Martin takes first MotoGP win as Miller crashes out

Jorge Martin. Picture:

Jorge Martin has taken his and Pramac Racing’s first ever MotoGP victory as Jack Miller crashed out of the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria.

In a race restarted after a frightening crash involving Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori, it was Martin who saw off pressure from 2020 champion Joan Mir to be first to the chequered flag at the Red Bull Ring.

Fabio Quartararo extended his championship lead by riding his Monster Energy Yamaha to the final podium position, with Brad Binder fourth, Takaaki Nakagami fifth, and Johann Zarco sixth after 27 laps.

The factory Ducati Lenovo Team ended up having a nightmare afternoon.

On top of Miller’s crash, Francesco Bagnaia was relegated from an already lacklustre ninth at the chequered flag to 11th due to a three-second penalty for failing to comply with a long lap penalty.

He had been leading when the original race was red flagged due to the fire and debris at Turn 3, caused when Pedrosa crashed his Red Bull KTM and it was cleaned up by Gresini Aprilia’s Savadori.

The full restart was fortuitous for Miller, who had dropped to 10th by the time the red flags were unfurled but was handed back fourth spot on the starting grid.

He made a good getaway when the lights went out for a second time and was able to pass pole-sitter Martin when they braked at the top of the hill, at Turn 3.

Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) took up third, with Quartararo and Zarco (Pramac Ducati) quickly progressing to fourth and fifth, respectively.

They did so at the expense of front row starter Bagnaia, who found himself plummeting down the order in the early stages.

Mir tried to wrest second spot from Martin and while his Suzuki has a rear ride height device for the first time this weekend, Ducati power still allowed the rookie to reclaim the position up the hill on Lap 3.

Martin passed Miller for the lead a lap later at Turn 3, and Mir was soon past #43 to continue the chase.

While it was initially the top five which had broken away from the rest, the top two began to gap Miller, and that may have incentivised Quartararo to attack on Lap 7.

The Frenchman got through at Turn 3 and after Miller took the spot back at Turn 4, Quartararo sent his #20 Yamaha down the inside again at Turn 6.

At that point, the deficit to second placed Mir was a touch over a second, but it had doubled by the time the race reached the halfway mark.

Quartararo had also failed to shake Miller, until disaster struck for the Australian when he pushed too hard and crashed at Turn 7 on Lap 18, promoting Zarco to fourth and Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda) to fifth.

Martin had pulled out some breathing space over Mir when the Suzuki pilot made an error on Lap 22 at Turn 3, and the gap between the two jumped to more than a second.

While the rookie had the added pressure of a track limits warning already hanging over his head, Mir seemingly decided to call off the fight and bank the 20 points for second.

Quartararo scored a valuable 16 points on a track not suited to Yamaha by getting home in third and his afternoon was made all the better when Zarco, his nearest championship rival, lost two spots on the last lap.

On the other hand, it was Red Bull KTM’s Binder who finished fourth by passed both Zarco and Nakagami on that final lap.

Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) ended up seventh and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) salvaged eighth.

The latter had run-ins with Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia) at the first corner of both ‘Race 1’ and ‘Race 2’, then was in comeback mode after he sprayed wide himself at Turn 1 a few laps later.

Alex Marquez claimed ninth on his Castrol LCR Honda and Pedrosa bagged 10th in his first appearance in over two-and-a-half years, having taken the restart on his spare bike.

Savadori was declared fit after a trip to the medical centre but took no further part in proceedings.

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) had a shocking day in the end, stalling on the warm up lap before the restart and having to start from pit lane.

He would cop a long lap penalty and get home in 19th, last of the finishers, via pit lane.

Neither Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) nor Aleix Espargaro made the chequered flag, the former reportedly due to a front tyre issue but the latter’s woes unclear.

MotoGP stays at the Red Bull Ring for Round 11, the Austrian Grand Prix, next weekend (August 13-15).

Race results: Styrian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 89 Jorge MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 38:07.879
2 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +1.548
3 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +9.632
4 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +12.771
5 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +12.923
6 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati +13.031
7 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +14.839
8 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +17.953
9 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +19.059
10 26 Dani PEDROSA ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +19.389
11 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +21.667
12 23 Enea BASTIANINI ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati +25.267
13 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +26.282
14 10 Luca MARINI ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati +27.492
15 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +31.076
16 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +31.150
17 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +40.408
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +48.114
12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +1:03.149
DNF 43 Jack MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 9 Laps
DNF 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 13 Laps
DNF 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 23 Laps
DNS 32 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 0 Lap

Race winner: 27 laps
Maverick VIÑALES finished through pits

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
2 Johann ZARCO FRA 132
3 Joan MIR ESP 121
4 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 114
5 Jack MILLER AUS 100
6 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 95
7 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 85
8 Brad BINDER RSA 73
10 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 58
11 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 52
12 Jorge MARTIN ESP 48
13 Alex RINS ESP 42
16 Alex MARQUEZ ESP 34
18 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 26
19 Valentino ROSSI ITA 20
20 Luca MARINI ITA 16
21 Iker LECUONA ESP 14
22 Stefan BRADL GER 11
24 Lorenzo SAVADORI ITA 4
25 Michele PIRRO ITA 3
26 Tito RABAT ESP 1
28 Garrett GERLOFF USA  

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