StyrianGP: Matchpoint Ducati and Dovizioso as triple header comes to a close
The MotoGP World Championship hasn’t had to travel far for round five of the 2020 season with the next round taking place at the Red Bull Ring, the final round of the triple-header.
Andrea Dovizioso is the man in form at the moment. Fresh from his race victory, Dovizioso will be looking to repeat his Austrian success in this weekend Styrian Grand Prix, to mainly stick another finger up at Ducati following his recent departure announcement.
The Italian now sits second in the World Championship, 11 points adrift of two time race-winner Fabio Quartararo, who had a tough weekend in Austria.
The Frenchman suffered from brake issues in both races, after the first part was red-flagged due to the horrific accident involving Brno sensations, Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli. Both the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders are feeling confident ahead of this weekends 28-lap race and are confident of using last weekends data to their advantage.
Sticking with Yamaha, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP duo, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales will be looking to put their close call behind them and continue to collect points for their 2020 campaign. Viñales, who finished tenth in last weeks Grand Prix, suffered Clutch issues in the second race and will be hoping that the issues won’t hold last weeks pole-sitter back.
Valentino Rossi fought valiantly to fifth after being hindered by an early move by Brad Binder, the nine-time World Champion lies fifth in the standings, just ten points adrift of team-mate Viñales who holds third.
Fresh from a race victory, and a fourth-place at their home Grand Prix, KTM will be hoping for yet another strong weekend, this time, with Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard was involved in a mid-race collision with KTM counterpart Miguel Oliveira which ultimately ended their race early. Espargaro has had two Grand Prixs ruined by himself, despite showing race-winning pace in both the Czech and Austrian weekends. Meanwhile, Brad Binder, who finished fourth on his first ride in Austria aboard the RC16 will be eyeing up a podium or even a second race victory, using last weeks data to his advantage.
Over at Suzuki, Alex Rins crashed out of the race after passing eventual race winner into turn five. The Spaniard will be looking to bounce back in fine form and return to the podium, his first of the 2020 season. Team-mate Joan Mir is the latest rider to bring Suzuki glory. The former Moto3 champion finished second in the Austrian Grand Prix, the first podium of his MotoGP top-flight career.
Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller was able to pick up his first MotoGP points in Austria thanks to his third place finish on Sunday meanwhile team-mate for the two events, Michele Pirro, finished 12th, picking up points in his first race this season.
Honda will once again field Alex Marquez alongside Stefan Bradl, who stands in for Marc Marquez once again. The German failed to finish inside the points for the second consecutive time, while Marquez picked up just two points for 14th. LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow was 15th with Takaaki Nakagami finished sixth, once again proving to be top Honda. The Japanese greats will be hoping for a better weekend, potentially their last race without Marc Marquez.
Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro will have to start his weekend in the stewards room to discuss the accident between himself and Danilo Petrucci in Q1 last weekend. The Italian manufacturer rider finished 11th in the first of two Austrian weekends and will be aiming to return to the top ten this weekend. Team-mate Bradley Smith finished 12th, but was demoted to 13th for exceeding track limits. That will fill the British rider full of confidence, it’s the first weekend the former Tech 3 Yamaha podium finisher has been close to Aleix Espargaro. The pair will be looking to use their experience to develop their machine further thanks to the data gathered in last weekends event.
See the Styrian Grand Prix schedule for the premier class below:
Friday 21st August 2020
MotoGP free practice one: 09:55
MotoGP free practice two: 14:10
Saturday 22nd August 2020
MotoGP free practice three: 09:55
MotoGP free practice four: 13:30
MotoGP Q1: 14:10
MotoGP Q2: 14:35
Sunday 23rd August 2020
MotoGP Warm up: 09:40
MotoGP race: 14:00