Austrian Grand Prix Review 2020

2020-08-17 09:06
Michelin’s first race of an Austrian MotoGP™ double-header saw Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) take victory at the Red Bull Ring during today’s myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.

Changeable weather all weekend had seen the range of both MICHELIN Power Slick and MICHELIN Power Rain tyres tested in various types of situations, from wet, to drying and to today’s race conditions which saw track temperatures reach 50°C, the highest all weekend. When the lights changed to signal the start of the 28-lap race, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was on pole, but Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) got the holeshot and led for the first lap. The race was shaping up into an exciting event, but a spectacular crash between two riders, Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – both of whom were not injured – caused the race to be red-flagged and a re-start ordered. The second attempt was cut to 20-laps and again Miller got the holeshot and led for the early part of the race, before Dovizioso took the lead and stayed there until the chequered flag, controlling from the front and getting the best from his Michelin tyres as the race progressed. His victory was his third at the Red Bull Ring, it also signalled the fiftieth Grand Prix win for Ducati, but more importantly for Michelin it was the third different marque to win on its tyres, on three separate tracks this season, following Yamaha’s success in Spain and KTM’s in Czechia last week.

As the race developed the battle for the podium certainly heated up and it went to the last-lap, before Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) used all the grip from his MICHELIN Power Slick tyres to overtake Miller through the high-speed corners of the final sector to record his first podium position, while Miller took third and the privilege of being the First Independent Rider. Last week’s winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was next over the line on his way to fourth. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) came home in fifth, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) following him across the line in sixth. Seventh place went to Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in eighth, a result which was enough to see him keep his lead at the top of the championship standings. Ninth was Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Viñales rounded out the top-ten.

With such unpredictable weather all weekend, records were never possible as riders didn’t get as much dry time as they would have liked to be able to use their Michelin tyres to the very maximum of performance, but Dovizioso did set the top-speed record with a speed of 320.4Km/h. Today’s race also saw five of the six tyres that Michelin supplied for the weekend used in the second race, Dovizioso favoured a medium front, soft rear pairing, Mir used a set of mediums and Miller went with soft front and rear, making three different configurations across the podium, with Binder in fourth using a hard front and medium rear, signalling that the five different specifications were used to fill the top-four places.

Michelin and the MotoGP will now remain in Austria as the whole field returns to the Red Bull Ring next weekend for the inaugural running of the BMW M Grand Prix von Styria.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team:

“I was able to manage the tyres and I was really happy. The feeling was very good, especially on the front and I was able to brake very hard and I made a step with that. There was a drop, but I was able to control things and manage the consistency until the end and it was enough to win the race.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“The weekend never really felt settled with the weather, when we thought we would get some consistent track time it rained or we arrived in the morning and there had been heavy rain overnight, so the riders never had the chance to fully set-up their bikes to exploit the full potential of our tyres around this circuit. The one positive from this was that we were able to get some valuable data as to how the tyres worked in the quickly changing conditions. The track temperatures rose for today’s race and the threat of rain never materialised, so there were lots of changes on the grid with riders and teams making informed decisions as to which tyres to use. It looked like being a close race, but the crash caused a re-start, thankfully no-one was injured and we could begin again with a shortened race. Over the 20-laps the tyres performed very well for all manufacturers, it was good to have five brands in the top-six places as this shows the tyres work for all and it was especially pleasing to have five of the six specifications used, it was difficult at the last two circuits because of the high heat at both and the poor surface in Brno, but this week there was a bigger choice as conditions were more as we expected on race day. We have now had three winners and three different tracks, now let’s see what next week brings when we do it all over again here in Austria.”

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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