Iannone takes first win for the Bologna factory since 2010 in spectacular dual for the victory
Andrea Iannone has taken the first win for the Ducati Team since Casey Stoner last took the red machine over the finish line at Phillip Island in 2010. The Italian, for whom the victory is his first, held off pressure from teammate Andrea Dovizioso as the Ducati duo took off in the second half of the race – and took a 1-2 for the Borgo Panigale factory for the first time since 2007. Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed the podium in P3 to beat teammate Valentino Rossi to the rostrum – and cut the gap to points leader Marc Marquez.
Iannone began the race from pole and got a great start off the line to lead into Turn 1, with drama behind as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) went in hot and ran wide in an incident that also affected fast-starting Lorenzo. “The Maniac” was the only rider to change to the medium rear tyre allocation, in addition to suffering with pain in his ribs from a motocross accident, but after being passed by Dovizioso was able to fight back against his compatriot and eventually crossed the line ahead to take the historic win.
Dovizioso had an impressive race and led a good many of the laps at the Red Bull Ring, proving a worthy rival in the duel at the front. With a harder tyre option than his teammate, the veteran rider was however unable to quite close on his compatriot in the final few laps and crossed the line P2 in his 250th GP start – completing a historic result for the Desmosedici after a drought of difficult results.
Jorge Lorenzo has had a difficult run in the last few races of 2016, but the reigning Champion showed exactly why he has that title in a calm ride under pressure – getting back onto the podium in P3. A spectacular double overtake early in the race was a highlight for the 5-time champion as he fought for the lead, before a determined ride ensured the Mallorcan was the only man in the top three of the title to gain on a rival in Austria – with leader Marc Marquez in P5 and Rossi in P4.
Marc Marquez suffered a bad crash in FP3 that saw the points leader dislocate his shoulder, but the Spaniard rode on into an impressive top five finish despite the Repsol Honda Team not having tested in Austria. The championship leader held off pressure from Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) throughout to protect his large title margin and do some damage control, with the second Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa crossing the line in P7. Scott Redding came through into P8 for another good result for Octo Pramac Yakhnich, ahead of the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha duo of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro.
The next race sees the paddock move north to Brno in the Czech Republic for another incredible showdown as the Ducati Team arrive as winners for the first time in 6 years.