MotoGP™: Ducati extends unbeaten Red Bull Ring record
The myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich – which was interrupted due to a spectacular crash involving Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) and Franco Morb...
A dramatic last lap at Austria’s Red Bull Ring saw Miguel Oliveira clinch the first MotoGPTM win of his career, plus that of his team Red Bull KTM Tech 3. The Portuguese rider was joined on the podium of the BMW M Grand Prix of Styria (Round 6 of the 2020 MotoGPTM World Championship) by Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Racing). Premier class motorcycle racing’s 900th clash produced Michelin’s 438th grand prix victory, while Oliveira is the fourth different rider to have won a race this season and the 53rd to have taken the spoils on Michelin rubber.
Like the first, the second of the back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring was interrupted by a red-flag incident after Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) crashed spectacularly due to a mechanical problem on the 17
When action resumed for 12 more laps, the start order was based on the leaderboard after Lap 16, which meant that the earlier pace-setter Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) was on ‘pole’, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) and Miller.
Running on new soft MICHELIN Power Slicks all-round, the latter succeeded in stealing a march on Mir (mediums front and rear) to complete the opening lap in front, chased by Espargaro and Oliveira who had both opted for a combination of hard front and medium rear MICHELIN Power Slicks.
Espargaro had started the original race from the front of the grid after winning qualifying for the first time in his career but was fourth for the restart. However, he went on to post the day’s fastest lap (1m23.877s, marginally short of the existing record – 1m23.827s, the work of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso) and appeared in first place seventh time around, with Miller tucked in behind. The two men then traded the lead several times before a thrilling last lap saw Oliveira take advantage of their duelling to sneak through and earn his maiden win, just metres before the chequered flag.
It was a weekend of firsts in Austria, including Espargaro’s first-ever pole position, as well as that of KTM, while Oliveira became the first Portuguese rider to win a grand prix. He also harvested the first success of his French team Red Bull KTM Tech 3.
Mir ended up fourth, with Dovizioso fifth.
Five of the six available Michelin tyre specifications were selected for the race and Oliveira provided further evidence of the MICHELIN Power Slick’s acclaimed grip and versatility by becoming the fourth different rider to have claimed a race so far this year.
For the record, 11 different riders have finished on the podium of the five races contested to date.
Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) was in form in spite of a recent wrist operation and a penalty that forced him to start from the pit lane. The Frenchman fought back to bag 14
Despite being 13
Next round: Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Italy (September 11-13).