The Austrian MotoGP
Circuit: The Red Bull Ring
AUSTRIA- THAT PLACE WHERE THEY MAKE RED BULL.
Surprisingly, the Red Bull Ring is the ONLY track where Marc Marquez hasn’t tasted success, with Ducati winning all three editions in Austria since it returned to the calendar in 2016.
Of course, last year’s race featured the epic battle between Jorge Lorenzo and Marquez, with Jorge achieving his most recent victory in MotoGP.
Speaking of Jorge, this week he dropped a bomb so big, you could see the crater from Uranus.
He could move back to Ducati in 2020, potentially clearing out our own Jack Miller as the lead rider at Pramac, despite pouring napalm on his relationship with the team and signing for Honda last year.
That would make sense- Flick a solid young rider who’s scored podiums and stands as the best independent rider in MotoGP.
Fair dinkum, Europeans are a weird bunch.
Anyway, Lorenzo supposedly will see out his Honda deal for 2020… not that the Japanese would let him leave without severing his fingers.
Jack had the pace all weekend, and qualifying on the 2nd row was a very real possibility, but Qualifying turned out to be very frustrating, as several riders pulled out huge laps, including the soul destroying Marc Marquez, who smashed the lap record, while Fabio Quartararo outpaced both factory Yamahas yet again for 2nd, Dovi qualified on the front for the first time since Argentina, and capping off the day, Jack was out qualified by his teammate Pecco Bagnaia, quite possibly for the first time!
It was MotoGP Pole Position Numero 59, giving him the outright record, and passing Mick Doohan.
8th on the grid and the 3rd Row, for Jack, and yet if you look at those times, he was barely over one tenth off the front row!
Race (28 Laps)
85,000 fans filled the open expanses of the Red Bull Ring, although the build up seemed to be focused on seeing shots of the wildlife located in the forests of Spielberg.
I also noticed that nefarious old lady known only as “Bernie” having a chat to Valentino Rossi on the grid!
At the start, Miller got away like a rocket, going to 3rd before he went wide at Turn 1, as Dovi fought Marquez down to Turn 3, but they both ran wide, allowing Quatararo into the lead, and Miller through to 2nd!
Very briefly though, because Rins took 2nd from him, and Dovi would soon follow for 3rd, but Rins would go wide at the final turn, and the drive of the Ducatis saw the Suzuki get swallowed whole and drop to 6th behind The Doctor.
Further back, Cal Crutchlow’s race was done in an instant, after he collided with Pol Espargaro, who tried restarting his bike and continuing, only for the motor to cut out a few corners later and finish him off.
Marquez took Jack for 3rd , and from there the Dovi-Marc battle began again, as Dovi took the lead from the satellite Yamaha with 23 to go, and Marquez followed suit, and it was yet another Ducati-Honda battle in Austria!
To Quatararo’s credit, he stuck on nicely, as the Top 5 cleared away from the pack, as there was a decent battle between Miller and Rossi for 4th and 5th, as the Yamaha just couldn’t beat the satellite Ducati in a straight line.
And then unfortunately with 20 laps remaining, Miller lost the front end at Turn 8 and slid out, just as he was looking settled, and probably on for another good result…. With the current climate around his future, it was a shit time for a crash.
At the same time, Marquez took the lead!
The pair quickly dropped off the Yamaha trio, and they spent the next 10 laps trading brutal slobberknockers in some superb racing.
With 9 laps to go, Dovi retook the lead on the run down to Turn 1, while Vinales had closed up to the battle of Rossi in the sister Yamaha, but the wily old Doctor had a few tricks up his sleeve, despite struggling for grip.
It was an utterly intense battle out in front, and Marquez was biding his time, patiently waiting to fire in a pass.
With 3 laps to go, Marquez went for the pass at Turn 5, Dovi hit back on the exit of Turn 6, went hot into Turn 8 & 9, and Marquez took the lead when they hit the line with 2 laps to go, Dovi tried to nail him at Turn 1, but went wide again, and the Honda took the lead again, but the race wasn’t done yet!
Dovi tried the same thing at the start of the last lap, but went wide again at Turn 1, and that seemed that was his final chance, until the last corner, Dovi threw all his chips on the table, and went for the win it or bin it….
AND HE GOT IT DONE, SENDING EVERYONE WILD!
Desmo Dovi was DELIGHTED, and he was BACK ON THE WINNER’S LIST!
The Austrian F1 GP at the end of of June, the Austrian MotoGP… Red Bull Rings give you crazy races in 2019!
As it was in 2017, a battle between Dovi and Marquez in Austria went down to the final corner, and once again, it was the Bologna Bullet that beat the Honda, and still, Marc can’t get a win at the Red Bull Ring, despite doing just about everything right today.
Even still, after losing in such brutal circumstances, Marc was congratulating the Ducati mechanics, and he gave Dovi a hug, probably recognising the balls it took to make that last corner move.
Real recognise real.
As for the other finishers, Quatararo didn’t put a foot wrong and grabbed another rookie season podium, beating the factory Yamahas immediately behind him, as Rossi beat home Vinales for 4th and 5th, and some other interesting results, Bagnaia finished in 7th, Oliveira finished 8th in the satellite KTM, and Danilo Petrucci was nowhere yet again, finishing in 9th and a mile off Dovi.
As for Jack, I believe Kevin Bloody Wilson had a song that should sum up not just his Sunday, but his whole bloody weekend.
It is Kevin Bloody Wilson, so I can’t quite play it here.
In the standings: Marquez’ lead has been cut down to 58 points, but still, that’s a monster lead.
Moto2: The Remy Rollercoaster
I didn’t even mention how Remy Gardner went in Brno, and for very good reason, considering he ended up finishing out of the points in 16th, but it’d be remiss of me not to, considering he’s the only Aussie in the lower classes.
He qualified in 9th, had a very good start and moved up to 5th, and then received a big free kick when Nagashima and Xavi Vierge took each other out from 3rd and 4th, promoting Remy to the podium places!
Then with 18 laps to go, and then on the run down the back straight, Remy tried a two-in-one pass on Luthi and Bastianini for 2nd, then Marini joined in, forming a massive 4 way battle down the back straight, and Remy allowed them all to brake deep into Turn 4, and simply took the lot of them on exit in a superb piece of riding to move into 2nd!
After that, Gardner set out after Brad Binder, and the son of the fabled Captain Chaos was the fastest rider on the track, and with 13 laps to go, the lead was down to 0.2 of a second, and I sat there thinking “Remy could win this”, but at the same time, “This could go wrong in an instant.”
A few laps later, Remy tried a move into Turn 1, but his block pass attempt failed and Binder held on to the lead, and with Bastianni closing in from 3rd, this was far from over.
He tried it again with 10 laps to go, but he ran wide again and fell into the clutches of the Italian, who was probably weighing up a pass, and the race took another twist as Alex Marquez was the silent assassin in 4th.
Remy slowly closed up again with 7 laps to go, but this time didn’t go nuts at Turn 1, simply keeping the pressure on.
And then he went wide with 6 laps to go, came back on to the circuit, collided with Alex Marquez, and in heartbreaking circumstances, once again, Remy ended up with nothing… and it was lucky it was nothing, because he was lucky that he wasn’t smacked by another bike.
It capped off a horror day for SAG- Nagashima starting from Pole and getting wiped out, and then Gardner going down from the podium places.
The craziness didn’t stop there, because Marini lost the front end and sent Bastianini flying from 3rd and 4th, and probably busted his compatriot’s ankle, because he went off on a stretcher.
Through it all, Binder managed to keep the lead, and he scored what was a thoroughly well-earned win, his first since Phillip Island last year, and it was a big result, obviously with KTM being an Austrian team winning their home Grand Prix, but the company also pulled a bombshell on Sunday morning, announcing they would be withdrawing from Moto2 at the end of the season.
For the first time all season, Kalex were beaten!
NEXT RACE WEEKEND IN A FORTNIGHT: ANOTHER F1 TRACK- THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX AT SILVERSTONE!