Andrea Iannone finally ended Ducati’s six year wait for a MotoGP victory in Austria, leading home teammate Andrea Dovizioso at the Red Bull Ring. The 27 year old put a season put a season of mistakes and misfortune behind him with an error-free performance to lead home Ducati’s first 1-2 since Phillip Island 2007.
The Ducatis were faultless off the start line but five riders further back, including Hector Barbera, were found to have moved before the red lights were extinguished. While the other four begrudgingly served their ride-through penalties, Barbera stayed out and the emergence of the black flag brought his race, and his 100% scoring record in 2016, to an ignominious end.
With the Ducatis expected to pull away, Valentino Rossi did his best to upset their rhythm by diving past Dovizioso for second at turn six before barging Iannone aside at the final corner of lap one. The Doctor was promptly repassed by the no.29 down the home straight and a feisty Jorge Lorenzo soon relegated his teammate to third having recovered from a tangle with Marc Marquez at the start.
On lap six, Dovizioso restored Ducati’s 1-2 with Lorenzo powerless to keep the Desmosedici GP at bay down the straights and when the no.4 outbraked Iannone into turn nine on the tenth lap, the race settled into a rhythm with the Yamahas following the Ducatis while Marquez gradually lost ground in fifth.
With eight to go, Dovizioso appeared to allow Iannone past, choosing to follow his softer-tyre-running teammate but the expected tyre-wear didn’t materialise and Iannone calmly closed out his first ever premier class victory, 0.9s ahead of his compatriot in second. Lorenzo faded by three seconds but still kept the measure of Rossi as Yamaha’s duo finished line astern in third and fourth.
Marquez took fifth to limit the damage to his championship lead while Maverick Vinales finished a strong sixth for Suzuki, comfortably clear of Dani Pedrosa. Scott Redding won an all-British battle for eighth, holding off an improved Bradley Smith, while Pol Espargaro completed the top ten on the second Tech 3 Yamaha.
2016 NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich (Race Result)
[table id=1373 /]