2017 Austria MotoGP Results
When Austria’s Red Bull Ring debuted on the MotoGP calendar last season, the Ducati Team Desmosedici prototypes were untouchable.
Then-Ducati Team pilot Andrea Iannone claimed the victory from pole, followed closely by teammate Andrea Dovizioso. It was Ducati’s first win since Casey Stoner claimed victory at Phillip Island in 2010.
Heading into round 11 of 2017 MotoGP at Red Bull Ring, Ducati was once again the favorite. This favoritism was further supported when Dovizioso topped Friday free practice.
But come Saturday, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was quickest, and the three-time MotoGP Champion and current points leader claimed the pole.
The competition was fierce between the Spaniard and the Italian, and the battle continued throughout Sunday’s 28-lap Nerogiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich. The race came down to a duel for the checkered flag—and for the third time this season Dovizioso claimed the win.
The Ducati GP17 pilot held off Marquez on the final corner, earning the win by 0.176 of a second. Claiming the final podium position was Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who finished 2.661 seconds back.
With his win—the fifth of his MotoGP career—DesmoDovi is now second in points, 16 behind leader Marquez with seven rounds remaining. This was also
“It was a crazy race, but to be honest the whole weekend was incredible, and in particular the final curve of the last lap, but I managed to remain clear headed and was aware that Marquez was going to try and pass me,” Dovizioso says.
“It was a very difficult situation because if Marc had closed the door coming out of the corner, he would have forced me out and passed me. Instead I was able to resist his attack and I went on to win!
“I’m very satisfied with the way we managed the entire weekend with my team: understanding the right choice of tires was really difficult but we did it. We had a great race, we’re making up points in the championship, and we’ve got all the right cards to fight for the title.”
The 2017 MotoGP Championship now breaks for two weeks ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone August 25-27.
Following is the official 2017 Austria MotoGP report:
Polesitter Marquez took the holeshot, before a stunning move from Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) saw him cut inside second-placed Dovizioso and then take Marquez on the exit – an incredible second ahead over the line at the end of Lap 1. Marquez slotted into second as Dovizioso threatened, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) a big mover – into fourth past teammate Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).
There was early heartbreak for Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who was forced to retire as his rear brake was damaged in an early incident – before Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was then also forced in. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), who suffered a big wheelie off the line, was next to enter pitlane after a warning light on the dash.
Back in the battle, Viñales had run wide into Turn 1 to lose some ground and come back on track from the run off, with Lorenzo at the head of the race then being reeled in by Marquez. Soon, Marquez was the man to misjudge an apex – Turn 3 – with Dovizioso quickly pouncing to take over in second. Meanwhile, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) had moved up to tag onto the front four, with Pedrosa the next man to join the party – making a train of five behind Lorenzo in the lead. Marquez then struck back against Dovizioso, with 18 laps to go and everything still in the air.
Some stunning action then shook up the lead as Lorenzo headed deep, Marquez cut inside – and Dovizioso then blasted past both as the three machines were almost neck-and-neck. But Marquez struck back, before an almost replica replay of the earlier trio saw Zarco run deep, Rossi pounce – and Pedrosa take both. Then it was Rossi’s time to run wide – off at Turn 1 and dropping back into seventh as he made his way back on track.
At the front, Marquez and Dovizioso had begun to pull away, and everything settled into what felt increasingly like the calm before the storm – and was proved exactly that.
Swapping places whilst keeping the pace searing, the two men fought it out until the end. Dovizioso, ahead as they crossed the line for the final lap, kept everything inch perfect as he waited for the move he knew would come. Marquez, for his part, couldn’t make a much-used Turn 7 move this time around, and the corners were counting down.
Almost a flash of unified color around the penultimate corner, breath was held as the moment arrived – and so did Marquez. Lunging for the inside on the final corner and then sliding out just wide, the reigning Champion was spectacular – but it wasn’t quite enough, with his Italian rival cutting back inside to cross the line for his third win of the year.
Pedrosa completed the podium after some solid pace, taking Lorenzo and at one point in striking distance of the lead. The number 26 also moved to within only two points of Rossi in the standings. Zarco took fifth after holding off Viñales and coming home top Yamaha, with Rossi crossing the line in P7.
Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) had a stunning Sunday comeback to take eighth, able to pull clear of another impressive performance from Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) in ninth after the Frenchman also made it through directly into Q2.
Despite early heartbreak for Pol Espargaro, there remained something impressive to cheer for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing at their first home GP – with wildcard test rider Mika Kallio riding a superb race into tenth. The second consecutive top ten finish for the Austrian marque, the Finn was also only a tenth off Baz in ninth.
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was P11, ahead of Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) in P14. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) completed the points scorers after a tough race.
ter the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, Marquez remains ahead on the road to Silverstone, but it’s now Dovizioso hot on his tail – 16 points adrift. Viñales, after Austria, moves out the top two in the Championship for the first time this season – and Pedrosa is now within two points of Rossi. The British GP will not disappoint.
Photos by Luciano Bianchetto
2017 Austria MotoGP Results
|21||Jack Miller||Honda||AUS||9 laps|
|22||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||ITA||22 laps|
|23||Jonas Folger||Yamaha||DEU||25 laps|