So this week I didn’t quite get the chance to write out a full report for the Austrian Motorcycle Grand Prix due to other commitments, but to summarise the MotoGP race in the same way everyone else has, Brad Binder showed the biggest balls in world sport to stay out on slicks when the rain started chucking down in the final laps, although you could’ve been mistaken for thinking he missed the pit entry by accident when the leaders dived in to change bikes, but looking at this, BB could have made it in if he wanted to”
However, forget about South Africans with balls of steel, because looking back 3 days later, I reckon Fabio Quartararo pulled off the ballsiest overtakes of the entire season, and that’s overtakes with an S on the end, because the Championship leader pulled it off twice, at a track where Yamaha have traditionally been kicked in the gonads by the V4 bikes of Ducati, Honda and KTM, and just last year Yamaha had braking issues so severe in Austria that Quartararo’s brakes pretty much gave up at Turn 4, and Maverick Vinales quite literally had to jump off his bike on the pit straight after his brakes failed.
So without any further ado, here’s a few examples of why Fabio Quartararo is well on track to win this year’s World Championship:
- On Lap 7, on the run up to Turn 3, the fastest point of the entire track (Some 310km/h), Quartararo is wedged after being caught on the outside of Marc Marquez after trying to pass him out of Turn 1, while Jorge Martin on the Ducati whistles by and has the braking line for Turn 3…
So living up to his nickname of ‘El Diablo’, Quartararo, with full confidence in the Yamaha’s front end, operates his front brake like a demon and goes in deep up the outside to pass the pair of them for 2nd place, without making any contact or going off the track.
The entire run from Turn 1 up to Turn 3 looks even crazier from the onboard of the Yamaha, from when he passes Marquez after Marc compromised his Turn 1 exit, to Martin using the Ducati’s straight line speed to whistle by, then Quartararo just hammers the brake and takes them both with a sensational piece of riding.
Going for a double overtake and pulling it off once is risky, but pulling it off twice…. that’s just a testament to skill.
2. On Lap 25, with the rain flags out on the circuit, the riders on V4s assumed control and Quartararo was left some 15 bike lengths behind the Top 2 on the run up to Turn 3, thanks to the Yamaha’s disadvantage in straight line speed:
So while Martin went for a dive on Pecco Bagnaia (Who lost the lead out of Turn 1) to take 2nd, Quartararo decided to line up a monster dive bomb up the inside, having no way of knowing how much grip was left due to the rain, and not only did ‘El Diablo’ pass both Ducatis, he made the apex of the corner as if nothing amazing had just happened.
If you look at the still, Quartararo was some 15 bike lengths behind Bagnaia when they started braking, and yet when the pack exited Turn 3, he was at least 5 ahead – For those of you who don’t watch MotoGP, late braking is a strong point of Ducati’s Desmosedici, mainly because they can carry so much more speed into a corner, so in effect, he just gave the Dukes a taste of their own medicine.
The sad part is this’ll be the last time we see MotoGP bikes run into Turn 3 like that, because the Red Bull Ring is being re-profiled for bikes on safety grounds following several terrifying crashes over the last few years, with a chicane at the Turn 2 kink intended to slow the bikes on the run up to Turn 3.
As for what happened to Quartararo in the final laps.. Well, he was riding an Inline Four in the wet, so naturally he slipped down the order to 7th after running wide trying to adjust to the changing conditions, before mopping up the guys still on slicks, but still, Fabio actually increased his championship lead thanks to Johann Zarco crashing out: