MotoGP: Miguel Oliveira makes history in a dramatic Styrian Grand Prix

Miguel Oliveira with his brand new BMW M4
Miguel Oliveira with his brand new BMW M4
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Miguel Oliveira stunned the MotoGP paddock by claiming an historic maiden victory in the premier class at the Styrian Grand Prix.

The event was red flagged after a horrific brake failure for Maverick Vinales, leaving the riders to contest a 12-lap dash to the finish. In the closing stages we were left with a three-way fight for the win between Pol Espargaro, Jack Miller and Oliveira.

The story so far

The Tech3 KTM rider made a calculated double overtake at the Red Bull Ring's infamous final corner to get the better of Espargaro and Miller. After a defensive final lap for Espargaro, Miller dived down the inside at turn 10. The duo would go wide, leaving space for Oliveira to sneak by on his regular racing line and snatch victory in the 900th premier class race.

As an extra award, Oliveira was also handed the keys to a brand-new BMW M4, with the German manufacturers sponsoring the event.

Oliveira's victory was the first for Portugal and the first for the Tech3 team. Emotions were running high as KTM's satellite squad went wild after the chequered flag fell. The victory was KTM's second in three races (14 days), with Espargaro also securing another podium for the Austrian outfit in third. Oliveira's victory means that KTM will lose their concessions, meaning no more unlimited testing, but right now it's hard to believe that they'll care too much. KTM have truly arrived. 

Miller's second place was a valiant effort given that he was in hospital with shoulder pain only a few hours earlier. He came extremely close to keeping Ducati's 100% record intact in Spielberg.

Joan Mir was fourth on the Suzuki but it's impossible not to feel sorry for the Spaniard. Before the red flag fell, he had a comfortable two-second lead over the rest of the field. With no fresh tyres available, he was forced to remain on the same tyre which he started the original race with. 

Andrea Dovizioso, last week's race winner in Austria, was fifth on the factory Ducati, ahead of Alex Rins on the second Suzuki. Takaaki Nakagami was another rider who suffered from the restarted race. In 'race one' he was Mir's closest challenger and looked comfortable on the LCR Honda, but like his rival, the Japanese star had no fresh tyres at his disposal. 

Brad Binder was eighth overall after a small error at turn one cost him any chance of breaking into the top six. Valentino Rossi and Iker Lecouna completed the top 10, the with latter ensuring that all four KTM riders were inside the top 10. 

Overall it was a dismal Sunday for Yamaha. Rossi may have finished ninth but Vinales' race came to a dramatic end. The Spaniard was forced to bail from his M1 at around 130mph whilst heading into turn one when his brakes failed. The Yamaha bolted into the air fence, bursting into flames as a result. Fortunately, Vinales was unharmed in the scary incident, but the damage to the air fence brought out the red flag.

Meanwhile, Fabio Quartararo also had brake problems on his Petronas Yamaha M1, limping home in 13th spot. Franco Morbidelli took the final point in 15th. 

Elsewhere, Aleix Espargaro was the leading Aprilia in 12th, just behind Danilo Petrucci's factory Ducati. Johann Zarco was 14th on his return from scaphoid surgery, with Cal Crutchlow down in 17th. 

After a run of disappointing results, Quartararo has seen his championship lead cut to just three points. Dovizioso is leading the charge in second spot, with Miller a further 11 points adrift in third. 

MotoGP - Styrian Grand Prix Race Results


Moto2: Marco Bezzecchi wins dramatic race after Jorge Martin is penalised

First published: 23 August 2020 by Josh Close

Marco Bezzecchi wins in Moto2

Marco Bezzecchi inherited his first-ever win in the Moto2 class after Jorge Martin was demoted for exceeding track limits on the final lap.

Bezzecchi had closed down the gap to Martin in the closing stages and was right on his tail. Coming down the exit of turn eight Martin was a little wide and touched the green paint coming back onto the racing line. Exceeding track limits on the final lap leads to an automatic one-place drop according to the rulebook. It was hugely disappointing for Martin, who crossed the line first after leading each of the 25 laps. 

It's Bezzecchi's first victory in the intermediate class and his first win since the Moto3 race at Motegi in 2018. His victory is the second of the day for the Sky Racing Team VR46 squad, following Celestino Vietti's win in the Moto3 class.

Remy Gardner joined Bezzecchi and Martin on the podium. The Australian fought extremely hard to stick with the faster bikes around him to secure his first podium of the season and his second overall in Moto2. 

Tetsuta Nagashima was fourth on the second of the Red Bull KTM Ajo machines. That's the Japanese rider's best result since his second place at the Spanish Grand Prix. Thomas Luthi was fifth ahead of Xavi Vierge and championship leader Luca Marini.

Jake Dixon achieved his best-ever finish in Moto2 after clinching eighth spot on the Petronas Sprinta Racing machine. Hector Garzo and Enea Bastianini completed the top 10. 

Sam Lowes was black flagged for causing a collision with Somkiat Chantra and Jorge Navarro at turn three on the third lap. Lowes hit the deck again at turn four on lap six, moments before the black flag was waved. 

Elsewhere, polesitter Aron Canet crashed out of second place at turn four on the second lap. Augusto Fernandez also crashed out of the race, with Dominique Aegerter also failing to finish.

Today's result closes everything up in the title fight. Marini now has an eight-point lead over both Bastianini and Martin. Nagashima is 19 points behind the Italian in fourth spot. Lowes drops to sixth in the championship, 28 points behind Marini.

Moto2 Styrian GP Results


Moto3: Celestino Vietti takes his maiden victory whilst John McPhee crashes out at the Red Bull Ring

First published: 23 August 2020 by Josh Close

Celestino Vietti wins in Moto3

Celestino Vietti came out on top in a last lap battle with Tony Arbolino at the Red Bull Ring to claim his first-ever victory in Moto3.

Arbolino applied the pressure on his fellow Italian but was unable to beat Vietti on the brakes heading into turn nine. Vietti was strong on the brakes at the final corner, with Arbolino almost losing the front. 

That slight mishap gave Vietti the chance to pull clear and he crossed the line with a +0.410s advantage over Arbolino. Ai Ogura completed the podium on the Honda Team Asia bike - his fourth podium of the season. 

Polesitter Gabriel Rodrigo finished fourth, taking full advantage after John McPhee crashed out of the race at turn nine on the penultimate lap. Fourth place is Rodrigo's best result of the season so far. 

Championship leader Albert Arenas finished fifth and sees his championship lead cut slightly to 25 points over Ogura. McPhee now finds himself 39 points behind Arenas in the title fight. 

Darryn Binder matched his sixth place from last Sunday, ahead of Tatsuki Suzuki and Raul Fernandez. Stefano Nepa and Sergio Garcia completed the top 10. 

It was a disastrous race for the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 team, with Ayumu Sasaki and Deniz Öncü colliding at turn one with five laps to go. Öncü came carried too much speed heading down into the corner and hit his teammate. Öncü was carried away from the scene on a stretcher. 

Jeremy Alcoba, Maximillian Kofler and Riccardo Rossi also crashed out of the race. 


Moto2: Aron Canet claims maiden pole in the intermediate class at the Red Bull Ring

First published: 22 August 2020 by Josh Close

Aron Canet Moto2 Pole

Aron Canet secured his maiden Moto2 pole position in the qualifying session for the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.

Canet takes pole in only his sixth Moto2 race meeting, posting a fastest lap-time of 1:28.787. Canet's last pole position came in the Moto3 class last year, when he converted pole into a victory at Aragon. 

The story so far

The Spaniard will line-up alongside Austrian GP race winner Jorge Martin, who was +0.118s slower than his compatriot. Tetsuta Nagashima completes the front row on the second Red Bull KTM Ajo machine. 

Augusto Fernandez achieved his best qualifying position of the year in fourth, ahead of Marco Bezzecchi and Remy Gardner. The latter suffered a crash at turn one and was unable to restart his bike. 

Thomas Luthi was seventh, with Hector Garzo, Jorge Navarro and Nicolo Bulega completing the top 10. Sam Lowes suffered his worst qualifying session of the year in 11th spot. The Brit visited the medical centre following a crash in FP3 this morning. 

Championship leader Luca Marini could only manage 12th on the Sky Racing Team VR46 machine. 

Elsewhere, Jake Dixon qualified in 13th spot. The Petronas Sprinta Racing rider had been running inside the top 10 before crashing at turn three. 

Moto2 Styrian GP Qualifying Results


MotoGP: Pol Espargaro secures his and KTM's first-ever premier class pole

First published: 22 August 2020 by Josh Close

Pol Espargaro takes pole

Pol Espargaro claimed a sensational maiden pole position for himself and KTM in the premier class during a nail-biting qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring. 

Espargaro put his factory KTM on pole with a 1:23.580, giving the Austrian manufacturer pole on home soil. This comes just weeks after Brad Binder gave KTM their maiden MotoGP victory at Brno. It's Espargaro's first pole position since his final Moto2 race at Valencia in 2013.

Espargaro will be joined on the front row by Takaaki Nakagami, who secures a premier class career best of second. His final flying lap of the session was cancelled for exceeding track limits. 

Johann Zarco qualified third but will not take his spot on the grid. After being penalised for his involvement in the huge accident last Sunday, Zarco will start from the pit lane. Nevertheless, qualifying third just a few days after surgery is a fantastic achievement for the Frenchman. 

Zarco's penalty elevates Joan Mir up to third on the Suzuki. The top four on the timesheets were covered by only +0.098s. 

Jack Miller will start tomorrow's race from fourth if he's able to ride. A crash at turn six during FP3 led to Miller suffering from shoulder pain. At the end of qualifying the Australian was taken to hospital for an MRI scan and further tests on his right shoulder. 

Maverick Vinales will start the Styrian Grand Prix from fifth spot, ahead of Alex Rins and Miguel Oliveira. Last Sunday's race winner Andrea Dovizioso is next in eighth, with Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli completing the top 10. Danilo Petrucci was the slowest man during the Q2 session and will start from 11th. 

Iker Lecuona and Brad Binder will start from 12th and 13th respectively, with Valentino Rossi next up in 14th. Rossi crashed at turn nine whilst pushing to make it out of Q1. 

Further down the order, Cal Crutchlow will start tomorrow's race from 17th, with Bradley Smith in 18th. Aleix Espargaro is 19th on the second Aprilia machine. 

MotoGP Qualifying Times - Styrian GP


Moto3: Gabriel Rodrigo takes pole in a chaotic qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring

First published: 22 August 2020 by Josh Close

Gabriel Rodrigo Moto3 Pole

Gabriel Rodrigo secured his first pole position of 2020 in a dramatic Moto3 qualifying session in Austria.

The beginning of the Q2 session was delayed because of a large oil spill on the track between turns 9 and 10. The spillage had come from Jaume Masia's bike moments after he'd set the quickest time in Q1.

He'd remounted after a fall with the majority of his fairings missing and had also removed his gloves. After Andrea Migno and Davide Pizzoli had fallen on the oil, Masia was summoned to the stewards and was then suspended from Q2. 

After a cautious start the riders finally began to set flying laps. In the end it was Rodrigo who came out on top with a 1:36.470. That was only +0.012s quicker than Raul Fernandez in second spot. Tatsuki Suzuki completed the front row, with +0.064s covering the leading trio. 

Tony Arbolino leads the second-row charge in fourth after seeing one of his laps cancelled for exceeding track limits. Celestino Vietti will line-up alongside him in fifth spot, with John McPhee qualifying in sixth. 

Dennis Foggia will start from seventh, with Ai Agura and championship leader Albert Arenas completing the third row. Darryn Binder completes the top 10. 

Moto3 Qualifying Results - Styrian GP


Moto2: Sam Lowes ends Friday quickest overall at the Red Bull Ring

First published: 21 August 2020 by Josh Close

Sam Lowes fastest in Moto2 Friday

Sam Lowes has topped the combined Friday standings in Moto2 at the Red Bull Ring for the second consecutive week. 

Lowes' top time, set in FP1, of 1:28.733 was just enough to get the better of Remy Gardner and last week's race winner, Jorge Martin. None of the top 11 riders from the morning session were able to improve their lap-times in FP2.

The story so far

Nicolo Bulega was fourth overall on the Federal Oil Gresini machine. The top four riders were covered by only +0.081s, whilst the top 24 riders were within a second of each other. 

Luca Marini ends the opening day fifth overall ahead of Augusto Fernandez on the second EG 0,0 Marc VDS machine. Marco Bezzecchi was seventh overall but was able to post the quickest time in this afternoon's FP2 session. 

Aron Canet is eighth overall, with Enea Bastianini and Marcel Schrotter completing the top 10. Marcos Ramirez is 11th overall for Tennor American Racing team. 

Elsewhere, Jorge Navarro is 12th overall after ending FP3 in third spot. He was one of only four riders to improve on their lap-times in the afternoon session. The other riders to improve include Somkiat Chantra, who moves to 15th overall after taking fourth in FP2.

Former championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima is down in 20th overall after ending FP2 in 10th place, whilst Lorenzo Baldassarri is struggling in 22nd.

Britain's Jake Dixon ends the opening day in 26th position for the Petronas Sprinta team. Dixon was 23rd in the afternoon session.

Moto2 Combined Free Practice Times - Styrian Grand Prix


MotoGP: Pol Espargaro dominates FP2 to take top spot overall at the Red Bull Ring

First published: 21 August 2020 by Josh Close

Pol Espargaro tops MotoGP FP2

Pol Espargaro switched to time attack mode this afternoon and dominated FP2 with the two fastest lap-times of the Styrian Grand Prix weekend so far.

The factory KTM rider posted a 1:23.724 with just under five minutes remaining, before improving further in the dying seconds with a 1:23.638. It's been a positive day for the Spaniard, who focuses on his race pace throughout this morning's FP1 session.

Jack Miller (2nd), Andrea Dovizioso (3rd) and Miguel Oliveira (4th) remain in their positions from this morning’s FP1 session in the combined standings after switching strategies in FP2. Miller was 17th in FP2, whilst Dovizioso finished in 15th and Oliveira ended the second session in sixth.

Takaaki Nakagami continued to stake his claim for an up-to-date full factory Honda bike in 2021 by ending FP2 in second spot. His 1:23.904 moved him up into fifth on the overall timesheets. 

Joan Mir ends the opening day in sixth overall after improving in FP2. Mir ended this afternoon's session in third, just ahead of teammate Alex Rins in fourth spot. Rins' improvement also sees him slot into seventh on the combined standings.

Maverick Vinales was fifth in FP2 but is down in eighth on the combined standings, ahead of Franco Morbidelli in ninth. Morbidelli ended FP2 in seventh. 

As it stands, Brad Binder is currently the final rider to make it directly into Q2 tomorrow. He was 10th in FP2 and on the combined times as well. 

Aleix Espargaro and Valentino Rossi finished eighth and ninth respectively in FP2 but both riders have some work to do in FP3 if they're to avoid Q1. They find themselves 12th and 13th overall, just behind Iker Lecuona. 

Fabio Quartararo continued to be frustrated on his Petronas Yamaha machine. The championship leader appeared to be struggling on the brakes, running on at turn one and then again at turn four. He's currently 14th in the combined standings. 

Cal Crutchlow ends the opening day down in 18th place overall. The Brit was 13th in the second practice session this afternoon.

MotoGP Combined Free Practice Times - Styrian GP


Moto3: Celestino Vietti ends Friday on top at the Styrian Grand Prix

First published: 21 August 2020 by Josh Close

Celestino Vietti quickest in Moto3

Celestino Vietti ended the opening day of Moto3 free practice at the Styrian Grand Prix on top of the combined timesheets.

The Sky Racing Team VR46 rider was the only competitor to break into the 1:35s, posting a best time of 1:35.997. Albert Arenas ends day one in second spot, +0.306s behind Vietti in the standings. 

Tatsuki Suzuki was quickest in FP2 this afternoon and his improvement on the timesheets was enough for third overall today. Gabriel Rodrigo led momentarily in FP2 and ends the day fourth overall in the standings.

Tony Arbolino and Jermy Alcoba also improved in FP2 to finish fifth and sixth respectively on the combined leaderboard. Raul Fernandez's quickest time in FP1 was enough to keep him seventh overall.

John McPhee ended FP4 in fourth spot, which moves him up into eighth overall. Jaume Masia and Deniz Oncu complete the top 10 combined standings. As it stands, Dennis Foggia, Filip Salac, Darryn Binder and Ayumu Sasaki will join the top 10 riders in Q2. 

As it stands, Andrea Migno (15th), Ai Agura (16th) and Sergio Garcia (17th) all have a little bit of work to do in FP3 tomorrow morning in order to make it straight into Q1. 

Moto3 Free Practice Times - Styrian GP


MotoGP: Jack Miller tops competitive FP1 session at the Red Bull Ring

First published: 21 August 2020 by Josh Close

Jack Miller tops FP1 at the Styrian GP

Jack Miller led a Ducati one-two in a competitive FP1 session at the Red Bull Ring which saw all 21 riders covered by just over a second.

The majority of the field put in some fresh soft tyres for the final few minutes of the session, opting to get a fast lap-time in the bag encase of any rain later in the weekend.

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Miller's quickest time of 1:23.859 was just +0.004s quicker than last weekend's race winner Andrea Dovizioso. Miguel Oliveira completed the top three on the Tech3 KTM and was he was only +0.039s off Miller's fastest time. The Portuguese rider became the first rider to dip into the 1:23s during FP1.

Takaaki Nakagami continued his fine form on the LCR Honda in fourth place. Remarkably, he also under 0.1s slower than Miller. The Japanese rider was just +0.091 off the pace. 

Joan Mir ended the morning session in fifth spot and did momentarily lead the way for Suzuki. Franco Morbidelli fought through any pain that he may be feeling after last Sunday's horrific crash to end FP1 in sixth - the top Yamaha rider in the session.

Brad Binder was seventh ahead of Iker Lecuona on the second Tech3 KTM machine. Maverick Viñales and championship leader Fabio Quartararo completed the top 10. Quartararo was visibly frustrated at one stage after running on at turn six, with the Petronas Yamaha man potentially struggling was again with the front brakes. The top 10 were split by half a second. 

Elsewhere, Pol Espargaro was 11th after sticking to his own race strategy. The KTM rider kept a used medium tyre in the rear of his bike, rather than going all-out for a fast lap-time.

Valentino Rossi had a quiet session down in 17th, ahead of Cal Crutchlow in 18th spot. Aleix Espargaro was down in 20th for Aprilia. 

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Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.