When we previewed the Austrian Grand Prix, we said the reigning five-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez may lose some edge following the 28-lap race at Red Bull Ring.Marquez impressed, leading Friday’s free practice and claiming his third pole at the Red Bull Ring since racing returned to Austria in 2016. One thing Marquez could never do, though, is win in Austria; he was beat by Ducati machinery every singe time.
And after a back-and-forth battle with Mission Winnow Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso for practically the entire race, Marquez looked like he’d finally achieve a win at the Red Bull Ring – the only venue on the 2019 MotoGP schedule where he never had claimed a victory.But Dovizioso made a last-turn pass, and earned his second victory of the season, and second win at the Red Bull Ring. This makes for four-straight Ducati wins in Austria since the venue returned to the MotoGP Championship in 2016.Dovizioso qualified third, and used the Desmosedici GP19’s power to quickly get into second behind Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo. Dovi took the lead on lap six, and a battle began between him and Marquez. Dovizioso would be credited with leading nine laps, and Marquez 13.What mattered was Dovizioso crossing the finish line first, 0.213 of a second ahead of Marquez. Quartararo would take the final podium position, 6.117 seconds behind Marquez.After 11 of 19 rounds, Dovizioso has now tightened the points gap. The Italian has 230 points, trailing Marquez by 58. This was Dovizioso’s second win of the season including his victory at the season opener in Qatar.“Today I’m so happy, because this victory was really important for me,” Andrea Dovizioso says. “Towards the end of the race I had good right-side grip on the tyre and this allowed me to successfully attempt that incredible overtaking move at the final corner.“My strategy for the race was to be aggressive right from the opening lap, but Marquez was more aggressive than me. He immediately tried to impose his rhythm but I was always able to respond and in the final stages I think he had more wear on his tires than me so I could stay right on his tail until the end, and attempt that crazy passing move on him at the final corner. I want to thank Ducati and my team because today we did everything just perfectly.”As for Marquez, he now has earned 10 podium finishes in 11 races, which includes six wins.“I’m happy because today we made a mistake with the rear tire, immediately I saw all the soft tires had better grip and even their consistency at the end was better than us,” Marc Marquez says.“Even like this I tried because I’m Marc and I need to try! The second place is good, we missed in the last corner with a lot of sliding but Dovi did an incredible job. Still we are able to leave here with a 58-point lead so we will keep continuing like this. Even when we are not in the best shape, we are able to finish like this which is positive overall.”Monster Energy Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi finished fourth, just ahead of his teammate Maverick Vinales and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins.Rounding out the top 10 were Pramac Racing Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira, Mission Winnow Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, and Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli.The series now breaks for two weeks ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where Marquez’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo is slated to return after injury.
2019 Austria Grand Prix MotoGP Results from Red Bull Ring
2019 MotoGP Point Standings (after 11 of 19 rounds)