for eighth continued until the very end. The Yamaha man was close to overtaking Brad Binder but came just short and crossed the finish line in ninth place, 4.517s from first.
Viñales started Race Part 1 from fifth place on the grid and kept himself out of trouble in the frantic first lap, crossing the line in sixth place. He was overtaken by Andrea Dovizioso, but the Yamaha rider had the pace to stay with him. He made a move on lap 6 but couldn‘t keep the Italian behind him on the long straights.
However, it later became apparent that the Spaniard had an issue under braking. He soon got involved in a battle with charging riders and slowly dropped back to 13th place. With 12 laps to go, Viñales had to make the brave decision to disembark while riding 220 km/h when his brakes malfunctioned approaching Turn 1. This ended his Sunday with an NP result, because he couldn‘t take part in the race restart.
After today‘s race Viñales is fifth in the championship rankings, 22 points from the leader. Rossi is now in seventh place, with a 25-point gap to first. Yamaha remains first in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stay in second place in the team classification.
Rossi and Viñales will now enjoy a two-week break before they will head to Italy for the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, held from 11 – 13 September.
Unfortunately, it‘s another weekend to forget. We know that at this track overtaking is difficult for us, so the riders really had to make the most of the start. Valentino did exactly that both times, in Race Part 1 and Part 2, and that‘s what earned him ninth place at the end, despite originally starting from P14. Maverick had a problem with his bike‘s brakes in Race 1. He decided to keep riding, hoping to salvage some crucial points for the championship, but when he approached Turn 1 without brakes, he had to make the split-second decision to jump off the bike. We are thankful he wasn‘t hurt, and we will investigate the issue most thoroughly in the coming two weeks, as we prepare for the next triple header. We will be riding two rounds in Misano and one in Catalunya in September. These circuits suit our package a lot better, so we aim to use this to our full advantage there.
I knew that we would have to suffer a bit here, especially in the second weekend, because all the other manufacturers and riders were stronger and able to improve their pace after the first Spielberg race weekend. We’re a bit worried because, though we knew this track isn’t fantastic for us, we had hoped that the gap to the others would be smaller. So, it was a difficult race, with another red flag. Fortunately, Maverick was able to jump off the bike in time, it was a very scary moment. In these last two weekends we were on the limit with the brakes, especially with the Yamaha. I had a problem with it last week, and this week we modified it, working together with Brembo. In the first race today, the brakes were not fantastic, but in the second race the brakes were good, and I didn’t have any particular problems. Now we have to work and hope that in other tracks, like Misano, we can be more competitive. I live very close to that circuit, so it’s easy for me to get to the track. We hope to be more competitive there, because last year we were strong. We hope we can fight for top positions again this year.
I was losing the brakes from lap 4 onwards. I tried my best. I tried to overtake Dovizioso, and I did overtake him, but suddenly on the straight he overtook me again. These have been three really tough races where we could have done a really good job, but due to our mistakes we’re not at the front. For sure, today’s crash was amazing. I never had that feeling before, where I completely lose the brakes and have to jump off. I understand how it happened, the brake overheated, but for sure it’s not a common problem. Luckily, I’m okay. This is the most important thing. I will be 100% fit again in Misano. You know, we have to stay positive and focus on the next rounds. Misano is a good track for us, last year I was very strong there, and I think this year I can do even better.
For the second weekend in a row, Red Bull Ring – Spielberg hosted a race run in two sessions due to red flags, this time brought out on lap 17 when Maverick Viñales crashed at Turn 1. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli endured a difficult Grand Prix of Styria to finish 13th and 15th.
Although dark clouds threatened rain in the build up to the 28-lap race, it managed to stay dry for when the lights went out on the 900th premier class race. Unfortunately both Quartararo and Morbidelli lost ground on the start and found themselves slipping backwards into the pack to 14th and 15th. Fabio was able to make some progress and had moved himself up into the top-ten, when Maverick Viñales’ Turn 1 crash brought out the red flags on lap 17. Team-mate Franco was 16th when the race was halted.
The re-started race of 12 laps also saw an unsuccessful start for Quartararo, who lost several places off the line, and Morbidelli who was unable to gain any ground. Both Yamaha YZR-M1 riders found the track conditions difficult and struggled to make progress, in what became a sprint race around the 4.3km Austrian circuit. At the chequered flag Fabio was 13th and Franco 15th.
Despite the challenging race day for the team, Quartararo leaves the Styrian GP at the top of the riders’ standings, with Morbidelli in 11th place. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT also holds on to their lead in the teams’ competition.
There will now be a two-week break for the riders before they tackle the next triple-header, which starts with Misano next month (11-13 September).
I think this triple-header, which started in Brno, has been extremely difficult for us. Although we had the podium in Brno, both Austrian races have been extremely challenging. There have been various issues – brakes, performance, track conditions – but we need to take the positives: we are still leading the championship, both riders’ and teams’ and we look forward to Misano. We need to stay strong together and make a comeback next time out.
We are very pleased and happy with today’s result in Moto2, it is our best ever placement in the category. I am very proud of Xavi and Jake. We hope that they will continue their progress in the next race.
It was very unlucky for John in Moto3. Although he is third in the championship it is very close between him and [Celestino] Vietti in fourth, there is only one point between them. I think John will come back stronger after the break till the Misano races where he can solidify his third position. We also wish KIP all the best. He has a surgery on Tuesday to hopefully fix his finger once and for all. We hope that he will recover in time for Misano and come back stronger as well.
It was more difficult today than we thought it would be. I was behind many riders in the race and we saw that the potential of our bike was not so great compared to those others. We were losing a lot in different areas. We need to find the solution to this because this will be a problem at Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia, where there are a lot of straights. It is something we need to understand so that we can improve upon it. I’m really looking forward to when we go to Misano because we should be better there; it wasn’t so fun to ride here today! There is the positive that we still have the championship lead though. We need to be on the podium at the upcoming races and get the feeling back that we had in Jerez. This will be the main target for Misano.
It was a tough race and a strange weekend. When we were alone on track and could take the lines we wanted, we were decently fast here. However, in the race with the other bikes we ended up riding at their pace and couldn’t attack. For me, it was a case of just riding until the end with no big drama to get the one point. It’s an encouraging point after the events of last weekend. Now I can go home and rest a bit before heading to Misano. It’s a completely different layout there, very twisty, and that’s the type of track where we’ve been quite fast so far. I hope we can be fast there.
Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci finish fifth and eleventh respectively at the Grand Prix of Styria. Podium for Jack Miller, second at the Red Bull Ring with the Ducati Desmosedici GP bike of the Pramac Racing Team
Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci finished the Gran Prix of Styria, which was held this afternoon at the Austrian circuit of the Red Bull Ring, in fifth and eleventh position respectively.
As he got off the line from the eighth spot of the grid, Andrea managed to recover some position in the first laps, but, he eventually dropped back again to the eighth position just before the competition got suspended due to an accident. Starting from the same place he was occupying at the time of the red flag, Dovizioso managed to get off the line well again at the restart, immediately putting himself behind the group fighting for the podium. But, on the final lap, in an attempt to recover on the riders in front him, the rider from Forlì went wide at Turn 3, leaving a space open for Mir, losing one position and closing the race in the fifth position. With today’s result, however, Dovizioso gains essential points for the championship standings, which now sees him split by only three points from current championship leader Quartararo.
Danilo Petrucci, who started first from eleventh on the grid and then twelfth at the restart, closed a demanding weekend in the eleventh position. After the first five events of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, the rider from Terni is currently fourteenth in the general standings with 25 points.
For the second week in a row, Jack Miller took the Ducati Desmosedici GP bike of the Pramac Racing Team on the podium of the Red Bull Ring, this time narrowly missing out on the victory. Second, at the last corner, the Australian tried a decisive attack on Pol Espargaro, but, in the manoeuvre, they both went wide leaving room for Oliveira, who took the victory in today’s race.
In the manufactures’ standings, Ducati is second, only one point behind Yamaha, while in the team standings, the Ducati Team is now third with 92 points.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 5th
“Unfortunately today didn’t go as I had hoped. In the first race, I had problems with the tyres, and I didn’t have the right feeling to ride well. Fortunately, with the restart, we were able to make a different tyre choice, and this allowed me to find back the sensations to which I was used to. Despite this, in the second race, I was not fast enough on the corner exit, and this prevented me from recovering. We will have to work well to improve this aspect to be more competitive on the other race tracks as well. With today’s fifth place, we are now very close to the top of the standings, and now we have to continue to be constant and take other steps forward in the next GPs”.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 11th
“Unfortunately, both in the first and second part of the race, I was unable to recover positions after the start and had to remain behind my opponents. Before the red flag, I’d managed to find a good rhythm, and I was trying to close the gap on the group that preceded me, but at the restart, I did not find the same conditions again. It will be important in the next GPs to finally get a good qualifying position to make a difference during the first laps of the race.”
The Ducati Team will be back on track in three weeks for the first of two consecutive events in Italy, scheduled from 11th-13th September and from 18th-20th September at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Misano Adriatico.
Points elude the Repsol Honda Team in red flagged Styrian GP
The red flag was again brought out in Austria, Alex Marquez taking away more valuable lessons from his debut MotoGP season.
With it announced that Marc Marquez will focus on recovering from his injuries, the Repsol Honda Team remained focused on the task at hand as race day preparations began at the Red Bull Ring. Eyes were again on the sky, but it all remained dry for the Styrian Grand Prix despite threatening clouds.
A red flag during the race meant that Alex Marquez’s strong start was only rewarded with a 13th place grid position. On the restart, Alex was aggressive off the line and found himself in 11th.From his strong start, the rookie found himself battling with a number of experienced riders around him and holding on to 16th at the finish. This is the first time in his debut season that Alex has failed to score but he did continue his perfect finishing record.
Stefan Bradl was able to benefit from the race restart. In the first half of the race, the German rider got unlucky in the opening laps and was shuffled back. He was able to lap consistently at his own pace but the restart gave him the opportunity to follow Cal Crutchlow and Alex Marquez more closely. Bradl took the flag in 18th.
Takaaki Nakagami was another rider to suffer in the restart, the LCR Honda Team rider having comfortably battled up inside the top three during the opening leg of the race. But the second start proved more difficult and Nakagami was forced to settle for seventh.
After an intense triple-header, the Repsol Honda Team will now enjoy some well-earned time off before the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on September 11.
“I was able to learn a lot today, even if the result isn’t our best. I followed a lot of the experienced riders and I was able to learn a lot from them. I want to wish Maverick all the best, it looks like he is OK, but it was a really scary crash to be behind. I see a lot of positives in this race, the feeling was better and we’re now at a point to improve some specific details. I need to keep refining my riding style and this is the target for Misano. It’s been an intense three weeks so it will be important to recharge now.”
“To not ride for six months and then come in and do three races in a row is very tough, but we have done it and we have learned a lot from it. In the first half of the race I didn’t make the best start and I lost some positions in the opening corners. In the second part of the race I was able to make a better start and I felt better with the bike, my pace was not too bad, and I was able to close the gap to Alex and Cal. We’ve made a step.”
MIR AND RINS TAKE FOURTH AND SIXTH IN DISRUPTED STYRIAN GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – August 23.
BMW M GRAND PRIX OF STYRIA RACE RESULTS:
Joan Mir: 4th (+ 0.641)
Alex Rins: 6th (+ 1.450)
The final race in a run of three in a row saw yet more dramatic twists and turns, and for Team Suzuki Ecstar it was a case of ‘what might’ve been’ despite strong finishes from both riders.
Joan Mir came into the race after two days of extremely good pace and the second fastest time in morning warm-up. After getting his first ever MotoGP podium just seven days earlier, he was especially keen to match or better that result. He got the holeshot off the line in the 28 lap race and after briefly slipping to second, he retook the lead on lap five and proceeded to build up a handsome advantage over the field. The Mallorcan was settling into a great rhythm at two and half seconds ahead of the chasing riders. However, a red flag incident on lap 17 saw a halt to the Grand Prix.
Restarting from the positions they held in the first half of the race, Mir once again took the holeshot from ‘pole position’, but by the third lap he had dropped to third place. Despite having a fresh rear tyre left in his allocation, Mir had to restart on a used front, but he valiantly fought to hold on to the best position possible and he crossed the line in a strong fourth place, taking 13 points.
Alex Rins made a good start to the first half of the Styrian GP, slotting into fifth place and although he spent many laps unable to make up positions, he was feeling good on his GSX-RR. As the red flag flew Rins was also finding a good rhythm. In the restart he was unlucky and a poor launch saw him drop to eighth. However, he kept fighting on despite feeling pain in his shoulder and a couple of small mistakes, and at the chequered flag he was able to secure a solid sixth place, and a 10-point boost to his championship standing.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“We could have had a good race, but we were missing some luck – especially in the second half of the race. We wanted to give a really great result to all the Suzuki fans and workers, but unfortunately we couldn’t get another podium today. But I want to thank both riders for their performance and having both of them in Top 6 is great and a first for this season. We’re focusing on the next round at Misano to see if we can get back on the podium there.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“If we look at the pure performance we can be happy because both riders showed very competitive pace at a fast circuit. Alex got a solid start in race 1 and had good pace, he just missed an opportunity in race 2 due to a little mistake off the start. Joan had a solid lead in the first half of the race with a big gap over the others when the red flag came out. Then he finished fourth on the second part of the race and we can’t be happy with the final result which has been influenced by a decision, or a non-decision, by race direction. The rules clearly state that any rider who exceeds track limits on the last lap must drop one position, especially if they gain from it; in our opinion without the green tarmac run-off Espargaro would’ve had to brake, being passed also by Joan. So he was able to defend his third position by going wide. Joan had this penalty himself at the beginning of race 1 when he had to drop one place for going wide, but the same thing hasn’t been applied on the last corner in race 2. Anyway I want to take the positives from these races in Austria, which is the third track in a row where we’ve been highly competitive. We have big potential with the GSX-RR and also with both riders.”
“Today I really didn’t have luck on my side, but the positive thing is that I was really fast. The truth is that on the last corner Pol went out very wide, outside the track limits, and opened the gas. I didn’t see it very well but I thought that he would be penalised by Race Direction for that. It’s a big shame and I’m unhappy about the inconsistency in the rules. I felt great all weekend, and in the first race I felt I could win for sure, but in the restart I had to go out on the used tyre and it was very hard to hold off the other riders. I gave all I could but in the end I couldn’t do better than fourth. In Misano I’ll try again!”
“In the first part of the race I was up the front but it was so hard to pass Pol in front of me, although I was managing the situation. Then in race two I made a big mistake on the start because I released the clutch very quickly and the rear spun and I wheelied, so I lost a lot of ground at the beginning and it was difficult to make up the places. Anyway, I managed to get sixth place which means important points, and the bike actually felt great. My shoulder was a bit painful today but now we have two weeks without a race so hopefully in Misano the pain will be less, and I’m looking forward to it.”