Posted by Tank Slapper | Blog |
As the MotoGP enters the second half of the 2016 season it was off to the Red Bull Ring in Austria, where the weather conditions were ideal come race day.
Andrea Iannone celebrates his first premier class MotoGP victory. Photo Credit: MotoGP
Alas some of the riders were not is such a good state, points leader Marc Marquez having suffered a bad crash in FP3, dislocating his shoulder yet able to go-ahead with the race. Australian rider Jack Miller was not so fortunate when a fall during warm-up on Sunday morning left him with a fractured T6 vertebrae and wrist, unable to compete and likely to miss the next race or two.
Once underway, it was Ducati in the lead from the outset. Andrea Iannone led from pole, however, teammate Andrea Dovizioso was the only other rider to take front position away from ‘The Maniac’ with eighteen laps to go. Positions stayed this way until with 8 laps remaining, a daring late overtake from Iannone on turn nine, the elevation drop heading into the corner forcing him to wrestle the machine as the back swung like a pendulum before smoothly gliding into the corner and first place where he would remain. Thus sealing the first win for Ducati since Casey Stoner won at Phillip Island in 2010, and Dovizioso’s second place is the first 1-2 for Ducati since 2007.
Factory Yamaha riders, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were battling for the final podium place. An early overtake by Lorenzo, passing Rossi and Dovi in one fell swoop, showed his confidence had repaired after a few uncharacteristically poor races in a row. Rossi was unable to reclaim third position making his title plight all the more challenging as Lorenzo scored the valuable extra points. Marquez managed a fifth place finish, an effort he was understandably content with given the freshly dislocated shoulder and keeping him well ahead in the overall standings.
Hector Barbera was black-flagged for failing to come into the pits following a jump-start penalty. Though it was Eugene Laverty who may wish to forget this race the most, a crash on the final corner of the last lap dashing his efforts, which would otherwise have seen a solid top ten finish.
Marquez remains ahead on 181 points followed by Lorenzo on 138 and Rossi in third with 124. The next race is Brno, Czech Republic in just one week’s time.