It was a dramatic and crash marred weekend’s racing at Red Bull Ring in Austria, with drama occurring in both the Moto2 and MotoGP classes. As reported previously, Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin, also known as “El Pescao”, had a massive collision with a fallen bike on track.
Occurring four laps into the race, Enea Bastianini, riding for Italtrans Racing Team and at that point leader in the Moto2 championship, high sided coming over the blind crest at turn 1. As the rest of the grid came through the corner, Hafizh was unable to avoid Bastianini’s bike which was on its side in the middle of the track.
Immediately red flagged, the incident also involved two other riders, Indonesian Andi Izdihar, riding for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia and Spaniard Edgar Pons on the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex, both of whom were unable to avoid the debris. However, it was good news for all involved as it was quickly reported all riders were conscious and Hafizh found not to have suffered any serious injury.
Competition resumed with a shortened race distance of 13 laps with grid standings based on riders’ positions as at the end of lap 3. The Moto2 round in Austria was eventually won by Jorge Martin of Red Bull KTM Aso, followed by Luca Marine of Sky Racing Team VR46 and Marcel Schrotter of Liqui Moly Intact GP in second and third with Marini now leading the championship table ahead of Batianini with 78 points to 73.
There was more drama in the premier MotoGP class in Austria when Johann Zarco on the Esponsorama Racing Ducati Desmosedici and Franco Morbidelli of Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team on the YZR-M1 came together in an incident that saw both riders running into the gravel. With Zarco running a touch wide coming out of turn 2, Morbidelli ran into the back of Marco’s Ducati.
At this point Valentino Rossi of Yamaha Factory Racing, with team mate Maverick Vinales riding in close formation, were approaching the uphill turn 3. The wreckage of both the Ducati and Yamaha flew just in front of Rossi, missing him by a matter of centimetres.
It was even closer for Vinales as remains of Zarco’s bike came close enough to make the Spanish rider take both hands off the handlebars and cover his head in anticipation of being hit by the debris. The MotoGP round in Red Bull Ring concluded with the win going to Andrea Dovizioso – who announced his resignation from Ducati Team just the day before – followed by Joan Mir of Team Suzuki Ecstar in second and Australian Jack Miller of Ducati Pramac Racing in third.
It was Mir’s maiden win in MotoGP and a return to the podium for Suzuki after the firm resumed racing at the top level in 2016. The MotoGP circus stays at Red Bull Ring in Austria for next weekend’s BMW M Grand Prix of Styria.