MotoGP: Dovizioso prevails in Austria

Andrea Dovizioso won his first MotoGP World Championship victory of 2020 in an incident-filled Austrian MotoGP, just 24 hours after it was confirmed he will leave Ducati at the end of the year.

The Italian took on and defeated all-comers to secure his third straight win at the Red Bull Ring, one that launches him back into title contention.

As he started with the fourth time on the grid, the Ducati Team rider was in second place when, after only a few laps, the race was suspended due to an accident. Starting again, this time from the front row position he occupied at the time of the red flag, Andrea managed to hook with the riders at the front, putting himself behind Jack Miller (Pramac Racing Team) who was leading the race, after only a few laps. On lap 11, the rider from Forlì made his decisive attack, earning the first position that he kept up to the checkered flag.

Andrea Dovizioso

For Dovizioso this is his third success at the Red Bull Ring: thanks to this victory the rider from Romagna climbs back into second place in the overall standings, only 11 points behind Quartararo. As he was overtaken in the final lap by Mir, Miller finished third with the Ducati Desmosedici of the Pramac Racing team.

A hugely eventful race saw a huge crash for Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli at Turn 3, which resulted into both bikes flying back onto track and almost wiping out Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales.

The early laps were a hive of activity with various changes for position but Jack Miller held out well up front until lap eight when Pol Espargaro passed the Australian to take the lead in KTM’s home race.

Almost simultaneously though, MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo was slipping to last position after running off at the tricky Turn 4 right-hander.

However, on lap 10 the race was stopped by Zarco and Morbidelli’s spectacular accident. Prompted when Zarco swept across to defend from Morbidelli between the Turn 2 kink and the slow 90-degree Turn 3 right-hander, the Italian instead struck the Ducati from behind.

The impact sent both bikes onto the inside gravel trap, with Morbidelli’s Yamaha spiraling and breaking up as it came to rest on the apex of the corner.

With the race shortened, Espargaro began from pole position on the restart  but Dovizioso went for a move on his fellow Ducati rider in what would ultimately prove the race-winning pass. However, this was not before Rins briefly snatched the lead into Turn 5 with 10 laps remaining, only to fold the front instantly and throw all of his hard work away.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1st 
“It was a very peculiar race given the interruption due to the bad crash of Zarco and Morbidelli. Today my feeling with the bike was not particularly good, but in some areas, I felt strong, and I could make a difference. The weekend started well, but I was not sure if we could win the race: we managed to be immediately competitive, and I found good sensations, but we still lack something compared to the previous years. This track suits the characteristics of our Desmosedici GP bike, but we will still have to work to take another step forward and put ourselves in a position to fight for the victory in all the upcoming races.”

Race Results

1 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP20)
2 Joan Mir SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)
3 Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (GP20)
4 Brad Binder RSA Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16)
5 Valentino Rossi ITA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)
6 Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V)
7 Danilo Petrucci ITA Ducati Team (GP20)
8 Fabio Quartararo FRA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)
9 Iker Lecuona SPA Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16)
10 Maverick Viñales SPA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)
11 Aleix Espargaro ITA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)
12 Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Team (GP20)
13 Bradley Smith GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)
14 Alex Marquez SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V)
15 Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V)
16 Tito Rabat SPA Reale Avintia Ducati (GP19)
17 Stefan Bradl GER Repsol Honda (RC213V)
DNF Alex Rins SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)
DNF Pol Espargaro SPA Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16)
DNF Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16)
DNS Franco Morbidelli ITA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)
DNF Johann Zarco FRA Reale Avintia Ducati (GP19)