MotoGP: Perfect Pecco Makes The Double at the Austrian Grand Prix
Pecco Bagnaia wins his fifth Grand Prix of the season and taking his 50th podium in Grand Prix racing
It was very hot conditions for the Austrian Grand Prix, the track was the hottest it had been all weekend so there was a bit of unknown and tyre management would be the key to victory.
Francesco Bagnaia started from pole position and was looking for his third double of the season after his sprint victory, Maverick Vinales had a great pace in the sprint but suffered from his poor start and being caught up in the turn one collision. Brad Binder rounded out the front row and tyre management is one of his and the KTM’s strengths. Marc Marquez made a late change to the soft rear tyre, it would be interesting to see if this would pay off.
The lights went out and it was Pecco Bagnaia who took the holeshot into turn one ahead of the two KTM’s like the sprint race, Alex Marquez toughed it out with Luca Marini in turn three to take fourth place.
It was deja vu for Pecco and Binder as they were gapping Jack Miller pulling a second in one and a half laps.
On lap four Jorge Martin successfully completed his long lap penalty slotting in behind Miguel Oliveira for 13th.
Alex Marquez passed Miller on lap four to move into the podium places with the Australian being pressured by the Mooney VR46 riders.
Binder was extremely close to the back of Bagnaia into turn nine but the World Champion was simply too strong on the brakes and not giving the South African an opportunity to pass.
Oliveira retired on lap six with some sort of techincal issue with his RS-GP Aprilia.
Vinales after laps of looking for a way through passed Miller out of turn ten onto lap 11 and immediately extended the gap.
Miller was going backwards with Aleix Espargaro, Enea Bastianini and Jorge Martin overtaking him on lap 12.
Martin then pressured Bastianini to make a mistake into the turn two chicane and made the move into turn three and Miller aggressively block passed into turn four. With all the battling Fabio Quartararo was able to make a move on his compatriot Johann Zarco for 11th.
Marco Bezzecchi tried to overtake Marquez into turn one for third place but the Italian out-braked himself and had to run wide and close in the gap again.
At the front Pecco was in control of the race leading Binder by 1.7 seconds and was starting to increase by over two tenths every lap.
On lap 20 Bezzecchi went up the inside at turn one on Marquez again but ran wide again and this battling was allowing Marini to close in on the podium battle.
Bezzecchi finally made the move stick on Marquez, he had to make the pass at turn nine and the Spaniard then had Marini on his tail.
Marini went up the inside of Marquez into turn six but ran ever so slightly wide and Marquez immediately went through, the Italian then tried into turn one and made it stick.
Pecco crossed the line to take his fifth Grand Prix win of the season in absolute style, there was no-one who could have beaten him.
Binder finished in a solid second place at the home of Red Bull KTM and Marco Bezzecchi took his fifth podium of the season in third position.
Featured Image: Pecco Fan Club.