Bike India

Crash, Boom, Bang

The Austrian MotoGP proved quite eventful with crashes, red flags, and the return of an old warhorse



Zal Cursetji

AUSTRiA HAS ALWAYS been a favoured race for the Bologna motorcycle company and also home to another shining newbie. Moto2 and Moto3 both seem to have championsh­ip leads and challenger­s setting the stage for the shortened mid-season of racing. Hence, in the fast-paced racing of Austria, we wonder if the Yamahas can hold their own against the mighty Ducatis and Hondas. KTM is looking lively and Suzuki continues to be sublime in the corners. This is the Austrian gP at the Red Bull Ring. Let’s go.


Austria, the home of KTM and the pot of gold for Ducati, which means this is a fast track. What would we see? That was the question uppermost in everyone’s mind. Would Fabio Quartararo on the Petronas Yamaha SRT machine come back from a forgettabl­e weekend at Brno? Would Maverick Viñales on the Monster Energy Yamaha MotogP have a say, especially since the young Spaniard was on pole position? How about the home team KTM boys, Brad Binder and Pol Espargaro on the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes and iker Lecuona and Miguel Oliviera on the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 machines? Would the home team score another victory? Or will the machines from Bologna continue their domination in Austria?

As the race started, we saw a number of riders with great pace as well as a few surprises who did not really perform. Fabio and Maverick both seemed to be struggling. Pol Espargaro seemed to be


Pos. RIdeR

a man on a mission. however, disaster struck as a high-speed come-together between the esponsoram­a racing rider, Johann Zarco, and Petronas Yamaha srt rider, franco Morbidelli, caused the race to be red-flagged. the crash was immense and almost took both Monster energy Yamaha MotoGP riders, Valentino rossi and Maverick Viñales, on a trip to meet their makers. thankfully, all the riders were safe, though shaken for sure.

At the restart, it was Jack Miller on the Pramac ducati who got the hole-shot. the Aussie was running on softcompou­nd tyres, taking the gamble on whether they would last the race. he was followed by the two team suzuki ecstar boys, Alex rins and Joan Mir, and the ducati team bike of Andrea dovizioso. it was dovi, though, who took the fight to the Pramac rider, taking the lead with a fairly blistering pace. however, dovi would not have it easy, as a marauding suzuki with Alex rins on-board was on the hunt. soon rins found himself on the back wheel of the ducati, ready to pounce for the race lead. Pounce he did, unfortunat­ely, the spaniard had pushed too hard, sliding the front and himself out of the race. Luckily for the young spaniard, who is still recovering from a shoulder dislocatio­n, he emerged unscathed.

A little further behind, Pol espargaro was riding anxiously, trying his best to get to the front. the KtM rider did have quicker pace than most in front of him, but his impatience got the better of him as he and red Bull KtM tech 3 rider Miguel oliviera collided, sending both riders into the showers, furious at each other. Meanwhile, fabio Quartararo and future teammate Maverick Viñales seemed to be struggling at the rear end of the pack. A surprising twist to the championsh­ip leader and pole-setting young Yamaha riders.

At the front, dovi was running away with yet another win in Austria; however, second place would be between Jack Miller and the suzuki of Joan Mir. Joan Mir has seen success in Austria during his Moto3 days and is fond of the track. this showed as the suzuki soon passed the Pramac ducati which was struggling on its worn-out soft-compound tyres. Mir then set his sights on dovi; however, after Mir catching up dovi seemed to find another gear and once again opened up another gap. in another twist, Maverick Viñales clocked the fastest lap-time towards the end of the race, which, considerin­g all, can only mean one thing. the MotoGP is a mysterious little puzzle that it is only meant to be awed about and enjoyed. we like that. in the end, it finished with dovi on the top step, Mir in second, and Miller in third.


Jorge Martin on the red Bull KtM Ajo motorcycle got off to a great start, blitzing the field behind him. Martin set himself up in a commanding position up front. however, just as we saw in MotoGP, the Moto2 race was also stopped due to a red flag. this incident happened when the 2020 Moto2 championsh­ip leader, enea Bastianini on the italtrans racing team bike, crashed leaving him and his bike laying plum in the middle of the track. Bastianini luckily got clear before being hit, but his bike still lay in a very dangerous position. this was made clear when hafizh syahrin on the inde Aspar team motorcycle slammed head on into Bastianini’s stricken motorcycle. the result: the motorcycle­s ripped apart and strewn all over the track. thankfully once again, all riders were safe and sound.

At the restart, Jorge Martin got back to commanding ways where he once again took the lead and held it up to the finish-line for a deserved home victory for KtM and himself. following Martin to the line was championsh­ip hopeful, Luca Marini on the sky racing team Vr46 machine, who would be scoring well especially since his championsh­ip rival, Bastianini, had crashed. Meanwhile, third place was fought between Marcel schrotter on the Liqui Moly intact GP bike and englishman sam Lowes on the Marc Vds machine.

Moto2 is quite exciting now with the championsh­ip standing being quite close between Marini and Bastianini. exciting times lie ahead.



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