In another classic late-race duel between the top two riders in MotoGP, Ducati royal Andrea Dovizioso went through on Repsol Honda savant Marc Marquez in the last turn for a heart-stopping win, his fifth in six close encounters of this kind. Dovi’s first win since Round 1 in Qatar provided warm fuzzies by the gross for Ducati but had virtually no impact on the championship. The battle for second took a hit, as Dovizioso’s win put 36 points of daylight between him and teammate Danilo Petrucci.
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.
It’s only natural for world-class motorcycle racers to also be interested in car racing – specifically, Formula 1. Valentino Rossi might be the most famous of the MotoGP world champions to try four wheels. He routinely participates (and wins) rally races after the MotoGP season is over, and he came pretty darn close to driving for Ferrari’s F1 team after a series of tests. To date, however, only the late, great John Surtees is the only person to ever win the 500cc world championship (1956, 1958, 1959, 1960) and the Formula 1 title (1964).
Racing fans regularly compare genres of racing to one another, and at the top level of motorsport is F1 and MotoGP. Thankfully for us, Brembo supplies the entire current MotoGP paddock as well as many teams in F1 and has compiled some analytical data from the Red Bull Ring in Austria that may fascinate you.
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.
Here’s some eye candy for you: Honda’s MotoGP bike for the street, the RC213V-S, the picturesque Red Bull Ring in Austria, and Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa ripping laps in their Alpinestars Tech-Air Race suits as they learn a new circuit on the MotoGP calendar. And speaking of Pedrosa, listen in as he narrates a lap of the track from memory.