2018 Austria Moto2 Race Result: Battle Of The Titans

It took over half a season to finally get a proper battle between the two title challengers of the intermediate class and it was worth the wait. Bagnaia vs Oliveira was the story of the day at the picturesque Red Bull Ring, the Italian claiming bragging rights in the final corner, stealing the win from his Portuguese rival. Oliveira had led for almost the entire race and will have been disappointed to relinquish the win and the championship lead to Bagnaia so late in proceedings. Five seconds behind that battle, Luca Marini was best of the rest as he continued to go from strength to strength and claim the final podium position.

Bagnaia had started from pole position but a poor launch allowed Oliveira past and the SKY rider then tangled with Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman came off the worse as he went off the circuit and dropped outside the top 20. Meanwhile, Jorge Navarro demoted Bagnaia another place and set off for Oliveira but the leader already had half a second in hand by the end of lap one. The few incidents at the start caused one second’s gap to appear between the three leaders and the rest of the pack, led by Alex Marquez, who had a push of his own with Marcel Schrotter. The Spaniard quickly separated from the chasing group but had a bit of work to do to bridge the gap to Bagnaia.

By lap five, Oliveira’s advantage stretched to one second and Bagnaia picked up the task of cutting that gap once he made it past Navarro. Marquez was faster than the leaders at this point so he managed to tag along to the lead three and lined up Navarro. Mattia Pasini was another seven tenths of a second back, stuck in no man’s land, one second ahead of the youngsters’ battle between Marini, Brad Binder and Joan Mir. The Spaniard had a dismal qualifying but got up to speed real fast to join the top eight. Both Schrotter and Iker Lecuona showed good speed throughout the weekend and were completing the top ten but with a bit of a gap to the men ahead. Meanwhile, Quartararo was up to 11th by lap ten.

Marquez finally made a move on Navarro to claim third on lap ten and Pasini also followed him through, but the Marc VDS rider was already two and a half seconds down on Oliveira and Bagnaia. And bringing down that gap looked difficult with Pasini, Navarro, Marini and Binder waiting to pounce right behind him. Teammate Mir was no longer an issue as he had dropped a second on the group.

Back at the front, Bagnaia looked like he was biding his time behind Oliveira, while Pasini took his turn on provisional podium ahead of Marquez. Marini was also in that battle but was hit with a penalty for repeatedly exceeding track limits and had to drop one place. That did not lose him too much time and the Italian soon made it back past Marquez and Pasini to claim a provisional podium with seven laps to go, four seconds behind the victory battle.

Oliveira finally saw a rear tyre ahead of him with five laps remaining, when Bagnaia showed intentions but could not make it stick. The Italian had to put something together on the final lap and he held his nerve to make it happen in the final turn after a bit of pain swapping with his rival. Marquez and Marini were embroiled in a battle of their own for the final podium spot but that ended in the runoff of the final corner when Marquez attacked overenthusiastically and slid out of contention. Pasini settled for fourth, with a best result of the season for Navarro in fifth. Positions five to ten went to Binder, Schrotter, Mir, Quartararo and Lecuona.

Bagnaia’s impressive win puts him back ahead in the title battle, leading Oliveira by three points. Marquez loses further ground, 76 points down but keeps third position.

Results:

Pos. Num. Rider Bike Gap
1 42 Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex 37'45.914
2 44 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +0.264
3 10 Luca MARINI Kalex +5.953
4 54 Mattia PASINI Kalex +6.114
5 9 Jorge NAVARRO Kalex +8.554
6 41 Brad BINDER KTM +8.944
7 23 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +9.126
8 36 Joan MIR Kalex +12.404
9 20 Fabio QUARTARARO Speed Up +16.250
10 27 Iker LECUONA KTM +16.718
11 13 Romano FENATI Kalex +16.829
12 52 Danny KENT Speed Up +17.716
13 5 Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex +23.200
14 62 Stefano MANZI Suter +27.944
15 45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +27.994
16 89 Khairul Idham PAWI Kalex +28.493
17 77 Dominique AEGERTER KTM +29.043
18 4 Steven ODENDAAL NTS +38.176
19 16 Joe ROBERTS NTS +40.544
20 95 Jules DANILO Kalex +41.655
21 66 Niki TUULI Kalex +41.727
22 64 Bo BENDSNEYDER Tech 3 +42.766
23 32 Isaac VIÑALES Suter +43.811
24 55 Alejandro MEDINA Kalex +45.372
25 18 Xavi CARDELUS Kalex +51.185
26 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +1'13.901
    Not Classified    
  73 Alex MARQUEZ Kalex 1 Lap
  22 Sam LOWES KTM 8 Laps
  21 Federico FULIGNI Kalex 8 Laps
  24 Simone CORSI Kalex 22 Laps
  87 Remy GARDNER Tech 3 22 Laps
  40 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 22 Laps
old_url: 
Round Number: 
11
2018
Tweet Button: 
Total votes: 21

Back to top

Comments

Fantastic and epic battle between Peco and Miguel. Great race. Race direction and 3rd place Luca Marini. He rode extremely well but he was on the green too often and got the 'drop back one place' and ignored it, his pit board too. What he did was pass #73 again, then give it back to#73. He was supposed to drop behind #41. #41 later in the race also got the same sanction for being a Jack in the green and duly gave up position immediately. Huh?

Total votes: 20

I cannot figure out the rule. So if you touched the green for say 1 inch twice you have to give back 1 position even if the rider in the position behind you is say 5 seconds away? That's crazy and unfair. 

At the same time I think that Marini played with the confusion of the rule. By passing Marquez and then giving back the position he sort of complied with the rule but I'm not sure is by the book. 

So does anyone know how they deal with this?

Great race by Pecco. 

Total votes: 12

Not to kick someone when he's down, but there should be a lesson for him in this weekend. On one end of the track he crashes on the last corner, while on the other someone runs to give him a celebratory 73 flag.

Stop crashing and cool it with the flags. This is your 4th season in Moto2 and you're still playing a supporting role while others collect the wins and fight for the title. There is little to celebrate with flags. All of your teammates will have made it to MotoGP before you once this season is over.

 

Total votes: 22