Iannone ends Ducati victory drought in Austria
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.
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
|1||Andrea Iannone||Ducati||28 laps|
|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|
|13||Loris Baz||Avintia Ducati||+44.284s|
|14||Tito Rabat||Marc VDS Honda||+45.004s|
|15||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||+1:03.246s|
|17||Yonny Hernandez||Aspar Ducati||+1:14.517s|
|18||Eugene Laverty||Aspar Ducati||+1:36.510s|
|19||Stefan Bradl||Aprilia||+1 Lap|
|DSQ||Hector Barbera||Avintia Ducati||Disqualified|
|DNS||Jack Miller||Marc VDS Honda||Withdrawn|