Dovizioso wins, Miller third after another frightening crash

Franco Morbidelli’s Yamaha nearly hits Valentino Rossi as Morbidelli himself and Johann Zarco tumble through the gravel pic: Fox Sports

Andrea Dovizioso won and Jack Miller finished third in an Austrian MotoGP marred by the second extremely frightening crash of the day at the Red Bull Ring.

After Hafizh Syahrin ploughed into Enea Bastiniani’s stricken bike in the Moto2 race, Valentino Rossi and his Monster Energy Yamaha team-mate Maverick Viñales barely escaped being hit by out of control motorcycles on Lap 9 of the main event.

Johann Zarco’s Ducati speared through the infield air fence before bouncing over Viñales at Turn 3, while Franco Morbidelli’s Petronas SRT Yamaha just split the gap between the factory-entered M1s.

The incident began with a coming-together back down the hill, when Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) appeared to drift right at the Turn 2 kink as he battled with Morbidelli for eighth position, causing contact which took both off their bikes.

Morbidelli was initially carried away from the scene on a stretcher but ultimately walked to the waiting medical vehicle while Zarco hitched a ride back to the paddock on a scooter.

The drama continued in the 20 laps which were run after the red flag, including crashes for Alex Rins while leading and the man who led before the stoppage, Pol Espargaro.

Dovizioso, whose impending split from the Ducati Team was announced by his manager just a day earlier, took the lead on Lap 10 of part two of the race and did not look back.

Miller (Pramac Racing) led early on and for several more laps after the restart but came up two corners short of finishing runner-up in the dry for the first time when he let Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir through.

Last-start winner Brad Binder rode his factory Red Bull KTM to fourth from a qualifying position of 17th and Rossi took fifth, while championship leader Fabio Quartararo got back to eighth after running his Petronas SRT Yamaha through the gravel on Lap 6.

When the race got underway for the first time, Miller took a clear lead to the first corner from the middle of the front row while Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), and Mir quickly disposed of Viñales to take up second through fourth.

Pol Espargaro blazed past Dovizioso between Turns 8 and 9 on Lap 4, then relieved Miller of the lead at Turn 9 on Lap 6.

As that was going on, Quartararo had just been relegated to seventh before running long and into the kitty litter at Turn 4.

Dovizioso got by Miller for second at Turn 9 on Lap 8 as Pol Espargaro stretched his lead to half a second, just before the horror show at Turn 3.

The restart order was based on Lap 8 classification, meaning Pol Espargaro lined up in first spot from Dovizioso, Miller, Mir, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Viñales, Rossi, Rins (Suzuki Ecstar), Binder, and Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia), with Quartararo last of the 20 riders remaining.

Pol Espargaro got the jump but Miller went deep into Turn 1, ran wide, and still managed to emerge with top spot.

The KTM rider briefly reclaimed the lead but was usurped by Dovizioso on Lap 2 of ‘Race 2’, and ceded third to Rins on Lap 6.

Miller got out to 1.2s clear at one point but, with soft tyres front and rear, would gradually be reeled back in by Dovizioso.

The Italian passed the Australian at the start of Lap 10 and Rins also overtook #43 before they got back around to the main straight.

Rins went down the inside of Dovizioso at Turn 6 on Lap 11 but, as he was completing the pass, lost the front end of his Suzuki and was out of the race.

Miller somehow stuck with Dovizioso, who was on the medium compound Michelin front and soft rear, but Mir was catching the Ducatis.

Dovizioso started to pull away in the final half-dozen laps and was a second to the good with three laps to go.

It looked, however, like Miller would be able to hold Mir out, only for the Pramac man’s defensive line into the final complex of corners to turn into a wide berth out of Turn 9 which allowed the #36 Suzuki through.

Dovizioso’s first win of the season, and third in his last four starts at the Red Bull Ring, moves him to second in the championship, 11 points behind Quartararo.

Mir’s second placing was his first premier class podium, while Miller equalled his best dry weather finish.

Binder took the chequered flag a touch under four seconds further back, from Rossi, Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda), Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), Quartararo, Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3).

Viñales was swamped at Turn 3 on the restart lap and dropped as far back as 20th before finishing 10th.

Pol Espargaro crashed on Lap 9 and took another KTM rider in Oliveira with him, making for a total of five DNFs.

The fifth round of the premier class season also takes place at the Red Bull Ring, from this coming Friday.

Race results: Austrian MotoGP

Part 2 of race

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Race time
1 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 28:20.853
2 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +1.377
3 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati +1.549
4 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +5.526
5 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +5.837
6 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +6.403
7 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati +12.498
8 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +12.534
9 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +14.117
10 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +15.276
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +17.772
12 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Pramac Racing Ducati +23.271
13 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +24.943
14 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +24.868
15 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +27.435
16 53 Tito RABAT ESP Esponsorama Racing Ducati +28.502
17 6 Stefan BRADL GER Repsol Honda Team Honda +28.609
DNF 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 10 Laps
DNF 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 12 Laps
DNF 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 12 Laps
DNF 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0 Lap
DNF 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Esponsorama Racing Ducati 0 Lap

Race winner: 20 laps (8 laps before red flag)

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
3 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 48
4 Brad BINDER RSA 41
5 Valentino ROSSI ITA 38
6 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 37
7 Jack MILLER AUS 36
9 Joan MIR ESP 31
10 Johann ZARCO FRA 28
11 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 20
12 Alex RINS ESP 19
14 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 18
15 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 16
17 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 9
19 Tito RABAT ESP 7
20 Bradley SMITH GBR 7
22 Michele PIRRO ITA 4
23 Stefan BRADL GER  

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