Following the fire earlier this month that destroyed the entire fleet of Energica Ego Corsa spec race bikes, the FIM has released an updated calendar for the 2019 MotoE World Cup.
For the third year in a row, MotoGP riders have tried to dislodge Ducati Corse from the pronounced advantage they enjoy here in Austria. In 2016, it was Yamaha icon Jorge Lorenzo who failed to flag down Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso. Last year, it was Honda’s Marc Marquez trying valiantly and ultimately failing to overtake winner Dovizioso. Today, it was Marquez losing again by a tenth, this time to Lorenzo, in a last lap duel that was entertaining, if not riveting.
Austria’s Red Bull Ring, home of this weekend’s eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, is the closest thing to the Bonneville Salt Flats of any track on the MotoGP calendar. For those riders, ahem, who have trouble getting their bikes to turn this place is like heaven. The weekend looks like it’s going to be a Ducati clambake, but looks can be deceiving.
KTM‘s new MotoGP race bike made its public debut ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. We’ve previously seen the KTM RC16 undergoing testing last October, but this is the first time we’d seen the V-4 prototype in full colored livery and, as KTM is fond of saying, just about “Ready to Race.” KTM has four more tests lined up before it plans to enter the RC16 at the Nov. 13 season-ending race at Valencia, Spain.
By any measure, today’s Austrian Grand Prix was an eventful race. The starting grid featured an all-Italian front row for the first time since Motegi in 2006. Andrea Iannone, late of the factory Ducati team, won his career first premier class race, several whiskers in front of teammate Andrea Dovizioso. Ducati bikes finished 1st and 2nd for the first time since Phillip Island in 2007. But once the celebration dies down, the Bologna factory may need a reality check, as explained below.
Based upon the test results after Round 9, it appears MotoGP Chief Cheddar Carmelo Ezpeleta has finally located a circuit at which the Ducati teams can compete for a win, their first since 2010. The two-day test, at which the Repsol Honda and Tech 3 teams were AWOL, found seven of the top eight times on Tuesday clutched by Ducati pilots. Wednesday, it was the top four and six of the top ten, with the factory Yamahas and Suzukis claiming fifth through eighth.