Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin after Sunday's historic race at the Spielberg circuit in Austria:
Fantastic 1-2 for Ducati Team riders at Zeltweg, as Iannone wins the Austrian GP ahead of team-mate Dovizioso. Pirro twelfth
The Ducati Team put in an outstanding performance today at the Austrian Grand Prix, round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship, held at Zeltweg’s Red Bull Ring.
Andrea Iannone took the chequered flag to notch up his first-ever MotoGP victory, ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who finished runner-up nine-tenths of a second behind, in his 250th grand prix race.
The two Ducati riders dominated the 28-lap race, holding off attacks from Rossi and Lorenzo in the early stages: Iannone moved into the lead on lap 2 and was then passed by Dovizioso on the tenth lap. Dovi kept the lead until lap 20, but next time around was passed by Iannone who held onto first place until the flag.
Ducati returned to the winner’s podium for the first time in six years, since Casey Stoner’s victory in the 2010 Australian GP. The last Ducati 1-2 in MotoGP dates back once again to Australia, at Phillip Island in 2007 when Stoner won the race ahead of Loris Capirossi.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1st
“I am really very happy, because in my opinion we did an incredible race. I started off quite slowly and tried to stay up front without ever pushing too hard, because I knew that in the final stages I could have had a bit less pace than everyone else, having opted to start with the soft rear tyre, while all the others made a different choice. I ran the whole race keeping a bit of margin and my bike was really perfect. I think that we did a great job over the entire weekend and I’d like to thank my team, all of Ducati and my crew chief Marco Rigamonti who have helped me improve so much in these last four years” .
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd
“It’s a very important day for Ducati because we managed to obtain the win, a 1-2 even, that we have been chasing for such a long time. We’ve been working hard for four years and I am very happy to be a part of this project. I’m disappointed that I was unable to win however, because today I had a really good feeling with the bike and I was really good under braking. We didn’t take the risk of opting for the soft rear tyre, which in the end proved to be the winning move. Iannone on the other hand decided to use it and as he was the only one to do so, towards the end of the race he was at an advantage. In the last few laps, especially in the right-hand corners, I was losing too much time and I wasn’t able to stay close enough to make an attack on him. It’s a pity, but we must look at the positive side of the race because today we obtained a great team result”.
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 12th
“Irrespective of my result, I am really happy because finally Ducati have succeeded in taking a win in MotoGP after such a long time. We scored the result we had expected and I feel it to be a bit mine and the Test Team’s as well, because in the last few years we have worked so hard to improve the bike. As for my race, I did everything possible to move up and get into the top 10, but in the end I had to settle for twelfth place.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“I am really happy, it’s an enormous satisfaction! I want to thank all the guys in Ducati Corse who over the years have done an incredible job and I hope that this fantastic result repays them for all their efforts. I would like to have each and every one of them here with us to celebrate this 1-2 win together and give them all a big hug. My sincerest thanks to everyone!”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Returns to Form with Austrian Podium Fight
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo made a stunning return to form today, taking third in the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich at the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg circuit. Valentino Rossi was also setting an impressive pace as he followed his teammate for most of the race and claimed valuable points with a fourth place finish.
Starting from fourth on the grid, Lorenzo catapulted from the line but was clipped by Marc Marquez going turn one, but despite being pushed wide the Mallorcan made a quick dash to the front and joined the front fight between Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone and skillfully put his YZR-M1 in second place behind the latter. The Factory Yamaha rider was eager to hit the front, making multiple overtaking manoeuvres but it wasn't to last and he had to let Dovizioso past.
With a small margin forming between him and the front two riders and Rossi tapping on the back of his YZR-M1, Lorenzo responded by setting his best personal lap of the race thus far with 14 laps remaining, and soon the blue bikes were back in contention for the win. A brief state of grace saw the Yamaha riders running within 0.8s of the race leaders, but towards the end the Michelin tyres dropped, affecting the pace. Unable to challenge the front riders, the current World Champion decided to focus on defending his podium position and brought his bike over the line in third place, 3.389s from first.
Rossi lost a place at the start of the 28-lap race from second on the grid, but was soon moving to re-overtake Dovizioso in turn 6 and fought with Iannone at the end of the lap to lead over the line. What followed was a flurry of activity with Lorenzo joining the fight. The Doctor ran wide on turn 1 with 25 laps to go and dropped to fifth behind Marquez, but it didn't take him long to move up to fourth place when he set a provisional fastest lap, being the first rider to clock a 1'24s, two laps later.
Back behind his teammate, the Italian made his experience count and bided his time, sticking close to his teammate's YZR-M1. The two Yamahas were charging to the front two-thirds into the race and piled on the pressure, but as the tyres started to wear they were forced to slightly ease off their pace. Unable to make a move on Lorenzo, the nine-time World Champion decided to harvest some valuable points for the championship, finishing in fourth place 3.815s from the front.
The third place finish keeps Lorenzo in second place in the standings on 138 points, 43 points from first, whilst Rossi remains in third position with 124 points.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"It has been a positive race, especially if you consider the challenging start we had on Friday. The team has done a great job, though it is a shame our strong pace couldn't be rewarded by having two riders on the podium after such a strong ride by both of them. Jorge took a good podium result with Valentino not far behind and we finished in front of Marquez with both riders so we made up some important points for the championship. We are looking forward to the next race in Brno in one week's time where we always have been strong."
3rd / +3.389 / 28 laps, 2nd / 138 points
"Honestly, when you have one or two challenging races like me, finishing in third place is not the same as a victory, but it almost feels the same because our rivals were almost in another world during the test and throughout the weekend, in qualifying and also the second part of the race. To finally finish in third place just three seconds from the winner is a great result and we are very satisfied with the work we did on the bike and the concentration I kept during the race with the rear tyre moving a lot in the last part. I'm very happy and we should keep working, we recovered some points to Marc and it's important for the championship. Anything can happen, like we saw yesterday. Marc crashed and almost got seriously injured. We need to stay focused and have some luck and wait."
4th / +3.815 / 28 laps, 3rd / 124 points
"In the end it was a good race because the margin to our rivals in front was not very big. It was a shame that I wasn't able to fight with Lorenzo. I wanted to try and arrive on the podium, but in the end I wasn't able to do so and for sure I'm not happy about this, but for the rest it was a good weekend. We were quite competitive at this track, which is not fantastic for Yamaha, and we took some points. Our rhythm in the race was very similar to those who took the victory and we will try to be stronger next week in Brno. For me, personally, Brno is a great track where I won for the first time, but the last few years I wasn't strong enough so I'm very curious to understand if this year I can be more competitive. About today's frontrunners, I think they will also be very strong in Brno because they are always fast and the track also has a lot of straights and it's so fast, so I think we have to keep an eye on them."
Marquez scores precious points, Pedrosa improves his speed
Marc Marquez took very important points with a fifth-place finish in today’s Austrian GP. At the line, he trailed his main rivals for the title chase, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, who ended third and fourth, respectively, behind the two Ducatisti who topped the podium. Dani Pedrosa was able to keep a good pace for the entire GP and recovered from 12th on the grid to seventh at the chequered flag.
Marc, who was nursing a bruised shoulder after suffering a heavy crash in yesterday’s FP3, got a good start and entered the first turn in third but ran wide and found himself in fifth at the end of the first lap. He closely trailed the front group for over half the race, controlling Maverick Viñales behind him, but after a couple of small mistakes, he progressively lost ground and wisely settled for a top-five position.
Dani entered the first corner in 10th and overtook Scott Redding for ninth before the end of the first lap. He then kept a good rhythm until the end of the race, not so far from the front riders. Along the way, he recovered several more positions and improved his feeling with the bike.
Heading to the next race in Brno in one week’s time, Marc leads the championship with 181 points, 43 over Lorenzo and 57 ahead of Rossi. Dani is fourth with 105 points, 33 behind the runner-up position in the standings.
“After how yesterday went, I’m happy with today’s race. My shoulder didn’t hurt at any time during the race, so no excuses there. I would have taken fifth position if it were offered to me before starting the race. I knew the Ducatis and Yamahas were fast, so this was the best possible outcome and it’s positive that we’ve only lost five points compared to Lorenzo. Given the difficulties we’ve had, it was clear that our objective was to think of the fight for the Championship. I started aggressively, as it was the only way of trying to fight with the front group, but after making a couple of mistakes I lost the slipstream and it was very difficult to recover from that.”
“We went better in the race compared to the practice sessions, as we were putting in similar times to the riders at the front. We had been a little farther away from them beforehand this weekend, but today we took a step forward and that’s a positive. Now we must carry on working to continue to progress at the next race, which will be next weekend in the Czech Republic.”
TOP-6 FOR VIÑALES AT RED BULL RING MotoGP™
Team Suzuki Press Office – August 14.
Maverick Viñales put in a strong and spirited performance to finish sixth in today’s MotoGP™ Red Bull Ring World Championship race in Austria as team-mate Aleix Espargaró was forced to pull-out suffering with the effects of a fractured finger incurred in a fall on Friday.
Viñales – who set the fastest lap of the race at one stage - stayed with the leading group of six riders that broke free from the rest of the pack early on, and spent most of the race locked in a battle with series leader Marc Marquez, but the Suzuki rider couldn’t quite make the pass. The positive jump at the start and effectiveness in early corners marked an improvement in his riding, and Viñales reported a very good feeling with the machine for the first half of the race.
Both riders were in the leading group in the early stages of the 28-lap race, but as the race entered the closing stages, Espargaró, who had battled pain in yesterday’s qualifying sessions, had to pull into the pits with four laps to go. His efforts were remarkable over the whole weekend, but the progressive drop of tyre performance generated an instability in the machine that made his riding too demanding for the injured hand.
Satoru Terada – Project Leader:
“After the test we made here we worked hard in the Factory and we delivered some new parts, in particular the bigger winglets. We know we need to find some better acceleration and this was an attempt in this direction; it proved to be effective so the direction was correct, but we still need to find better improvements. Today’s race was a little under expectations after the practice, both riders had a very positive pace but the race was difficult as we had issues with ‘spinning’ that affected the acceleration. Despite this, Aleix made a huge effort riding with the injured hand and although he couldn’t finish the race he could give us precious feedback about the machine; he did a hard and efficient job and we are very thankful to him. Maverick also had a very positive weekend, he’s been consistently within the fastest times and also in the race, he could keep in touch with the leaders, but unfortunately he suffered this weakness of the acceleration that we are experiencing, so this is definitely an area we will continue to work on.”
“We did more than half the race with the leading group and I really felt confident and comfortable, I tried to overtake for fifth place but I lacked in effectiveness on the straight so I couldn't succeed; it’s a pity because I could have maybe caught-up to fourth. In the second part of the race the problem became bigger so I settled for sixth. We will need to verify the data to better understand the tyre drop as the rear tyre looked very worn. I’m satisfied because when we had full performance from the grip we were very competitive, this wasn’t an easy track for us so we need to improve the overall performance if we want to be even more competitive, but being only 14 seconds from the winner in such a ‘stop-and-go’ track – and which is not the most suitable for us - it’s a positive result.”
“It’s been a very, very hard race for me and finally I had to retire. I tried all I could but the hand hurt too much. In the first part of the race I was pretty confident, the jump at the start was very good, even though I was worried about it, and I felt confident with the bike in the early laps as I could follow with a good pace. The problems became bigger when the tyres got worn; this caused more-and-more instability to the machine, as it is normal, therefore requiring much more force on the handlebars, which obviously became a problem for my injured finger. I hoped to be able to end the race, but my pace became too slow and there was no point in risking a further crash. Furthermore, we are going to race in Brno next week, so I need to be sensible and try to recover as soon as possible. I’m really sorry, but with the team we did a good job and I felt very comfortable with the bike, plus the Suzuki Factory did a great job in delivering us new winglets in such a short time.”
THE BEST RS-GP OF THE SEASON PENALIZED BY A DOUBLE RIDE THROUGH
ROBERTO COLANINNO COMMENTS: “UNACCEPTABLE THAT HUMAN ERROR KEEPS US FROM SHOWING OUR VALUE. RESUME OUR TREND OF GROWTH STRAIGHT AWAY”
ROMANO ALBESIANO: “NOW THE ENTIRE TEAM IS CALLED ON TO PUT IN EXTRA EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE THE RESULTS WITHIN OUR POTENTIAL STRAIGHT AWAY”
The Austrian GP for Bautista and Bradl's Aprilias was decided when the lights went out.
Both penalized by an early start, Alvaro and Stefan had to do a ride through in the initial phases that compromised the outcome of the race. Incorrect communication on the RS-GP bikes' instrument panels also led the German rider to make another pit stop.
Based on performance in warm up and, especially based on the pace demonstrated after the ride through, the RS-GP machines had the potential to achieve the best performance of the season on the Red Bull Ring. Bautista, who lapped consistently with a top ten pace, finished sixteenth in the end, in any case on the threshold of the points zone, whereas Bradl was a bit farther back in nineteenth place. At the end of the race, Roberto Colaninno - Piaggio Group CEO and MD - made a statement.
ROBERTO COLANINNO - PIAGGIO GROUP MD AND CEO
“Today Aprilia had everything needed to demonstrate the progress the RS-GP has made. From the first race of the season, the new bike has gradually improved and we cannot accept the fact that human error – whether having to do with technical management or how the race is conducted – keeps us from demonstrating our true value and achieving the results that Aprilia and this bike deserve. The MotoGP calendar gives us the opportunity to redeem ourselves straight away with the Brno race. I have complete confidence in Romano Albesiano and in the new bike, but we need to roll up our sleeves and continue working every day in order to be prepared for the next race and to resume that growth trend that we had shown up to now”.
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“I am the first to be furious with the outcome of today's race. Even on a circuit that does not favour us, we had the best RS-GP of the season prepared, a bike that has shown tangible improvement, both in terms of the engine and race pace, and the times are indisputable proof of this. If he had not had any problems, Alvaro would have easily finished in the top ten. We cannot accept that, after all this work, our potential is squandered because our riders are distracted at the start and because of trivial mistakes on our part in managing the messages on the dashboard. As professionals like Alvaro and Stefan, I expect concentration and maximum commitment until the end of the year, but I want to call the entire team to put in extra effort that will lead us to working nonstop, even over the August holiday, in order to prepare for the race at Brno. We have a chance to redeem ourselves straight away and we absolutely cannot fall short of achieving the results that are within our potential”.
Rabat adds to his championship points in Austria
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat added to his world championship score card with a determined 14th place in today's sun-kissed Austrian Grand Prix.
Showing growing confidence with his Honda RC213V after his best qualifying performance of the season, Rabat rode a controlled race before battling rear grip issues over the final laps. He finished just 0.8s behind Loris Baz in thirteenth.
But it was a lone performance with Rabat's Australian teammate Jack Miller ruled unfit to race following a heavy crash at turn eight in the morning warm-up.
Miller was diagnosed with a hairline fracture of the T6 vertebrae and a hairline fracture in the radius bone of his right wrist.
The Australian was battered and bruised after the crash, his third of the weekend, and he was disappointed to be a spectator after showing impressive pace in practice.
Miller will have an MRI scan in Brno on Wednesday and then an official medical check on Thursday to determine his fitness for next weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix.
A sell-out crowd of 95,000 attended the first motorcycle Grand Prix held in Austria since 1997.
Tito Rabat: 14th
"I am happy because we made a small but crucial step forward here with the set-up, which gave me more confidence. For much of the race I was on the pace with some very good riders including Pol Espargaro, Danilo Petrucci and Cal Crutchlow. Over the final laps I lost some rear grip and that was difficult to manage. I went long on the brakes trying to stay ahead of Baz in the final laps and it was frustrating to lose that battle. Overall a positive weekend, I scored points, no problems with the front and did a good qualifying and race."
Jack Miller: DNS
"This is not the way I wanted to start the second half of the season but that's the way it is. It's a shame it didn't work out for me today but I'll keep giving it 100% and now I'm hoping to be fit to race in Brno next week, as I really like that track. I banged my foot and that's a bit sore, as is my wrist and vertebrae with the small fractures but hopefully I can heal quickly."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It is disappointing that Jack could not race today but we must think about the future and make sure he is fit and healthy. It was another valuable two points for Tito and mid-race he was doing the pace of the guys fighting 11th, so with some more experience this is definitely his potential. We will do a medical check with Jack on Wednesday in Brno to assess his condition before deciding whether to submit him to an official medical assessment on Thursday at the circuit."
Smith and Espargaro turn around tricky weekend with top ten finishes in Austria
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith delivered a fully determined performance today at the Austrian Grand Prix to clinch 9th in front of more than 95,000 enthusiastic spectators. The British star leapt forward from the middle of the fifth row of the grid and after navigating his way through the frantic first lap, he crossed the finish line in 11th. Shortly afterwards, Smith slipped back two positions but pushed onwards before moving up to 10th at the halfway point. He sustained his strong rhythm and closed down the gap to Laverty before gliding past him on lap 17 and then comfortably pulling away. The 25-year-old continued to lap at an impressive pace right until the chequered flag and was unlucky to just miss out on the top independent position by three-tenths of a second. Nevertheless, the result marks a positive close to a previously challenging weekend for the British rider.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro pulled off a positive recovery charge to complete the round 10 fight at the spectacular Spielberg circuit in 10th. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion kicked off his campaign from the fifth row of the grid after a tricky qualifying and concluded the opening lap in 14th. He then upped his pace as he aimed to climb through the field and his strong rhythm saw him rise to 13th with nine laps completed. Next in his sights was Danilo Petrucci who the Spaniard expertly closed down and shot past six laps later. He remained consistent and he continued to push, before overtaking Aleix Espargaro on lap 23, and then Eugene Laverty one lap later. Espargaro then comfortably opened a gap and crossed the finish line one position behind his teammate.
9th / +29.785 / 28 laps, 14th / 42 points
"Overall, I have to be happy with the result and we really turned things around today. Having said that, I am also a little bit disappointed because the top satellite position was the aim, especially after the pace that we had in warm-up and I knew that we had a good chance. I was lucky at the beginning of the GP with all the jumps starts around me but I lost a large amount of time on the opening lap and then there were quite a few mistakes by other riders, which cost me. I was pleased that I managed to cut the gap to Laverty and Redding and I believe that I was really strong in the middle part of the Grand Prix. The only issue was that I put a lot of stress on my tyres to close that deficit to those riders. As we weren't too sure about the fuel consumption, we had to play it safe and slightly dial down some of the power, which meant that I wasn't able to get close enough to Redding to make a full attack. However, we already knew it would be a challenging weekend, but from where we were on Friday to where we are now, it's clear to see that we've made a big step and I have to say that I'm very proud."
10th / +37.094 / 28 laps, 8th / 78 points
"It goes without saying that 10th position is a long way from where we want to be but we still have to look at the positive points, especially after a challenging weekend like this. It was the first time this season that we were not as competitive as we should have been, yet we managed to increase the gap to our direct revivals in the Best Independent Rider battle with Barbara and Crutchlow. However, we were not able to completely solve the difficulties that we had to face in the last two days, but still, we went for the best compromise which enabled me to improve my pace unlike in the practice sessions. Fortunately, now we are going straight to Brno, which is a track that suits the Yamaha's style a lot better and where we have a lot of data from the previous years. Therefore, I am sure that my feeling on the YZR-M1 will once again be as good as it was in Germany."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:
“It was an incredible weekend for MotoGP in Austria and we were given a very warm welcome, the facilities are amazing and the organisation was superb for our first race back here after so many years. This race is great for the country and very good for our sport. With regards to the Tech3 riders, we are reasonably happy and even though there is not a huge amount to celebrate because the riders finished in 9th and 10th, we had a tough week, so to obtain these positions is a rewarding payback for the team’s efforts. From the word go, Brad and Pol pushed hard and had a strong pace all the way through and they gained places one by one. They deserve their results inside the top ten, even if they are further back from where they would like to finish. These points will keep us as the first independent team in the championship standings, which is important to me. Also Pol remains on top in the leading satellite battle which is very good news. We are a happy team, and now we are heading to the Czech republic with a positive feeling and there, I hope we can make a step up with both riders.”
CRUEL LUCK FOR CRUTCHLOW IN AUSTRIA AFTER MINOR TRANSGRESSION
It was a demanding day for the LCR Honda Team and their rider Cal Crutchlow at the first Austrian Grand Prix in 19 years, after a jump-start ruled out any chances of fighting for the top positions.
Having let the clutch out a fraction too early, Crutchlow actually stopped his bike completely before the lights went out, so the ensuing ride-through penalty seemed a harsh punishment for the minor crime.
Rejoining the race at the back of the field the British rider still didn’t give up the ghost however, and with an impressive pace he eventually crossed the line in 15th position to claim a solitary point.
The next round of the MotoGP World Championship takes place in just a week, at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic, where the LCR Honda Team will be hoping for better luck.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 15th
“Obviously I’m really disappointed. I want to say sorry to my team, I made a mistake and it’s as simple as that. I let the clutch out too early. I thought the penalty was very harsh, but I suppose with the other people jump-starting if I didn’t get the penalty then there would have been complaints. I stopped, and then the lights went out, and promptly lost ten places on the track.”
“When things got going I was actually one of the fastest out there, the leader was in 1’25.1 and we were in 1’25.4. I made sure I brought the bike home though, that was the main thing. It’s been a great summer break for me, and a good one for the team too. So to take an average result when there are so many positives is a bit hard. I don’t know where we would have finished, maybe in between Marc and Dani, but we didn’t and that’s it.”
“We go to Brno with positive vibes because I’m feeling good on the bike and in good shape, and we hope it’s going to be different. I’ve had some great results there in the past and took my first podium there so I’m looking forward to it.”
Scott brings Octo Pramac Yakhnich to the Parc Fermée on the day of the Ducati’s triumph
Scott brings Octo Pramac Yakhnich to the Parc Fermée on the day of the Ducati’s triumph
There is also Octo Pramac Yakhnihc at the Red Bull Ring’s Parc Fermeé to celebrate the historic 1-2 finish by Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso. At the end of a great race, the British rider wins eighth place but especially the 1st Independent Team prize in '# AustrianGP
Danilo Petrucci’s 11th place is a good result because conquered at the end of a difficult weekend in which Petrux didn’t manage to give his best.
After losing some positions in the first lap, Scott began to lap under the 1'26 consistently managing to recover up to the ninth position. After the black flag of Barberà, the # 45 started chasing Laverty and passed him on lap 17 to put himself behind the factory riders. The duel with Smith was exciting. In the last 7 laps Smith had managed to reduce the gap to 4/10. But Redding did very well to stay focused and finish his Sunday with his team at Parc Fermeé.
A difficult start with some mistakes did not allow Petrux to remain glued to Top 10 train. In the second part of the race, however, Danilo reacted well, managing to pass Aleix Espargaro. In the last corner, preparing his attack to Laverty, losing the fron Petrux was forced to leave the brakes and was unable to avoid the contact with Eugene who crashed out.
Scott brings Octo Pramac Yakhnich to the Parc Fermée on the day of the Ducati’s triumph
8° - Scott Redding
I am very happy for the race. I had to work hard with the maps to be able to get through the race with gasoline. It has been a good battle with Smith because I could take an advantage on the straights but I saw that he was recovering every time. The track conditions have not changed much during the race but enough to feel it. Before the race I thought that I would be happy to stay in the Top 8. Leading the team to the Parc Fermeé was a great satisfaction.
11° - Danilo Petrucci
First of all I want to apologize to Eugene for hitting him. I did not want to pass him, I was just trying to attack, but I lost the front and I had to leave the brakes. I'm really sorry
It has been a very difficult weekend. I never found the right set up. The pace race was nota s bad but I did too many mistakes in the first few laps. Thank God this week end it’s over. Brno is in a week and I can’t wait to run.
Baz scores three points, black flag for Barbera
Avintia Racing leaves Spielberg with a bittersweet feeling after the Austrian Gran Prix today. Hector Barbera was on the fourth row after finishing tenth on qualifying yesterday. He did a fantastic start and was sixth on the first corner. But happiness finished soon, and after watching he did a jump-start, Race Direction sanctioned him with a Ride Through. Barbera didn’t see his pit-board and, the signal display lights on his bike, where he can see the messages from Race Direction was not working, so he continued in the race. But finally he got black flagged and was forced to go back to the garage.
Barbera was disappointed, but Baz today was happy after scoring three championship points. Is not too much, but after his injury and the previous bad results, this was a boost of confidence for the Avintia Racing French rider. He was last on the grid and finished 13th, but the most important is that he got his feeling back. In the last laps after a good battle, he passed Tito Rabat.
Next weekend the MotoGP World Championship heads the Czech Republic, where Barbera will have the chance to recoup his error, and Baz will continue building his confidence.
Loris Baz - P13
“Yesterday we started to get some feeling back, and also my confidence with the bike. But this morning we tried something in the warm up and it worked quite well. During the race I was focussed to push hard and it worked quite well. But during the first ten laps the front was blocking in every straight braking point, so I was forced to slow my pace. But then I was able to push again because the front tyre was working, and I gave my best to catch Tito. We had a similar pace, but I did less mistakes in the final laps and I was able to pass him. My physical condition is not at 100%, but soon I’ll be fine. The main thing is that we found our way, now we have to keep this momentum in the next races and try to fight with Hector to be in the top 10.”
Hector Barbera - Disqualified
“It was a shame because I didn’t see the ride through. It seems that my bike display had a problem and the white light was not working; I was trying to see that information, but it never came. I neither saw my pit-board until the lap before I stopped, but it was too late. I’m disappointed because I was doing the best race of the season, but now we can’t change it and we must think in the next race. My start was on the limit, I think I didn’t start before the red lights turned off, but maybe I released the clutch a little bit. But if Race Direction watched it, for sure I moved. I want to say sorry to my team, because we did a great job during the weekend, and today we were set to get a good result.”
Pull&Bear Aspar Team leave Austria empty handed
Sunday, 14 August 2016 14:48
Crash for Eugene Laverty and ride-through penalty for Yonny Hernández prevent collection of points at Spielberg
Ducati dominated the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, with Andrea Iannone taking the manufacturer’s first win since 2010 in a battle with teammate Andrea Dovizioso. The difference between the two at the end was just 9 tenths of a second, as Iannone claimed his first ever MotoGP victory. Jorge Lorenzo completed the podium, ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi. With Marc Marquez –who suffered a shoulder injury on Saturday- finishing fifth, the gap at the top between him and Lorenzo now lies at 43 points. The MotoGP World Championship continues next week at Brno (Czech Republic).
The Pull&Bear Aspar Team riders suffered disappointment on race day in Austria, as neither Eugene Laverty nor Yonny Hernández were able to convert their progress over the weekend into points. Laverty, who on Saturday had taken his best grid position in MotoGP, experienced bad luck at Spielberg when he was taken out on the final lap by Danilo Petrucci, after an intense battle between the two. The Italian had clipped him several times on the last lap, and sent him to the ground on the final corner when he was in contention for eleventh place. Laverty is joint tenth in the overall standings, but ended a great run of nine consecutive races in the points. Hernández was handed a penalty for jumping the start, which cost him his chances of finishing in the points. The Colombian started from sixteenth on the grid and had the pace to keep climbing positions, but the order on lap four to ride through pit lane put an end to his comeback through the field. In the end he placed seventeenth.
17th Yonny Hernández: “When I saw that I had been given a penalty, I was surprised. When the light went out I dropped the clutch, and I have seen the video from the front and you can’t notice any jump start. I thought the penalty was for what happened at the first corner, where several of us ran wide but there was no other way to get back on track. Also, on the straights in the first sector we lost distance to the other riders and it was hard to catch them. I had the pace to get into the top twelve, but at least we finished the race and gave our best during these three days. Now it is time to focus on Brno, because are working well.”
18th Eugene Laverty: “I got a terrible start, but I made up some places on the early laps. Then I had a lot of spinning at Turn 5, followed by a huge amount of chatter, and I thought it might have been an electrical problem. Something happened with the tyre -we've looked at the data and it turns out the problem was with both the front and the rear. I lost a lot of time with it and that was when I dropped back. I was trying to salvage some points at the end, and was fighting for eleventh on the final lap with Petrucci. In my opinion, he was riding more than aggressively -it was too much. At Turn 3 he rode almost on the inside of me instead of overtaking. He hit me at the apex and then I repassed him on Turn 4. I defended the line on the final corner, and again he did the same thing -coming up the inside- and I crashed. I'm not happy, because it happened more than once from him. It's cost me eleventh place and we worked too hard this weekend for someone to ruin things for us 200 metres before the line, and all for a single point.”
Michelin and Iannone take maiden victories at the Red Bull Ring in a Spielberg blockbuster
Michelin’s MotoGP™ debut at the Red Bull Ring in Austria produced a thrilling race during the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich which saw Ducati’s Andrea Iannone take his first premier class win at the Spielberg track.
Starting from pole position, Iannone was the only rider to choose the new medium compound rear MICHELIN Power Slick, which had been especially developed for the Austrian circuit following a recent test held there. The Italian got the holeshot and led for most of the first-lap until Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) passed him just before they crossed the stripe for the first time. An incredible battle then ensued at the front, as those two were joined by four more riders in the shape of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Maverick Viñales (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR). With all the riders battling for positions it wasn’t long before the lead changed hands as Dovizioso reeled in his team-mate on lap-10. The Italian – who today became the youngest rider to make 250 Grand Prix starts – held the lead for 10 more laps until he was hunted down by Iannone and passed on lap-21. Despite Dovizioso’s best efforts, Iannone used his Michelin tyres to great effect in the closing stages as he recorded the race’s fastest lap on the 24th circulation and almost bettered it on the final lap to further confirm the durability of the latest compounds. He brought his Ducati home in front of Dovizioso to give Ducati its first MotoGP victory since 2010 and the Italian marque’s first one-two since 2007. Iannone’s victory also made him the fifth different MotoGP winner this season, a feat that hasn’t happened since 2009.
Behind the front two the battle was just as intriguing as the Yamaha’s of Lorenzo and Rossi stayed in close contention throughout the 28-lap race. Lorenzo just got the better of his team-mate to secure the final podium position, with current championship leader Marquez taking fifth, just in front of Viñales. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) took seventh, with Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich) racing to eighth and the position of First Independent Team Rider. The top-10 was rounded out by Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Michelin’s new tyres also saw the race completed without a single rider crashing, as the only incident that saw a faller was due to one rider hitting another.
Today’s event was held in clear and sunny conditions with track temperatures reaching 46°C, a statistic that further underlines the tyres’ all-round performance on this technical and abrasive circuit. A crowd of 95,000 packed the circuit, taking the total of spectators to almost 216,000, making this the biggest race weekend of the season so far.
Michelin and the rest of the MotoGP field now makes the short trip to the neighbouring Czech Republic as it heads to Brno for the second race in this double-header and round 11 of the championship on Sunday 21st August.
Andrea Iannone – Ducati Team:
“Michelin has worked very well from the test that we had here and they changed the tyres to give us ones that are very strong and had competitive grip, so I am very happy with that. Always this year, race-by-race, test-by-test and step-by-step Michelin has improved and they are coming better all the time, which is good for everybody.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“We are very pleased with the weekend here in Spielberg, it has been very positive and showed that our tyres work well in many different conditions. At the start of the weekend on Friday it was very cold with track temperatures of 15°C, but for today’s race it was almost 50°C and our tyres reacted very well. Today’s race was always believed to be a dual between the Ducatis – and so it proved – but the two Yamaha’s closed the gap over the weekend, so it made for a very competitive and interesting afternoon. To see the fastest laps recorded towards the end is testament to what we are doing and to have a 28-lap race in those conditions without a single crash due to tyres, is also an extremely positive indication of the direction we are going in. We now move to Brno where we have some new tyres which we will be using for the first time since the test at Barcelona and we hope that these will give yet another step in performance and provide the riders with even better traction.”