Let’s see who’s the MotoGP Red Bull Ring in 2016.
Six years is a long dry spell…but finally, all of Ducati’s hard work to get the Desmosedici back on top of the MotoGP competition paid off with Andrea Iannone’s win at the Austrian Grand Prix. It also marked a career first for Iannone, and the Italian fought hard for the victory, battling his teammate and injury to take those top honors for himself and the Bologna squad.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Iannone said. “It’s very, very difficult to explain this emotion. It was a fantastic race. It’s my first victory in MotoGP class with Ducati bike. I start in this category with this bike and I work for all this here with this incredible group that support me 100 percent from the beginning. We worked for this result from the first day of testing, and I never give up. I know at the end of the season their decision I finish my ride and my contract with Ducati, but I think that this victory is a very good present to them¬.”
For Ducati, the Red Bull Ring was a match made in heaven and they took full advantage with a 1-2 finish. In the end it came down to tire choice and Iannone’s soft front/medium rear combination worked out to be the winning formula compared to the harder option Andrea Dovizioso chose.
Iannone was the only one in the MotoGP field to choose a soft front option tire along with the new medium compound rear tire that was specially made for the Red Bull Ring circuit, and the Italian put it to good use in winning the Austrian GP.
“I’m disappointed about that [the tire choice] because we work very well,” Dovizioso said. “The bike was perfect in the braking it was better than Andrea [Iannone], but I didn’t have the same grip on the right, especially at the end of the race. I push really hard at the end to try and be close in the braking because I was able to overtake him, but I couldn’t stay really close. I’m very disappointed about that, but for Ducati is really good – first and second is special.”
The best of the rest was Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, a much needed result for the Spaniard who was struggling before the summer break. In addition to the morale boost, it was a much needed points boost over Lorenzo’s championship rivals – teammate Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
With the factory Ducatis battling up front, the rest of positions were taken up by Jorge Lorenzo (99) in third, Valentino Rossi (46) in fourth, Marc Marquez (93) in damage-control mode in fifth, and Maverick Viñales (25) in sixth.
“This third place is the same as a victory,” Lorenzo admitted. “We know that apart from the Ducatis, the realistic position was third and we reached the goal. And we almost fought for the victory, no? Unfortunately we lost a bit of traction at the end of the race on the right side, and they had a little bit more acceleration. At the beginning of the race, Iannone kind of slowed me down, I think that maybe he was saving a little bit of the tire. But finally they went faster and faster and I couldn’t follow them.”
Although not an ideal result for the series-points leader, Marquez was in damage control mode after his crash yesterday in FP3 that injured his shoulder. So in the end, holding off Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales to finish fifth and keep a 43-point lead in the championship over Lorenzo was a solid effort.
After struggling all weekend, Marquez’ teammate Dani Pedrosa made improvements to finish seventh ahead of Brits Scott Redding on the Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati and Bradley Smith on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. Completing the top 10 was Smith’s teammate Pol Espargaro.
2016 MotoGP Red Bull Ring Results:
1. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati
2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha
5. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda
6. Maverick Vinales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar
7. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda
8. Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati
9. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
10. Pol Espargaro (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
11. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati
12. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati
13. Loris Baz (FRA) Avintia Ducati
14. Tito Rabat (SPA) EG 0.0 Marc VDS
15. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda
16. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia
17. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Aspar Honda
18. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Ducati
19. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia
DNF. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar
DNF. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Ducati