2021 Styria MotoGP Race Result: The Bull Was Particularly Red

The dry race announcement board looked quite comforting while shown at the front of the MotoGP grid, as long as you didn’t glance at the scarily unreliable forecast, but it turned out that the reason for yet another red flag in Austria wasn’t the weather. It was the exit of turn three, the scene of many overtakes on Sunday afternoon, but on this unfortunate occasion, Lorenzo Savadori hit Dani Pedrosa’s fallen machine on lap 3 and while both riders walked away somewhat gingerly, the KTM-Aprilia fireball led to a lengthy clean-up operation and a new 27-lap race from original grid positions. That gave Jorge Martin another shot to defend the lead from pole after Pecco Bagnaia robbed him the first time around, but the likes of Joan Mir, Marc Marquez, Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins would have been less thrilled to have to replicate their fast starts for a second time.

With rain now a distant memory, the new race got underway over half an hour later and Martin made a perfect start to keep the lead from Jack Miller and Mir, closely followed by Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco. Alex Marquez and Alex Rins also made rapid starts to join the top 8 positions, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami. After a bruising tangle in the first start, Marc Marquez and Aleix Espargaro met once again in turn 1, this time because they were running out of room on the outside of Quartararo, and both Spaniards lost significant ground, Marquez to the bottom of the top 10 and Espargaro another handful of places back. The Honda man continued his drop down the timesheets after going wide at turn 1 on lap 2 and had to mount a comeback from 14th position, in between his current teammate and former teammate. Still, Marquez had less to be worried about than compatriot Viñales, who stalled his bike on the grid and had to start from pitlane.

Back on track, Miller was soon challenging Martin to lead the way by the end of the second lap and carried on for the next couple of laps, with only Martin, Mir, Quartararo and Zarco able to keep up with him, while Alex Marquez dropped one second back and was fending off teammate Nakagami. Bagnaia mysteriously dropped to 8th and was in the lead of a sizeable group including Rins, the factory KTMs, factory Hondas and bunch of other riders.

Martin resumed control of proceedings on lap 4 and Mir also took advantage to demote Miller to third, the exchange allowing the LCR boys to join the lead group and briefly make it a 7-man battle. One second behind, Bagnaia was fading and a fast-starting Brad Binder took control of the chasers ahead of Rins and Miguel Oliveira. Bagnaia soon dropped outside the top 10 and ahead of an unlikely battle between Marc Marquez and Iker Lecuona, the Tech 3 rider making life difficult for his compatriot. Meanwhile, Viñales had caught up with the back of the field by lap 7 but his recovery didn’t take him very far.

11 seconds ahead of the Yamaha rider and the 13 black cats that crossed his path, Martin and Mir were extending a gap on the rest of the group and it forced Quartararo’s hand to get past the Ducatis of Miller and Zarco to try to reduce the one second advantage of the leaders. Behind the top five, the LCR friendly fire was dropping both Marquez and Nakagami out of contention and within reach of the next group down the road. Rins was pushing hard to catch up with the Hondas and bringing the factory KTMs with him, while Marc Marquez finally managed to ditch Lecuona but was struggling to find a way past Bagnaia to claim 11th position.

By lap 10, it seemed like Martin and Mir had a little extra on the chasing group led by Quartararo and slightly increased their gap to almost two seconds. In the rush to defend his position, Martin was taking some liberties with track limits, but then again, it was a track limits warning bonanza out there. In the battle for third, Miller kept close to Quartararo but did not show him a wheel just yet, the duo dropping Zarco one second behind. The Frenchman had no immediate reason to worry as the LCR riders were another two seconds back and under threat from Rins and Binder. After the initial stumble, Marc Marquez managed to keep it within the lines and joined the top 10 with 15 laps to go, but two seconds behind Binder.

Leader Martin joined the lengthy list of track limit warnings with 11 laps remaining, adding to the pressure already exerted by Mir right behind him. If he could feel that pressure, he did not show it, as the Pramac rider soon extended the gap to Mir to the biggest it had been, eight tenths of a second. The pressure of the podium battle did catch out Miller at turn 7 and the Ducati man abandoned the race from fourth with 10 laps to go, leaving Quartararo in a rather lonely third. Zarco and Nakagami also did not face an immediate threat in the top 5, although Rins and Binder were still hoping to catch up with them. Three seconds down the road, Marc Marquez got ahead of his brother, with Bagnaia closing the top 10 as the sole factory Ducati left in battle.

With nearly identical lap times posted by the two leaders, Mir was the first to blink with six laps remaining, when a mistake at turn 3 dropped him one second back on the leader and with little time to recover. Despite getting a bit of a breather, Martin continued to post red sector times and Mir looked like he threw in the towel for the final couple of laps.

Martin started the final lap one second and a half ahead of Mir and managed the gap expertly to secure his maiden MotoGP victory. The rookie did so in fine fashion, awarding Pramac Racing their maiden victory in the premier class with a faultless display from pole and resisting serious pressure from the reigning world champion, all after a lengthy recovery from injury. Mir seemed happy enough with second position, turning his best qualifying of the season into a fourth podium of the year. Quartararo took the flag eight seconds later to secure the final podium position and extended his championship lead by finishing well ahead of his main rivals.

Was it not for Martin’s masterful display, Binder was a strong contender for rider of the day, the KTM man having started 16th on the grid and finishing fourth after last lap overtakes on both Nakagami and Zarco. It proved particularly costly for the Frenchman, whose sixth-place finish cost him a few more points in the championship battle. Rins got distanced from the top 6 in the closing stages, but it was still a solid race from 13 on the grid, while Marc Marquez might be a little disappointed with eighth position after looking like a threat for victory before the red flag. A post-race 3-second penalty for Bagnaia for exceeding track limits handed the final top 10 positions to Alex Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, the KTM test rider turning things around after a tough start to his Sunday. Meanwhile, Viñales spent most of the race at the back of the field and retreated to the pits on the very last lap.

The second biggest winner of Sunday afternoon was Quartararo, the Yamaha man ending the first outing in Austria 40 points ahead of compatriot Zarco and with Mir climbing into third, 51 points behind. Bagnaia’s rollercoaster day dropped him to fourth, 58 points back, ahead of teammate Miller, with a 72 point deficit.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 38'07.879
2 36 Joan Mir Suzuki +1.548
3 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha +9.632
4 33 Brad Binder KTM +12.771
5 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda +12.923
6 5 Johann Zarco Ducati +13.031
7 42 Alex Rins Suzuki +14.839
8 93 Marc Marquez Honda +17.953
9 73 Alex Marquez Honda +19.059
10 26 Dani Pedrosa KTM +19.389
11 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati +21.667
12 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati +25.267
13 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +26.282
14 10 Luca Marini Ducati +27.492
15 27 Iker Lecuona KTM +31.076
16 44 Pol Espargaro Honda +31.150
17 35 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha +40.408
18 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM +48.114
  12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha +1'03.149
Not Classified
  43 Jack Miller Ducati 9 Laps
  88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 13 Laps
  41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 23 Laps
Not Starting
  32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 0 Lap
Round Number: 
10
2021
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Comments

a master class from the rookie of the year!   Kudos also to Joan 'n Fabio

MV12 ... (Xp    do I get this right?  Lap 7 he was 11 sec behind leaders 'n lap 27 he was 63 sec behind ?

Wow! Dramatic. Very tense starts and initial laps. Keeping Savadori in mind, have not yet seen an update on his condition. Scary crash!

This will sound odd, not happy to say so, but when pre race the camera settled in on Dani's face I instantly said out loud "oh no, he is going to crash out!" Intuition is a strange thing. It was a clear loud foreboding. He looked hesitant, apprehensive, not present. Bummer. 

The restart really reshuffled the deck. A couple riders really got the hose. Did anyone else suffer the loss of the first start playing itself out? Did you do it in your head some? Dani did well to get 11th (which became 10th). Brad Binder to FOURTH!? Next weekend he may be strong. Poor Oliveira has injury from hand all the way up to the shoulder, bruising. Hope he recovers quickly.

Mir on the Suzuki looked excellent. He is on the gas and in the hunt. Quartararo 3rd on a Yamaha here? Brilliant. 

Only one Red bike near the front, and it's the new guy. Miller? Ouch mate. Afraid your riding style is bumping on its ceiling in the dry. Time to evolve away from rear end blasting towards smoother and balanced.

The LCR Hondas looked solid. Nakagami to Top 5?! Marc? Interesting. He looked solid blasting through poor Aleix Espargaro, apparently leaving his right ribs hurt. Racing incident, in part by design of T1 encouraging blasting away and overrunning it. Unfortunate effect of safe runoff. Exciting? Maybe. Frustrating? I think so. Were it a wet race, it could have gone from tensely colorful to frightening dangerous. Not missing the polite era at all, but we could use a bit less argey-bargey into green paint. Several riders are sure to agree today. 

Watching Moto2 now. Bezz!

His whacking into Aleix Espargaro twice in two starts only confirmed my belief that he's a self-interested flake with no consideration for anybody else on track. Amazing talent, but he needs to get his head thumped hard.

Agreed, excellent rides from Bez, Mir, and Quart.

I have not watched any replays, but, IIRC, Aleix and Marc went into that corner 3 wide, with a bike on the outside.  I wouldn't expect that to be the norm, and thus, one wouldn't expect Aleix to hold such a tight line, around the middle of the corner.  Regardless, it seems the race stewards didn't view it as malicious.

Exactly. Careful study of the replays shows quite a different story to the typical alarmist "Hang Marquez!" crowd. Aliex was not simply a victim here, there's much more to the story than that.

The restarted race had the incident with three riders trying to fit into a space made for two... racing incident. The first races collision was a pretty ropey lunge by MM. I can see why Aleix was pissed... crappy corner though tbh and shit happens.

I read he has broken ankle requiring surgery.

Who gets his ride?

They can just bring someone up from their Superbike Teams...oh, wait. 

It HAS to be Dovisioso. Is there a single other person even vaguely linked?! Come on Andrea, we would love to see you. It can top 5! A podium is dangling in front of you. 

I almost felt sorry for Mav. Got a good start for once, then the race gets cancelled. Then he stalls on the grid.

Full kudos to JM89. Another young gun makes good.

And BB33 and DP26. Amazing (good) stuff, especially after Pedrosa's early crash. And Mir and Quartararo 2nd and 3rd!

Great ride by Jorge Martin.

Excellent perseverance by BB33 in the pursuit. All the way to the B & W flag.

Smashing result for Dani Pedrosa! Not a fan. I always took Casey's side agin DP26.

RESPECT, the little Spanish samurai from the testing department jumped back in at the deep end. Testing is one or two riders on track. No traffic, no backmarkers, no Hassle. Usually the riders are on the same team or bikes.

Racing is 25 desperados fighting for the same narrow piece of real estate, the line. Dani was in the thick of it. Racing with all the regulars. Passing Marc Marquez. In serious sh1te @ Turn 3 with MotoGp bikes whizzing past on either elbow. Getting hit by another bike can really ruin one's day. Then back out on trusty number 26.2 in the hectic cut and thrust of racing again. At 35 after two & a half seasons of test ride only, no race.

Bloody good job, well done Dani Pedrosa!

CONGRATS to the Martinator!!!! LUV'ed that kid since he first came into M3....always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude. And he didn't melt under the intense pressure of Mir and a possible first win. Mir's speed, at this track, is very impressive. Gonna be an interesting finish to the season. Grafer (sp..pit lane commentator) had an interesting point on the Ducati's and the younger guys not having an issue with it (seemingly). They don't have any ingrained habits of how to ride. They just ride what their given to the fullest. 

Marc haters: stuff it! The first incident was his fault, and he admitted it.... the second incident was not his fault, as he had to pick up due to Quart being there...simple racing deal. IF anyone, but Marc, is agreesive, 99% of the time they are given a pass, it was racing deal, but not Marc. His NON-return to form tells us how serious his injury is and how long it'll be until he's fully healthy. 

 

I hear you. Understandable that Aleix is mad too, poor guy got it from the same guy twice, and he was one of several riders that really got screwed on the restart.

He and Marc have been arriving on the same piece of track and battling lately, eh? One perspective is appreciation that wee Aprilia is way up there. Aleix and Marc as 2021 rivals?! Interesting subplot. 

The Marc has a bit of bread crumbs behind him that he knocked off of everyone else's toast over the years, so the patience reserve in the public eye looks a bit dry. 

Glad we are enjoying intense fierce racing as the norm. Moreso with a wide variety of characters. (It's the runoff!) - pressure is rising a bit amongst the heated riding, track safety/dynamics, and Race Dir. I think it will rise, not wane from here. 

...just rewatched the race. I didn't hear Marc whining about Mir running into him and pushing him wide, causing him to lose 4 places. And the contact was in a high speed turn. A total racing deal....3 bikes trying to fit into a spot for 2. 

 Must be frustrating for  Marky Mark and the funky Honda bunch to see it slip away so fast. 

The other have caught up in the braking zone and have better race craft. (See Dovi battles )  He can no longer rely on his 

out rigth speed.

    Get rid of the track limits BS. Such a pain in hte a$$.

So where does the side of the track end? Is it where the tarmac runs out? If not, then where do you draw the line? If it's where the tarmac ends then you're going to have a monumentally huge 1st corner at the Ring laugh and they will almost straight line the wiggly bits at COTA laughlaughlaugh

Ducati's tire shredding horsepower versus Suzuki's tire friendly smoothness turned on its head.

 Excellent work Jorge.