Press releases from the teams and Michelin after the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring:
Andrea Dovizioso scores a fantastic win in the Austrian Grand Prix to move into second place in the championship. Jorge Lorenzo had a good race to finish fourth
Andrea Dovizioso powered to a spectacular and truly memorable win in the Austrian GP, held today at the Red Bull Ring circuit near Spielberg. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider, who started from the front row of the grid after going second quickest in qualifying, rode a masterful race to always stay in the leading group, and he took over at the front on lap 18. Andrea was then passed by Marquez but was back in the lead again on lap 22 and he held on to that position until the chequered flag, despite a last-ditch attempt by the Spanish rider in the final corner.
Thanks to the 25 points’ haul for today’s win, his third of the season, Dovizioso has moved into second place in the overall championship standings, reducing the gap from leader Marquez to 16 points.
Jorge Lorenzo had a good race to finish fourth at the line. The Spanish rider got a great start from the front row and took the lead on the opening lap, followed by Marquez and Dovizioso. Jorge stayed in the lead of the race for eleven laps, but was then passed by Dovizioso and the two factory Honda riders, but he defended his fourth place right until the chequered flag. Thanks to today’s result, Lorenzo now lies seventh in the championship with 79 points.
MotoGP will return to the track again in a couple of weeks’ time at the Silverstone circuit in the UK on the weekend of August 25-27.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st
“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. 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 tyres 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.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 4th
“I think that this was my best race of the year: I started from the front row, I led the race for 11 laps, and I finished the GP just over six seconds down on the winner. This time we were a bit lacking in power, because from the third lap onwards I had to change the mapping to keep the fuel consumption under control, and above all I was losing a lot on the straights to my rivals. The rear tyre also deteriorated on the right side and I was unable to keep touch with the leading group. Things are going better at every race, I’m riding more convincingly and I’m able to get more out of my bike. We’re missing very little, just a couple of tenths, to be able to fight for the win and so we must be satisfied. Congratulations to Andrea, because he deserved to win what was a very difficult race.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“Andrea did a really fantastic race, both from a tactical and sporting point of view, and his win came in an incredible manner, especially in the last two corners. I’m still full of adrenalin! Well done to Dovi, who did a perfect race, and it was a good job also by Jorge, who led for the first eleven laps and finished the GP with a good fourth place.”
Sixth double podium finish of the season for Repsol Honda Team at Red Bull Ring
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa scored the third consecutive double podium finish and the sixth of the season out of 11 races, in one of the most exciting races this year and in front of more than 90,000 thrilled spectators at the Red Bull Ring Circuit.
After an epic battle with Andrea Dovizioso that lasted until the last corner, Marc was edged by the Italian at the finish line by just 0.176”. Teammate Pedrosa completed the podium, recovering from eighth on the grid to gain 16 valuable points in the standings.
The next appointment for the Repsol Honda team will be a one-day test in Misano on August 20. After that, the team will head to the Silverstone race with Marc leading the Championship by 16 points over Dovizioso, while Dani remains in fifth place having reduced his deficit to Rossi in fourth to just two points.
“I wouldn’t have slept well tonight if I didn’t try to go for the win in the last corner! But it wasn’t possible. Today Dovi had just a little bit more than us and it was difficult to overtake him. I tried my best all race, really gave it my all, and I lost the rear many times. It was a great battle, and Dovi deserved this victory as he rode very well. We got this second place and it’s good. I’m very happy with these 20 points at this track where I had struggled a lot last year. It’s an important result for the Championship. We’re working well; step-by-step, we found a good base that allowed us to be there, and to be consistent in every situation. Today I was able to try that move at the end because I was feeling good with the bike. It will be important to continue like this and to try and be on the podium at every race.”
“I’m very, very happy with how this weekend turned out and with this podium finish, as we had struggled a lot in the practices, had to go through Q1, and finally qualified just eighth on the grid. But it turned out in the race that I was faster than we were expecting. I still had some issues with the front locking and the rear spinning, but our race strategy worked very well. I wasn’t too aggressive in the beginning; I took my time with a full tank, saving some fuel, and then step-by-step I increased my pace until I closed the gap to the front of the race, also because Marc and Dovi were battling and disturbing each other. Unfortunately, when I caught them I had so much spinning that the rear tyre overheated and I had no more grip and drive. I wanted to stay with them and try to fight with them but even though I couldn’t, I’m happy with this podium and proud of my team and of the work we did here.”
Movistar Yamaha Seal Sixth and Seventh Place in Spielberg Race
Movistar Yamaha MotoGPs Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had the throttle fully open at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, as they contended in a seven-rider fight at the front in the early stages of the race. The teammates lost some time, running wide in turn 1 in separate incidents, but they put their heads down to collect crucial championship points, taking sixth and seventh place respectively.
Viñales had a good start and held on to his fourth place going into the first corner. He briefly made a move on Rossi on lap 3, but couldnt make it stick. He was eager to have another go in turn 1 on the next lap, but ran wide and fell back to seventh place.
The young Spaniard didnt let the small error upset his rhythm and, with 15 laps to go, he was back behind his teammate, ready to join the seven-rider fight for the lead. As Rossi went wide in turn one, Viñales moved up to sixth. On lap 17 the young gun was ready to take on Johann Zarco. He was looking threatening behind the satellite rider for the remainder of the race, but was not able to squeeze his number 25 bike past the Frenchman, and crossed the line in sixth place, 7.447s from the front.
Starting the race from seventh on the grid, Rossi slotted into fifth place storming towards turn 1, and quickly fought his way to fourth past his teammate. He withstood the pressure Viñales put on him in the opening laps, as he chased the leading trio.
The Doctor reached the back of Marc Marquezs bike on lap eight, bringing Zarco with him, but encountered a set-back. A block pass from the fellow Yamaha rider pushed the Italian back to sixth behind the chasing Dani Pedrosa. Running wide in turn 1, with 15 laps to go, Rossi soon fell back behind Viñales to seventh. He was eager to follow his teammate, but was unable to keep up a consistent pace in the high 124s and low 125s, and decided to focus on bringing home his bike in seventh place, 8.995s from first.
Today's race results see Viñales move back to third in the championship standings, 24 points behind the leader and 9 points ahead of Rossi. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team holds second place in the team rankings, with a 22-point margin to the front. In the Constructor championship, Yamaha holds the top spot. They are on equal points with Honda, each having earned 211 in total and both scored four GP wins, but Yamaha earned one more second place so far this season.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team will have a private test at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli next week on Sunday, August 20th. After that the team will be back in action in two weeks time for the Octo British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit.
Position: 6th - Championship: 3rd - Points: 150
"I suffered from a big drop in grip of the rear tyre for almost the entire race. When I went wide as I was fighting with Valentino, I just tried to calm down, make the tyre work until the end, but it was totally impossible. Not only with other manufacturers, but also with Zarco, it was really difficult to keep following them. We have to work really hard if we want to fight for this championship. I like Silverstone a lot, it is one of the best tracks on the calendar. I always like going there, I really like the lay-out. I will go for the best result possible, trying to be on top."
Position: 7th - Championship: 4th - Points: 141
"Today the problems started after ten or twelve laps. Unfortunately, we stressed the rear tyre too much, so the rear tyre dropped a lot and we lost a lot of performance and speed. From that moment on it was very difficult to control the bike and I also made a mistake on the brakes. I didnt have the pace in the second half of the race, I suffered too much from a lack of grip. Its a shame because we worked a lot, but it looks like it's the same problem as we had in Jerez and Barcelona. When we use the rear tyre too much, the bike becomes slower and more difficult to ride in the second half of the race. For sure we have to work a lot mechanically and also on the electronics to improve this problem."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"We had anticipated that this would be a challenging race, that would be hard on the tyres. We decided to go with the hard rear spec this morning, but in the end this didnt pay off as we had hoped. The start of the race went well: both Maverick and Valentino were able to compete at the front of the field, but after 10 laps they started to suffer from a lack of grip from the rear tyre. It was unfortunate that this cost us some valuable points in the championship challenge, but the riders did well to hold on to sixth and seventh place and bring home the best results possible under these circumstances. The team will work hard to find a solution for the issue before the race at Silverstone, at the private test in Misano next weekend."
11TH PLACE FOR IANNONE, 16TH FOR RINS AFTER AUSTRIAN GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – Aug 13.
Andrea Iannone: 11th - +20.101
Alex Rins: 16th - +32.912
The Red Bull Ring’s tough circuit in Austria saw Andrea Iannone struggling to capitalize on the improvements made at the weekend for today’s race, and as a consequence finishing in 11th place. Team mate Alex Rins finished his race in 21st, taking important steps on his path of development.
The morning warm-up saw increased temperatures compared to previous days, and both riders busy finalizing their enhanced setups for the race. Both have been consistent in the race’s pace test, with Iannone in 12th place with 1'24.834 and Rins in 20th with 1'25.151.
In the race, both riders had a good start, but Rins had the bad luck of being hit by another rider at the very beginning of the first lap, so lost some time. He then set himself on a superb pace that allowed him to recover. He was able to reach 16th place, although not able to get into the points. Iannone hard fought in the early stages of the race to keep close to the leading pack, but as the race continued his pace slackened and he fell back a few places, until ending the race in 11th position.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“We stopped in Brno for a testing day after the race. Both riders tested new items that worked very well and this means we managed to improve. Then here in Austria, Andrea started well at the weekend, with direct access to Q2, tenth place in qualifying, and also the pace with race tyres was not so bad. We were expecting a better result from the race. Unfortunately, despite these improvements, the performance was not good enough. We also made important improvements this weekend. We have to continue working and hopefully we will get better results in the next race at Silverstone, where we won last year. About Alex, he’s been unlucky at the beginning of the race, but then he was able to carry out a solid race. I believe this has been an important experience for him as a young rider.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We knew this would not be an easy track for us and we were prepared for a tough race, but honestly after the previous day’s success we were expecting a better result. But to the contrary but we encountered some areas we have to improve when we believed we could be closer to the top of the board. It’s nothing new actually, and it’s something we are already working on. However, with Andrea we saw an improvement with his touch on the bike compared to previous races, which is positive. We couldn’t do better than 11th place, but I hope we are establishing the basis for further improvement in the near future. Alex unfortunately made contact with another rider at the first corner which caused him to lose time, but then he set a good pace. I believe this race has been very useful for him as a learning experience. The final position is what it is, but it’s been another step – important, I’d say – in his growth process. We are now looking forward to Silverstone, a nice track where last year were very, very competitive.”
“To me this weekend has been positive, despite the final position not being satisfactory. We made some improvements and we lowered the gap. At many moments of the weekend we were close to the competitiveness that we would like to have. We know we struggle more in the race. We suffer with the drop in tyre performance, but we are working on that and I see positive feedback from Suzuki. The solution is achievable but not as immediate as we’d like, so we have to put up with it and keep on. I can see that I am not the only one in this and they all are making an effort to try to improve. This is something I really appreciate and I will do my best to give them what they deserve. We need to be patient, but in these last two races we learned so much; this will be useful. Here in Austria we suffered a lot with the tyre drop, maybe with the electronics we can solve the problem, and also with some improvements in the chassis or setup. At the same time we improved the braking considerably, which was a crucial point for me. This means that little by little we are getting there.”
“It's been a complicated race. The start went well, but then I was in the middle of a group in which I lost some positions. When I started to recover, one rider hit me and I went off the track. While making up the distance I think I was pushing too much and I was not able to keep the tyre as I would have liked. I was able to overtake a few places and finish the race. That, under the circumstances, was the main objective. At this track we have suffered a little more than we expected, but to sum up, I am satisfied with the steps that we have taken even though the result is not what we expected at the beginning of the weekend.”
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ COMES BACK FROM THE TWENTIETH SPOT ON THE GRID FOR A POINTS FINISH IN AUSTRIA
The expected comeback ride arrived and took Aleix Espargaró into the points zone for the Austrian GP, recovering from the twentieth spot on the starting grid and finishing in thirteenth place, which was certainly a positive result on a weekend turned difficult for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini after the qualifiers on Saturday.
In any case, the potential of the RS-GP and the Spanish rider were not affected by the race today. Even in difficult conditions, Aleix was able to demonstrate an absolutely competitive pace after the initial laps, whereas the team skilfully took advantage of the morning warmup to reacquire feeling (something for which the ninth place in that session is a testament). This was a technical response that lets the team leave Austria with a finish in the points, fourth place in the manufacturer standings and motivation to return, as early as at Silverstone, to the levels that have been demonstrated up to now.
Sam Lowes, after a good start, suffered particularly from rear tyre wear which forced him to slow his pace considerably, settling for finishing the race in twentieth place.
"I suffered a lot, especially at the beginning when I found myself basically in last place. We struggled in acceleration from low speed, so I had to make up ground in the braking sections. After a few laps I began to feel better, overtaking a lot of riders and setting a good pace. I am not satisfied with my final position. We have the potential to finish much farther forward, but I think that the real problem was yesterday's qualifiers. Starting twentieth on a track like this one makes everything more difficult. We earned points, which is obviously not our goal, but an unlucky race can happen along the way as we grow."
"The first part of the race was the best since I've been with Aprilia. Both in terms of position and in terms of pace, I was not far behind my teammate and I was making up ground. Unfortunately, we made the wrong rear tyre choice. I felt good at the start with the soft, but then the grip faded and I basically had to manage the last 12 laps just to make it to the chequered flag. It's too bad about the result, but for us this is the umpteenth important lesson on managing the weekend. Now I am thinking about my home race at Silverstone, where I will be highly motivated."
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"The weekend started well on Friday, whereas on Saturday we went down the wrong technical path in terms of bike settings which did not give us the responses we had hoped for. This conditioned our qualifiers. This morning in warmup we went back to a standard setup that Aleix knows well and performance re-stabilised. In the race we gambled with the hard tyre on the rear and we had never used it during the weekend, so Aleix had to get used to it in the early laps. Our final performance is obviously not in line with our actual level, but we count on resuming our upward trend already in Silverstone."
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Kallio top 10 in Austria as MotoGP project speeds ahead
RACE 11th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (AUT)
In front of just over 90,400 people the Austrian Grand Prix weekend again wowed the crowds at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg today as they witnessed another great result for the Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing team as Mika Kallio stamped his authority on another top ten finish for the KTM RC16 MotoGP bike in only its first season. Miguel Oliveira in Moto2 was scything through the field with record lap after record lap to be within touching distance of yet another podium only to fall five laps from home. KTM started from pole position in Moto3 and came home with a second position as German Philipp Oettl headed a huge group over the line. The Spielberg weekend once more did not disappoint for the fans as over the Home Grand Prix weekend 201,589 people came to see their heroes, the second highest number of fans attending a race so far in 2017.
Following KTM's first top ten finish in MotoGP last weekend, Mika Kallio rode one of the races of his life today at the Spielberg track to be tenth in only the eleventh race for the KTM RC16 motorcycle. The Finn, a winner for KTM in 125cc and 250cc was only 19.7 seconds off the winner of the race – his best ever in the top class of prototype GP racing. Without doubt Pol Espargaro was up for a top ten finish too but was sideswiped by another rider as he accelerated off the line but then had a brake sensor failure on the first lap, a one-in-a-thousand chance failure. Bradley Smith was unfortunately unable to score points as the warmer weather didn't suit his set up in the gruelling race. He now looks forward to his home race at Silverstone in the U.K.
Kallio: "That was a super, super race, something that was the absolute maximum that we could do from our side as I thought before the race I have a realistic chance to get some points. I managed to make a great start and got some places early on in the first corners. I could stay with guys around me giving me more boost to push and push even though this track looks on paper not so difficult it is very hard physically, particularly on the brakes and that makes a difference as I haven't raced so much recently so if I'm racing more often I could be even closer. Today was however one of the best races I've done in MotoGP as when you look at the gap, this was the closest I've ever been to the winner in MotoGP at just 19.7 seconds back, so after 28 laps this is a huge step forward for the KTM MotoGP project and I'm very proud to be part of it."
Smith: "This has certainly been a busy race and one that I won't forget in terms of the huge support from the orange family. It was very cool to see the KTM Grandstand packed full of 8,200 people on the warm up lap was pretty cool, I'm not going to lie. The race didn't didn't quite turn out how I necessarily thought it would as I made a good start and was hanging in there holding low 1m 25s like I did in warm up but the warmer weather took its toll and however much I changed my style I couldn't quite hold onto that pace. I was pleased as I was holding off some good guys but I had a big moment at turn 9 and ran off the track and then I had to get it home.To see KTM get another top ten was great."
Espargaro: "I'm so disappointed for what has happened today as we just had simple bad luck. We had the opportunity to show the world what KTM is doing with this great project after 7th in the warm up this morning. I had the speed and pace but a sensor on the rear brake wasn't working so I had no rear brake from the first lap. Such a shame as it's out biggest race in front of this huge crowd but now we have a test in Misano and then Silverstone for the next MotoGP."
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): "Everybody is so happy we've had another top ten position, this time at our first Home Grand Prix. We had three riders on the grid but at the flag Mika and the team did a fantastic job. This was a strong result with KTM there all race. No one dropped out in front of us so we are very happy, but we've been very very unlucky with Pol because I'm 100% sure it was going to be his day today to even get a better result than last week in Brno. He showed his potential this morning and had a great feeling on the bike but that clash with another bike off the start damaged the rear brake. He's so so disappointed but he will have his days when he will make us really happy. Bradley is still struggling on the bike so he could not achieve what he wanted and we wanted but in general we have had two races with a top ten result so that shows the project is going in the right direction."
Zarco concludes Austrian GP as top Yamaha Luckless Folger forced to retire
Johann Zarco rocked the Austrian hills and delivered a highly impressive performance to clinch 5th and the top independent honours in the memorable round 11 fight. The French star began the Grand Prix from the rear of the second row and immediately fought in the leading group when it began. He broke the race lap record on the 6th lap and superbly held off a late charge from Maverick Viñales before powering across the finish line to record his sixth top five result in his rookie year.
On the other hand, Jonas Folgers fight came to a premature end after a technical issue forced the rapid German, who is celebrating his 24th birthday today, to pull into the pits and retire on the third lap. Ahead of the race, Folger determinedly eyed up a top six finish and he began from 13th on the grid. The young gun undertook a rocket start and fought through the first laps before his unfortunate retirement.
Position: 5th - Championship: 6th - Points: 99
"It was a good Sunday and Im very happy with what we achieved. This morning, the warm up was difficult for me and I was a bit worried about how things would be in the race. Yet, this afternoon, the temperature was high and it was the warmest that it has been throughout the weekend and so the soft compound was the best tyre option. However, it had a great feeling but we were still a bit unsure about what would happen in the GP. Anyway, I am pleased about the start and I was able to fight in the first lap. Then I felt really strong after the fifth lap but it was too tricky to overtake. When I claimed 5th position, the tyres dropped a bit so I tried to manage it. I wanted to catch Lorenzo in 4th however, it was not possible today, and at the same time, I wanted to keep hold of 5th because Viñales was behind me and he was pushing. In the end, it was a perfect finish and I am so happy to be back in the top five. This result is great for the championship as well as my confidence and battling with the leading guys is very exciting."
Position: DNF - Championship: 8th - Points: 77
"I have to admit that it was a really hard weekend for us and there were many ups and downs. We tried a new chassis but we were unsure if it was better or not at this circuit, and I think in the end I was not getting confident with the track. However, I felt good in the warm up, even if my position was quite low because I was using old tyres. Plus, my qualifying performance was not so bad if we look at the lap time. Therefore, I was feeling confident for the race, but then we experienced a technical issue and I had to retire. This is a shame because I think that we could have done a great job and taken some valuable championship points. Now, we have to analyse what happened so that it wont occur again."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"It was an incredible battle at the front of the field and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is proud to have been part of that fight until half way through the race. Johann did an incredible job and got past both Yamaha riders, even though it was tough, and he also broke the race lap record. Maverick and Valentino were both using the hard compound tyres and our rider was running with the soft so I thought that the second part of the GP could have been challenging, but Johann did incredibly well to preserve his tyres and keep both of them behind him. He was the best independent rider by far and also the leading rookie by even more of a distance. We are pleased with a top five finish and he completed the weekend as the first Yamaha which means that we have gained 11 points for the constructors' championship which will help Yamaha. I am proud of what Johann did today because it was tough and the pressure from Maverick and Valentino was so intense. As for Jonas, I feel very sorry for him. After the big disappointment in the Czech Republic, the weekend was a bit more difficult for him here but he had a great start and I think he would have been inside the top 8. Unfortunately, he encountered a brake issue, which was really strange. We are working with Brembo at the moment to work out what happened because this has never occurred before. Today is Jonas birthday and we were hoping that he could have scored a good result to celebrate his day, but sadly, this didnt happen which is a big shame. We know that he is on form and I want to wish him a happy birthday and I hope hes going to forget this disappointment quickly. Silverstone is coming so let's hope that our two guys will be fighting for top positions there. Thanks to the whole team because it was a tough way to restart the championship after the summer break but now we have a few days to relax so that we can come back stronger."
Rabat and Miller go unrewarded in Austria
A bold bid to finish in the points ended in disappointment for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat in today’s MotoGP race in Austria.
Miller was an undeserving non-finisher, crashing out on lap 20 of 28, at the fast and spectacular Spielberg track while Rabat rode a lonely race to finish 19th.
After qualifying on the seventh row Miller backed his race day ability to challenge for points. The Australian rider surged through the traffic from 19th to 13th on the opening lap and by lap seven was settled in 11th place behind Finnish rider Mika Kallio who eventually finished tenth.
Despite his forward progress being slowed by rear grip issues Miller was focussed on finishing in the points when his race came to an abrupt end at turn nine.
Miller was unhurt in the tumble but unhappy to go unrewarded in what had been a challenging weekend aboard his Honda RC213V at the demanding Austrian venue.
The heavy braking zones and hard acceleration out of low gear corners proved to be a difficult layout for both Miller and Rabat.
After being delayed on the opening lap and losing touch with a group Rabat was forced to ride alone in a fruitless chase for points having started on the last row of the grid.
After back-to-back races in Brno and Spielberg both Miller and Rabat will now focus on the coming British Grand Prix at Silverstone in two weeks.
Tito Rabat: 19th
“I am disappointed because even though I knew it would be difficult to get points in the race that was my target. On the first lap I tried to go around Pol Espargaro but he went long because he had no brakes so I lost time and distance to the group and then rode alone to the finish. Now it is important to keep our heads up in this difficult moment and focus on the remaining races.”
Jack Miller: DNF
“The race was going really well when I crashed on lap 20. I had really good pace early in the race but then I started to lose some rear grip, it felt like the tyre was overheating in the final sector, I had couple of warnings that I was losing grip into turn nine. Then it stepped out under braking and then overloaded the front and I tried to hold it up on my elbow but to no avail. A disappointing end but I had a strong race until that small mistake. Now I’m looking forward to Silverstone and being in top form.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I was expecting a more difficult race for Jack but he had a really strong pace in the early stages, much better than in practice, so it is a pity about the crash. Jack deserved to be in the points today. For Tito it was difficult weekend and not easy to try to improve today on a track that is not an easy layout for us. To leave Austria with zero points is difficult to accept but it’s like this so now we will work to improve at the coming races.”
FRUSTRATION FOR CRUTCHLOW IN SPIELBERG
PRESS RELEASE: 13 August 2017 | Austrian Grand Prix
LCR Honda Cal Crutchlow endured a disappointing Austrian Grand Prix as he finished down in 15th spot in Spielberg on Sunday. After being hindered at the start, the Briton could never find good rhythm and eventually had to settle for just a single point as his weekend ended in frustration.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Crutchlow was always struggling after being impeded by the Ducati of Danilo Petrucci at the beginning of the race. With the selection of a hard front tyre seemingly not helping his cause, the 31-year-old could not make any impact towards the front of the field and eventually came home nearly half a minute behind race winner Andrea Dovizioso.
Crutchlow admitted afterwards that it had been a difficult few days and is now looking to make amends at his home round at Silverstone in two weeks’ time.
Cal Crutchlow – 15th
"I think it (the hard front tyre) was the right choice for me, even though we had some problems throughout the race, but 15th was a disappointing result. I rode through the pit lane last year, for a jump start, and still finished with more points. We didn’t find a great setting all weekend and the problem was I lost 12 seconds in six laps and that was it really.
“I got run off the track three times and got hindered at the start. Once I was riding alone at the end of the race I felt really good, I had good pace, but we had a problem up until lap 18 as well which didn’t help. But no excuses, I didn’t ride great all weekend either, but I could have finished in the top eight today I felt. My aim was to finish in the top six, but I was nine places off that so we’ll just have to look forward to the next one and try our best again.
“I look forward to Silverstone now, it’s always great to go home and especially after two frustrating races.”
Top 10 for Loris Baz with a fantastic performance in Austria
Reale Avintia Racing rider Loris Baz finished ninth at the Grand Prix of Austria at the spectacular Spielberg circuit today. The 24-year-old French rider started the race from the fourth row of the grid following an excellent performance on Saturday, when he went straight in Q2 and was 12th fastest in qualifying. After the start he gained some places and he battled for three laps with Andrea Iannone for eighth position. Baz was leading the second group during a big part of the race. With nine laps to go, he tried to get Alvaro Bautista under control, but the Spaniard had a better pace and Loris finished the race in ninth place.
His Reale Avintia teammate Hector Barbera struggled with tyre performance issues from the first laps. The Spanish started the race from fifth row, two spots behind Baz. He had a good start but lost many places after a contact with Pol Espargaro on the main straight. It took him six laps to recovered to 14th place and he then started a big battle with Jack Miller and Scott Redding, but he struggled with rear grip problems and finally finished the race in 17th place.
Loris Baz | P9
“I’m very happy with my race. It was difficult to choose the tyres before the start, because with the rise of temperature we didn’t know how the soft front would work in the race. I had a decent start, but I lost concentration a little bit when I saw Petrucci moving on the grid. The first lap was good and I was able to pass some riders. I lost too much time trying to overtake Iannone, but then I kept a good rhythm and I managed the gap with the riders behind me really well. Then Alvaro arrived and he was faster and I lost eighth place. But I defended my position from Mika’s attack on the last few laps and I’m happy for that. I think this was my best race in MotoGP, nobody crashed in the front and I finished less than 20 seconds behind the winner. My team did a great job over the weekend and this it the best way to celebrate my Dad’s birthday.”
Hector Barbera | P17
“The rider who was in front of me got stuck at the start and I was forced to move to the left, but Pol came faster from the back and we had a big contact. We were lucky not to crash. Then I saw that he had to retire, I don’t know if it was because of the incident and if it was because of that, I want to say sorry. Then I was able to recover, I had a good battle with Miller and Redding, but after seven laps my rear tyre dropped and I struggled a lot with spinning. We don’t know why we had this problem, maybe it was because of the higher temperature that affected the tyre performance. But we didn’t have any problem during the weekend and it was strange”.
Bautista eighth and top independent Ducati in Austria
Sunday, 13 August 2017 14:33
Pull&Bear Aspar rider fights back from seventeenth on the grid as team-mate Karel Abraham takes fourteenth despite late tyre problems
Just 0.176 seconds divided Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Márquez as they crossed the line after a thrilling fight to the final corner in the GP of Austria. The Ducati man rode superbly through the final corners to hold off the challenge of his Spanish rival, who tried everything to make a pass. Dovizioso's third victory of the season and fifth in total in MotoGP moves him up to second in the championship, 16 points behind Márquez. Dani Pedrosa was two seconds behind in a comfortable third place, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, Johann Zarco, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi.
Next over the line was Álvaro Bautista, who made another trademark charge to the top ten despite starting from seventeenth on the grid. After suffering rear grip problems before the race the Spaniard went back to his original set-up from Friday to comfortably match the pace of the second group in the latter stages of the race, although it was too late for him to catch them. Karel Abraham was also mounting a charge and was lapping in twelfth place until the final lap, when he suffered excessive tyre wear and dropped two positions. Abraham is happy with his two points, which leave him seventeenth overall in the championship, with the Pull&Bear Aspar Team now sixth in the team standings.
8th Álvaro Bautista: ”I think this is a good result for us, after a weekend when we had a lot of problems with rear grip. We have changed the bike quite a lot but we didn't find a solution and we went back to the set-up from Friday. In any case, starting from so far back was difficult. I was careful at the start and as the laps went by I was able to recover. I was setting the same times as the second group, or even faster, but by then it was impossible to catch them.”
14th Karel Abraham: “The whole weekend went well, almost too well! The start of the race was not bad but there was some contact between some riders in front of me and I had to avoid them so I lost several positions. I tried to recover, focus and catch Iannone and Kallio, after Bautista passed me. Unfortunately during the race I was getting a lot of siding from the rear tyre, and for the final eight or ten laps it was hard to stay on the bike. Redding and Espargaró were able to pass me easily around the outside on the final lap because I could not push any harder. The tyre was already on the carcass. It is a shame because I could have been fighting close to the top ten. We have made huge progress over the weekend, with consistent lap times, and I am happy to have finished because the last couple of laps were tough. Another two laps and I wouldn't have made it. I want to thank the whole team for their help – two points are good for us but I feel bad because I know it could have been more.”
SCOTT FINISHES P12 #AUSTRIANGP. PETRUX FORCED TO RETIRE DUE TO A TECHNICAL PROBLEM.
The Austrian Grand Prix does not give any satisfaction to Octo Pramac Racing. Danilo Petrucci has to retire after 5 laps due to a technical problem and Scott Redding fails to get the Top 10 despite an attacking race.
Petrux is in P5 on grid but his “start” is difficult. The race pace is good and allows him to recover 5 positions in the first two laps. Then the dashboard alert forces him back to the garage.
Scott starts from fifth row and tries to fight for the Top 10. The English rider tries to push but does not find speed and finishes 12th.
DNF – Danilo Petrucci
I am very disappointed. Throughout the weekend we did not have any speed. We did a lot of work in the qualifying but the feeling was never at the top. After the difficult start I still felt I could recover. Then I had to retire.
12th – Scott Redding
If I have to be honest I’m happy with this weekend. We made steps forward day after day. The race was not easy but I’m happy. I go to Silverstone, my home GP, with great confidence.
MICHELIN HELP THE TOP-TWO PROTAGONISTS PRODUCE A GREAT BATTLE AS RECORDS TUMBLE
Michelin witnessed its full range of MotoGP™ slick compound tyres used today during the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich at the Red Bull Ring in Austria and a straight fight at the end between two great rivals before Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) came out the victor.
All six MICHELIN Power Slick race tyres were chosen by the 24-racers that lined up on today’s grid, with different pairings being used as the riders looked for the optimum performance from a range of tyres that gave many options over the weekend. Pole-setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) went with the medium front and hard rear pairing, whilst the early race leader Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) chose the medium front and soft rear option. Lorenzo got the hole-shot and led for the first 11-circulations of the 28-lap race around the 4,318m Austrian circuit, before Marquez took the lead on lap-12. The reigning champion tried to make a break, but was followed closely by Dovizioso, who was using the medium front and soft rear combination on his Ducati.
Watched at trackside by 90,411 fans, the two combatants then produced an incredible last few laps as they changed places numerous times. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) briefly joined in the fight at the front, but was unable to stay with Dovizioso and Marquez as the race continued, leaving the championship contenders to battle it out at the front. The two had different tyre compound choices from either end of the spectrum on the rear of their respective bikes, but grip, performance and durability never looked an issue for either man as they started the last-lap. Dovizioso led as the race approached the last corner, but Marquez made an audacious and exciting attempt to pass, using all the grip he could find and as much of the track as he could use, but he just couldn’t get the better of the Italian and Dovizioso crossed the line a mere one-tenth-of-a-second ahead of his rival – setting a new race duration record in the process. Marquez’s second place strengthened his championship lead, with Dovizioso now his closest rival, just 16-points behind.
Pedrosa, using the medium front and hard rear compound pairing crossed the line in third, with Lorenzo taking fourth. Fifth position and the title of First Independent Rider was taken by Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), the Frenchman used a soft front and rear MICHELIN Power Slick and this union also led to him setting the fastest lap and a new record on the sixth circulation with a time of 1’24.312, at an average speed of 184.3km/h around the 4.3km circuit. Sixth was Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), just ahead of team-mate Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in seventh. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Racing) was eighth and had the honour of setting a new outright speed record for the circuit of 316.5km/h. Ninth went to Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) with wild-card Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Racing) rounding out the top-ten.
Today’s race was held in warmer conditions than had been experienced all weekend so tyre choice was an important factor and the selection given to all riders by Michelin was certainly an important factor. The available selection again highlighted Michelin’s continued dedication to supply all bikes, riders and manufacturers with tyres that work at all tracks and give them the best opportunity to match the correct rubber to their machinery and riding styles.
Michelin and the MotoGP Paddock now head across Europe and over the sea to England for the British Grand Prix which will be staged at Silverstone on Sunday 27th August.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team:
“It was quite difficult this weekend to make the right decision about the tyres, because with a different temperature every day it made it complicated. At the end, we understood the tyres and we made the right decision. I was able to save the tyre and finish the race in a good shape. I couldn’t start and push 100%, as well as finish 100% because you need to save tyres on this track, so I saved them for the end, but overall the feeling was really, really good during the race from the tyres.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“We are very pleased with the way the whole weekend has gone. There were many challenges with the track temperatures, so the riders never really had an opportunity to get a rhythm with the tyres they wanted to use, but this also meant they were able to try all the compounds, as that proved in today’s race. Again, we saw all six compounds chosen and a race at the end between one guy on a soft rear and one on a hard, which was a good advert for what we are trying to achieve and it produced a great show and one that we are pleased to have played a part in. It was also very pleasing to see the lap and race duration records broken today and for the top speed record to be set this weekend, this shows the tyres have durability, grip and can push to the limits. Just because we have had a good result here though we will not pat ourselves on the back, but we will see where we can continue to improve. We know that the next race is a particularly demanding track and on top of that there will probably be some unpredictable English weather to cope with, but that will be nothing new this season as we have had some unusual conditions to endure.”