Spielberg, Austria

2021 Austria Moto2 FP2 Result: Gardner Goes Top On Drying Track

The track continued to dry after the downpour at the end of the Moto3 session, so intermediate class riders were able to start on slicks and find more and more time throughout their session. Few improved enough to go faster than in the morning session but Remy Gardner was one of them, the championship leader taking over top spot after the Fernandez duo squabbled about it early on. FP1 leader Ai Ogura stayed the fastest man overall and jumped ahead late in FP2 to separate the two Red Bull KTM Ajo boys on the timesheets, demoting Raul Fernandez to third.

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2021 Austria MotoGP FP2 Result: A Well Timed Swap To Slicks For Lecuona

Lightning and hail were a very different welcome for the premier class on their second outing of the day, but we still got action throughout the session, with riders putting wet tyres through their paces until bright sunshine returned and started drying the surface. It was no surprise to see Marc Marquez thrive in the changing conditions and lead the way for much of the session, until the racing line got dry enough for slicks and Iker Lecuona made a late switch to jump to the top of the timesheets.

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2021 Austria Moto3 FP2 Result: Binder Rules Before Rain Does

The second practice session for the lightweight class had a surprise in store and rather than any surprises on the timesheets, where FP1 leader Darryn Binder followed it up with another solid session, it came in the shape of rain and hail hitting the tarmac for the final ten minutes. That put a halt to any intentions to dethrone the South African, who remained the quickest man at the end of Friday, half a tenth quicker than championship leader Pedro Acosta. John McPhee kept close to secure third, while Dennis Foggia in fourth was still within a tenth of Binder’s top time.

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2021 Austria MotoE FP1 Result: Granado Leads The Way

The MotoE cup joined the circus for a ride around the Red Bull Ring and it was the same familiar names at the forefront, with Eric Granado leading the way by eight hundredths of a second from Matteo Ferrari. Dominique Aegerter joined the top three, with Xavi Cardelus and Fermín Aldeguer completing the top five. Yonny Hernandez, Jordi Torres and Lukas Tulovic also finished within half a second of the leader. Teammates Kevin Zannoni and Miquel Pons rounded out the top 10, with championship leader Alessandro Zaccone down in 11th, eight tenths off top spot.


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2021 Austria Moto2 FP1 Result: Ogura Climbs To The Top

A nearly spotless sky awaited the intermediate class as they started their second rodeo at the Red Bull Ring and Ai Ogura was out to prove what he couldn’t quite prove last weekend, the rookie taking over top spot for the final ten minutes of the session. Despite some contact with a slow Simone Corsi on his final flying lap, Augusto Fernandez came within a hundredth of a second of top spot and finished ahead of early session leader Marcel Schrotter.

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2021 Austria MotoGP FP1 Result: A Zinger Of A Lap From Zarco

The second round in Austria started with enough headlines to fill a news ticker but track action eventually took centre stage as premier class riders put in a first time attack of the weekend. With the forecast more optimistic than last time around, not too many were tempted by soft rubber in the closing stages of FP1 but Pramac Racing continued to shine, with Johann Zarco taking the all time lap record from his teammate and topping the session by almost eight tenths of a second. That late lap pushed the two Suzukis back, with Joan Mir second and Alex Rins third in the session.

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2021 Austria Moto3 FP1 Result: Binder In The Limelight

It was a sunny start to the second weekend in Austria and much like the headlines late on Thursday, the Petronas Sprinta team held top spot on the timesheets for a considerable amount of time in FP1. Darryn Binder was the lead protagonist, the South African leading the way early on and then picking it up again at the end of the time attack, to finish one tenth of a second ahead of Romano Fenati. The Italian was one of several KTM and KTM-adjacent riders debuting a carbon rear wheel cover, together with championship leader Pedro Acosta, who finished third in the session.

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Austria MotoGP Thursday Round Up: Spielberg's Bad Vibes, A stiffer Front Tire, And Closer Second Races

The Red Bull Ring has faced much criticism in the six years since MotoGP started going back there, mostly about the safety of the riders on track. But one thing that gets overlooked is the circuit's propensity for generating drama off track. In 2020, we had Andrea Dovizioso announcing he would not be racing with Ducati again in 2021. In 2019, we had the drama with Johann Zarco splitting with KTM, with additional drama around Jack Miller possibly losing a place to Jorge Lorenzo, who would return to Ducati to take Miller's place at Pramac.

The year before, Yamaha had held a press conference in which management and engineers officially apologized to factory riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales for building a dog-slow bike that left them 11th and 14th on the grid. Spielberg was the place where Romano Fenati got into an altercation with the Sky VR46 Moto2 team, and was sacked in 2016.

So much discord and division. Perhaps the circuit is built on a conjunction of ley lines, or perhaps the Spielberg track was built on an ancient cemetery where the contemporaries of Ötzi were buried. Or perhaps the middle of a MotoGP season is when tensions generally reach boiling point. The latter explanation is the most likely, perhaps, though a good deal less entertaining.

Bouncing off the limiter

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Styria Moto2 & Moto3 Review: Neil Morrison On Bezzecchi's Return, Gardner's Woes, Ogura's Rise, And KTM Distractions

As ever Moto2 and Moto3 threw up a plenty of intrigue at the Styrian Grand Prix with one name putting his name back in the championship fight, while another cemented his place at the top. Here, we dive into some of the more pressing matters in both classes.

Bezz is back

It’s still a stretch. But Marco Bezzecchi put himself back into championship contention with his first win of the season on Sunday. The 22-year old shrugged off speculation surrounding his future by producing his strongest weekend for some time. This has always been a strong track for Bezzecchi’s braking abilities, with the Italian scoring wins here in 2018 (Moto3) and 2020 (Moto2). In the race, his speed through Turns 1 and 3 was crucial, and key to him recovering from a shaky early spell to reel in, then pounce on, Remy Gardner.

For much of this season, Bezzecchi has either struggled to qualify well, or manage tyre wear to live with the Red Bull Ajo team-mates. But he overcame both here, backing up his searing free practice pace by qualifying third on Saturday. Then, as he dropped from first to third in the early laps, he paid careful attention to the riding styles of Gardner and Aron Canet to make his way back to the front.

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Yamaha Suspends Maverick Viñales For Austrian GP For "Irregular Operation" - But What Exactly Did He Do?

Yamaha has suspended Maverick Viñales from participating in this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. In a press release issued today, the Monster Energy Yamaha said Viñales had been suspended for "the unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle by the rider during last weekend's Styria MotoGP race".

According to Yamaha, this behavior was visible in the data logged by the Yamaha M1, and that data forced Yamaha to draw the conclusion that "the rider‘s actions could have potentially caused significant damage to the engine of his YZR-M1 bike which could have caused serious risks to the rider himself and possibly posed a danger to all other riders in the MotoGP race".

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