MotoGP has been taken up a notch with the drama in 2020 so far, and Austria further added to the craziness!
Moto3 is rarely the least dramatic race of the day, but today it was. Albert Arenas extended his championship lead with a brilliant ride to win, and he was followed home by Jaume Masia for his first podium of the season. There was some confusion in Parc Ferme, as over the line in 3rd and 4th were Ai Ogura and Darryn Binder, but both were instantly penalised for running wide on the final corner. This promoted Celestino Vietti to 3rd, only for him to then himself receive a penalty as he too had ran wide, and was unceremoniously shuffled out of the winners enclosure and replaced with the man who had crossed the line 6th, John McPhee, who moves up to second in the championship. Elsewhere we saw glimpses of the Tech 3 KTM at the front for the first time, and pole man Raul Fernandez went backwards to 9th, never really featuring in the lead group.
Full results here.
First of all, huge relief that nobody was seriously injured in a four-bike incident after turn 1 that brought out the red flag, as Enea Bastianini lost the rear of his Kalex and the stricken bike was hit by the luckless Hafizh Syahrin, who was violently thrown from his machine and there was serious concern for his well being. It seems he never lost conciousness, and has been taken to hospital with a hip contusion. The incident also collected Edgar Pons and Andi Farid Izdihar, meaning all four riders were unable to take the restart. Upon the restart, Jorge Martin was out of the trap like a scalded cat, and was never headed en route to his maiden win in the class, keeping Luca Marini at arm’s length the entire time. Marcel Schrotter completed the podium for his first trip onto the steps this season, and Sam Lowes got 4th at the death from Xavi Vierge. There were words, as well as some gesturing and a couple of slaps on the cool down lap from Lowes and Marco Bezzecchi, both clearly unhappy with the other. Elsewhere, Domi Aegerter impressed on his second replacement ride for Jesko Raffin, coming home 12th aboard the NTS and Jake Dixon scored his first points since Qatar in 14th.
Full results here.
As above, first of all there is huge relief that Franco Morbidelli and Zohann Zarco were able to walk away from a high speed coming together that caused a red flag, and relief that their bikes did not collect Valentino Rossi, as both bikes miraculously missed him by inches. Rossi showed a lot of character to get back on the bike for the restart and was rewarded with a 5th place finish. The race was won by Andrea Dovizioso, in a timely reminder of what he can do just a day after announcing he would not be renewing with Ducati for 2021. He was joined on the podium for his maiden MotoGP appearance by Joan Mir aboard the Suzuki and Jack Miller, ensuring it was Ducati’s day. It did not look like it would be for much of it however, as Pol Espargaro was leading the race and looking comfortable until the red flag, before taking the restart and completely losing his head, riding very poorly to eventually end up coming together with Miguel Oliviera, who was aggrieved at the fact he once again had a race ended by a fellow KTM rider, and his pit box table felt the full force of his frustration. Championship leader Fabio Quartararo had a total nightmare, running off track and was dead last. His cause was helped by the red flag and subsequent KTM tangle, and he was able to save his weekend with an 8th place finish, but you must say it is not championship winning form at present. Elsewhere, Iker Lecuona scored his first MotoGP points with a steady 9th place, one ahead of Maverick Vinales who dropped to stone last on the restart, though it must be said for Vinales something did appear to go wrong on his machine as he just went backwards through turn 3, and Taka Nakagami saved Honda pride once again with a 6th place finish.
Full results here.
With the same track next weekend for the Styrian GP, one will hope for less drama in terms of crashes. Can Dovizioso do the double? Or will KTM get the home win they crave?
Featured image- www.motogp.com