MotoGP Styria: Jorge Martin takes a sensational maiden victory

Jorge Martin secured his first-ever MotoGP victory in a restarted Grand Prix of Styria at the Red Bull Ring.

Martin regrouped after losing the lead at the restart and entered a two-rider duel with reigning champion Joan Mir. The latter put Martin under extreme pressure during the middle of the race, however Martin was able to keep his cool before pulling away in the final few laps.

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It’s a sensational performance from Martin, who still isn’t at 100% following his huge crash at Portimao a few months ago. Today’s race was Martin’s sixth race in the premier class, whilst the victory is Pramac Racing Ducati’s first in MotoGP.

It’s the first independent team win for the Italian manufacturer, and Martin’s victory also means that Ducati have won six of the seven races to be held at the Red Bull Ring.

Mir crossed the line in second to secure his best result of the season, after finishing third on three occasions so far in 2021. For the first time, both Suzuki riders had a rear holeshot device at their disposal, and the benefits were clear to see.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo completed to podium, albeit eight seconds behind the top two. Still, on a circuit in-which the Yamaha M1 struggles, he’ll see this as a fantastic result.

The initial race was red flagged on lap three following a collision between Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori. Pedrosa fell on the exit of turn three, and his KTM was left stranded on the circuit. Savadori rode into Pedrosa’s bike, splitting the fuel tank in the process. This result in both bikes, and the circuit, catching fire.

Pedrosa was up and able to walk away instantly from the scene of the incident. Savadori looked to initially be in some discomfort, however camera showed the Aprilia sat up and talking to the stewards a few minutes later.

A huge clean-up operation began at the corner, to try and remove fuel and other liquids, and the race was eventually restarted as a 27-lap event, with riders taking their original grid positions. Pedrosa restarted the race, however Savadori did not return to action today despite being declared fit after a trip to the medical centre. It’s the third consecutive race at the Red Bull Ring that’s featured a red flag incident.

Brad Binder produced yet another fantastic race performance to finish fourth. The South African started the race from 16th, before working his way through the order and overtaking both Johann Zarco and Takaaki Nakagami on the final lap.

Nakagami also got the better of Zarco to finish fifth, which is his second top five result of the season. Zarco had to settle for sixth and is now 40 points behind Quartararo in the championship.

Alex Rins also enjoyed a stronger Sunday in seventh, after starting 13th on the grid, ahead of Marc Marquez. Francesco Bagnaia crossed the line in ninth but was handed a three-second penalty for ignoring his long lap penalty for exceeding track limits and, as a result, is classified in 11th. Bagnaia was leading the original race before the red flags were waved.

As a result of Bagnaia’s penalty, Alex Marquez is promoted to ninth, whilst wildcard entrant Pedrosa completes the top 10 on his return. Pedrosa hadn’t raced since the 2018 season finale at Valencia.

Rookie Enea Bastianini was 12th ahead of Valentino Rossi and Luca Marini, whilst Iker Lecuona clinched the final point in 15th. Pol Espargaro endured another tough race in 16th and was handed a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits. Cal Crutchlow was 17th on his return with Petronas Yamaha, ahead of Danilo Petrucci and Maverick Vinales.

Vinales made a great start in the original race and was challenging inside the top five. However, the Spaniard stalled his M1 on the grid for the restart and was forced to start from pit-lane. Vinales was then handed a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits and ended the race over a minute behind the winner.

Aleix Espargaro pulled off the circuit on lap five and retired from the race. Espargaro endured a frustrating day in Austria after being hit by Marc Marquez at turn one on both race starts. Espargaro fell to 16th at the restart after being pushed off the circuit.

Miguel Oliveira retired from the race on lap 14 with a bike issue, with MotoGP’s pit-lane reported Simon Crafar suggesting that there was a piece missing out of Oliveira’s front tyre. Oliveira was circulating in 10th when the problem struck, which was a remarkable performance given the hand injury he suffered on Friday morning.

Jack Miller’s title aspirations were dealt a real blow when he crashed at turn seven whilst chasing down Quartararo for the final podium position. It’s the Aussie’s second consecutive DNF, and his third of the season overall.

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MotoGP Styria Race Result

MotoGP Styria: Jorge Martin breaks lap record to secure pole

First published: 7 August 2021 by Josh Close

Jorge Martin Styria Pole

Jorge Martin recorded the first-ever 1:22 lap-time at the Red Bull Ring to secure pole position for the Grand Prix of Styria.

The rookie went fastest with a 1:22.994, which was enough to beat Francesco Bagnaia by 0.044s. It’s Martin’s second MotoGP pole, and 23rd overall, from only six race weekends. The Pramac Racing rider missed four races through injury.

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Championship leader Fabio Quartararo broke the lap record once again with a 1:22.958, however his lap was cancelled after he exceeded track limits at turn nine. Instead, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider completes the front row in third. 

Jack Miller made it three Ducati riders inside the top four, ahead of reigning champion Joan Mir and Johann Zarco. Mir battled back from a crash at turn nine during FP4.

Aleix Espargaro moved up to seventh in the closing stages and will be joined on the third row by Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales. Marquez looked set to improve his position after going faster than anybody in sector one, however the Repsol Honda rider lost the front at turn three and crashed out of the session. 

LCR Honda duo Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Marquez were 10th and 11th respectively, whilst Miguel Oliveira completed the Q2 positions. The Portuguese rider is suffering from a hand injury after a highside during FP1 on Friday morning. 

Alex Rins failed to make it out of Q1 and will start tomorrow’s race from 13th on the grid, ahead of the returning Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaro. Pedrosa is racing as a wildcard entry for Red Bull KTM this weekend. 

Brad Binder qualified 16th ahead of Petronas Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, who announced his retirement from MotoGP on Thursday afternoon. Rossi’ brother Luca Marini completes row six.

Iker Lecouna and Enea Bastianini were 19th and 20th respectively, however the latter was fastest with a few seconds remaining. His best lap-time was cancelled due to the Italian exceeding track limits. 

Lorenzo Savadori, Danilo Petrucci and Cal Crutchlow complete the MotoGP grid. Savadori has been taken to the medical centre for a check-up following a crash at turn eight in the closing moments of Q1. Meanwhile, Crutchlow is returning to action as a replacement for the injured Franco Morbidelli at Petronas Yamaha. The Brit retired at the end of 2020 and became Yamaha’s official test rider. 

Tomorrow’s MotoGP race is scheduled to begin at 13:00 (UK time). 

MCN has been the home of bike racing since 1955. To get behind the scenes access, big name exclusives and hear from some of the best motorcycle racing journalists in the world, pick up a copy in your local newsagent every Wednesday. Or why not subscribe and get four issues for £2.

MotoGP Styria - Qualifying Result