Iannone ends Ducati victory drought in Austria

Andrea Iannone

Andrea Iannone

Andrea Iannone ended Ducati’s MotoGP winless streak after coming through an intense battle with team-mate Andrea Dovizioso to claim victory at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Italian faced a stern challenge from Dovizioso throughout as he claimed the manufacturer’s first premier class win since Casey Stoner’s Phillip Island triumph in 2010.

While the result ended a six-year wait for Ducati, the victory at the Red Bull Ring also marked Iannone’s maiden grand prix win.

The Italian, who will leave Ducati at the end of the season, led the early laps from pole position before coming under fire from the Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo and then Dovizioso.

Dovizioso produced the strongest challenge as he passed Iannone for the lead on lap 9, which he held until seven laps from the end.

Iannone held firm in a tense finish to take the chequered flag from his Ducati team-mate, with Lorenzo finishing a distant third.

“It is an incredible feeling,” beamed Iannone, who rode with injured ribs.

“It is a very difficult to explain the emotions as this is my first victory.”

Lorenzo seemed as though he would take the fight to Ducati earlier in the race but the reigning world champion slipped back as the laps ticked by.

He was followed home by Rossi, who also showed signs of pace to rival Ducati in the opening laps.

Honda’s Marc Marquez produced a highly impressive effort in fifth as he rode through pain after dislocating his shoulder following a crash in practice on Saturday.

Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales came home in sixth ahead of the sister Honda of Dani Pedrosa.

Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding finished eighth while the Tech3 Yamaha duo of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro rounded out the top 10.

Aleix Espargaro retired from the race in the closing laps after battling a broken finger, while Eugene Laverty crashed on the final lap as he fought for a top 10 finish.

Five riders were handed ride-through penalties for jumping the start including Cal Crutchlow, Stefan Bradl, Yonny Hernandez, Alvaro Bautista and Hector Barbera.

The latter was disqualified from the race after failing to take his penalty.

Australia’s Jack Miller was ruled out of the race after suffering hairline fractures to his T6 vertebra and a broken right wrist after a crash in warm-up.

Meanwhile, countryman Remy Gardner finished 19th in Moto2.

Marquez continues to lead the world championship standings with a 43 point margin over Lorenzo ahead of next weekend’s Czech Republic Grand Prix.

Result: MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix

Position Rider Team Time/Gap
1 Andrea Iannone Ducati 28 laps
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati +0.938s
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha +3.389s
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +3.815s
5 Marc Marquez Honda +11.813s
6 Maverick Vinales Suzuki +14.341s
7 Dani Pedrosa Honda +17.063s
8 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati +29.437s
9 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha +29.785s
10 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha +37.094s
11 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati +39.765s
12 Michele Pirro Ducati +39.766s
13 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati +44.284s
14 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda +45.004s
15 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda +1:03.246s
16 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia +1:12.448s
17 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati +1:14.517s
18 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati +1:36.510s
19 Stefan Bradl Aprilia +1 Lap
DNF Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Retirement
DSQ Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Disqualified
DNS Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda Withdrawn

Championship Standings 

Position Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 181
2 Jorge Lorenzo 138
3 Valentino Rossi 124
4 Dani Pedrosa 105
5 Maverick Vinales 93
6 Andrea Iannone 88
7 Andrea Dovizioso 79
8 Pol Espargaro 78
9 Hector Barbera 65
10 Scott Redding 53
11 Eugene Laverty 53
12 Aleix Espargaro 51
13 Jack Miller 42
14 Bradley Smith 42
15 Cal Crutchlow 41
16 Stefan Bradl 37
17 Alvaro Bautista 35
18 Danilo Petrucci 29
19 Michele Pirro 23
20 Tito Rabat 20
21 Loris Baz 11
22 Yonny Hernandez 3

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