Austria GP

This weekend’s MotoGP action came to us from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.

The track temperature were set to be HOT and indeed they were which resulted in an absolute cracker of a race. Ever since Marc Marquez suffered an injury and is currently recuperating, anyone can win this.

The riders have lined up on the grid ready to go and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) had a good start leading at the first corner.

Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) is going back down the field on the first lap and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) is moving up the field.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) has lost 5 places on the first lap and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) has gone down to 3rd place. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) had a cracking start to the race .

Andrea Dovizioso at the 2020 Austrian MotoGP race. Image courtesy of Ducati

Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has been racing well in the first couple of laps and staying up there with everyone.

This circuit has 7 right and 3 left hand corners and although it is a shorter track than most circuits, by the end of the race they will have covered 75 miles.

You can see that the Ducati’s are finding the windy part of the track hard to keep the bikes under control.

Rins is in 12th place now and it is like the Suzuki on rails going around this track , it is an absolute pleasure to watch.

Rossi’s front end went down then but he managed to keep it upright, the Championship leader is dead last right now after making a mistake on Turn 4 so it’s going to be a slow race for him now.

A chaos strewn incident causes a Red Flag

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) were side by on the straight coming down into Turn 3 and as they braked they made contact with each other and both bikes and riders went down.

In what can only be described as an absolutely terrifying few moments, both bikes hurtled towards Turn 4 at a tremendous rate of knots, both hitting the air-fence which slowed them down but then headed straight into the path of Vinales and Rossi with Morbidelli’s bike going through the gap between Vinales and Rossi and Zarco’s bike narrowly missing Vinales.

Thankfully Morbidelli and Zarco both got to their feet and after going to the medical centre for a check-up, both were declared fit.

This is the second red flagged race of the day, the first being in the Moto2 race.

The riders have been in the pits after the red flag whilst the marshals did a great job clearing up the debris and fixing the air-fence. After looking at a replay you can see Rossi’s bike was clipped in the incident.

Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) is getting instructions in the pit and Zarco is now out the race.

Rossi still looks in shock, we thought Rossi had seen everything except a bike coming though the air inches from his face. Now he has to get back on the bike and ride (there’s a song there somewhere).

Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales during the Austrian 2020 Race in which both riders avoided bikes re-entering the track. Image courtesy of Yamaha Motor Racing

All bikes that are in race condition are back out on track ready for a restart. The starting grid was decided on countback to the previous completed lap which meant that Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was on pole.

The Race Restart

Crutchlow starts near the back and it’s been a steady restart, Miller has a good start although he does go wide on the second corner but managed to keep the lead.

Rossi does not look on it right now since the red flag incident but Miller is pulling out a good lead of a second and everyone is behind him picking up the laps.

Dovizioso and Mir are closing in on Miller then Dovizioso carved past Miller into Turn 1 and at Turn 9 later in the lap, Rins followed Dovizioso through. Rins really was on a charge but then his race prematurely ended at Turn 6 when he went down and out. Barring a mistake on the part of Dovizioso, the win was his now.

The top three at at the chequered flag were as follows:

1st Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)
2nd Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar)
3rd Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)

Great race today, and luckily we don’t have to wait long until the next race which is on the 21st to 24th of August,  back at the Red Bull Ring.

Featured Image courtesy of Ducati

A triple Yamaha Podium at the AndalucÍaGP at Jerez

In the build up to the race everyone is talking about Marc Marquez, and how gutted they are that he’s not racing.  This is the first,  yes first race he’s missed in his MotoGP career.

Fabio Quartararo did an interview before the race saying that in last weeks’ free practice the bike didn’t seem that good, but the progress through qualifying was outstanding. Fabio said last week that if Marc Marquez stays on track he would win the race and without Marquez in the race, it’s not going to be as good.

On the grid Jack Miller says he is looking forward to the race but it’s really hot at the track, probably as hot as Malaysia. Track temperature is 60 degrees and 40 degrees ambient temperature. The Ducati is looking good on the grid though.

Tyres are being talked about and the majority of the grid are going with hard front, soft rear with only Alex Rins going soft front and rear.

Into the first corner. Image courtesy of Yamaha Racing

The excitement builds during the warm up lap and the grid forms ready for lights out, and we are off! 

Rossi had a good start but we had a skittle effect on the first corner, the riders involved were Oliviera, Smith and Binder. As a result of the crash, Oliviera is out of the race.

At the end of the first lap top 3 is as follows:

Fabio Quartararo : Yamaha
Valentino Rossi : Yamaha
Maverick Vinales : Yamaha

The riders are pushing the limits of these bikes, Rossi has been 0.6 secs behind the leader and you know Rossi , he’s always getting ready to make a move.

Miller left his seat for a second as the bike twitches. Rossi was being pushed by Maverick, who’s getting close to the Doctor.

Cal Crutchlow and Alex Rins are running last places which isn’t hard to understand because of the injuries they are carrying.

Fabio Quartararo hasn’t really been challenged for first place. The only thing that could stop him is his own bike, with the Yamaha’s having issues in the heat.

Iker Lecuona came off with 19 laps to go, he was hoping to have kept the bike going but sadly, he couldn’t.

Alex Rins is making this ride count as he’s slowly coming up the grid,  he’s now in 15th and in the points with 18 laps to go.

Alex Marquez is riding in 14th with 17 laps to go, Jack Miller has been under attack from a bunch of riders and sadly lost a couple of places. Unfortunately, he came off on turn 9 of lap 11 which was gutting as he’s a great rider and looked promising in this race.

Rossi is now 6 seconds behind leader, Fabio Quartararo, and other then the tyres falling off, I don’t think he will be caught.

Bagnaia has overtaken Rossi for second place,  let’s see if he can catch the leader.

With 13 laps to go, the bikes look to be struggling with grip on the front end but pushing these bikes is what these riders do.

Brad Binder has just taken a spill as the bike kicked back going round a corner, the bike said I am not having any of this, and flipped the rider. It looked like a painful exit to the race.

Alex Marquez is building momentum on his bike but he’s in the shadows of his brother’s reputation.

The Yamaha’s have been having problems all weekend and indeed Morbidelli’s has just given up sounding like a bag of nails and has now retired from the race.

Crutchlow has entered the pit lane and has an issue but decided that with the amount of riders on the track to go back out as he can score points.

Seven laps remain and only 14 riders out on the track so everyone can get a point.

Rossi is still keeping Vinales at bay in 3rd place and the last 3 laps seem to be as good as the previous laps as everyone on track is battling for places. Maverick is now up Rossi’s exhaust, they are that close!

Rossi is teasing Maverick but the Spaniard makes it stick and now the Doctor is chasing Vinales but he is pulling away.

LAST LAP

Everyone on track is pushing so hard, Maverick just had a little wobble but was okay; Fabio Quartararo wins for the second time this season followed by Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi.

It’s an all Yamaha podium which seemed unlikely at the start of this race.

Featured Image courtesy of Yamaha racing

MotoGP Qualifying

After FP4 Marc Marquez looked like he was favouring his right arm by taking right hand corners in two movements, he was hesitant on left hand corners and not going as low as usual.

Qualifying 1

As all the bikes were going out on the track, Marc Marquez only managed an out lap which he did not finish, he went straight down the pit lane, got off the bike and walked to his trailer indicating that his surgically repaired arm isn’t feeling good from that, you could say.

Cal Cruchlow was banging out good times and didn’t seem to have an issue with his wrist as he got to 3rd in Q1. Alex Marquez came off the track in Q1 but he did put a time in of 1’38.648

The top 3 in Q1 were:

1 : Miguel Oliveira : Red Bull KTM Tech 3 : 1’37.355

2 : Franco Mobidelli : Petrona Yamaha SRT : 1’37.512

3 : Cal Crutchlow : LCR Honda Castrol : 1’37.644

After qualifying these are the results for the top 12 riders:

1 Fabio Quartararo FRA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1’37.007s
2 Maverick Viñales SPA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) +0.095s
3 Francesco Bagnaia ITA Pramac Ducati (GP20) +0.169s
4 Valentino Rossi ITA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) +0.335s
5 Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16) +0.337s
6 Franco Morbidelli ITA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1) +0.405s
7 Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (GP20) +0.416s
8 Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) +0.457s
9 Brad Binder RSA Red Bull KTM (RC16)* +0.589s
10 Joan Mir SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) +0.593s
11 Danilo Petrucci ITA Ducati Team (GP20) +0.899s
12 Pol Espargaro SPA Red Bull KTM (RC16) +3.270s
Fabio Quartararo at Andalucia MotoGP 2020. Image courtesy of Yamaha-racing

The Repsol Honda Team have confirmed that Marc Marquez will not be taking part in the race on Sunday.

Fabio Quartararo starts from pole. After he finished his timed lap he was going into turn one but the back end didn’t want to stay behind him, but he kept control and showed his skills. This is going to be a good race tomorrow.

Valentino Rossi finished 4th in Qualifying which means the Doctor has a great chance here if he doesn’t have engine issues like last week.

Maverick Viñales had a great performance again in qualifying.

Alex Rins didn’t look comfortable with his shoulder injury, it was looking like it was giving him some issues but on the track tomorrow it could change everything.

Andrea Dovizioso had a slow start at one point being down in 13th but by the end of Q1 he had made it up 4th.

It promises to be an interesting race tomorrow.

The Jerez Injury update; Marc, Cal and Alex Rins

The first race of the delayed 2020 MotoGP season ended up with three major riders with injuries with two requiring surgery.

Alex rins suffered a crash during Q2 on Saturday at turn 11 which caused a dislocation-fracture to his right shoulder, he was declared unfit to ride in the race.

Cal Crutchlow’s race day didn’t really start because he got injured during the warm up  and was taken to a local medical facility in Spain. Crutchlow who races for LCR HONDA  had surgery on his wrist and had two screws inserted into his wrist, he’s quoted as saying he will give it a go Friday and see how his wrist feels.

Meanwhile at HRC Honda, Marc Marquez also had issues in the first race of the season as he came off the track twice in the race,  the second time he crashed and end up with a fracture on his upper arm.  He as since had surgery to insert a steel plate in his arm on Tuesday and is resting but he wants to race this weekend. On Thursday afternoon he was declared fit to ride by the medical staff .

Featured image courtesy of Box Repsol/Honda Racing