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MotoGP, GP Austria: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Fear and delirium at the Red Bull Ring. Between flying motorbikes, clashes on and off the track, accusations and apologies, riders slamming the door and various consequences

MotoGP: GP Austria: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Fear and delirium at the Red Bull Ring. Between flying motorbikes, clashes on and off the track, accusations and apologies, riders slamming the door and various consequences. Anyone who expected a quiet August 15th weekend would have been disappointed, they were three breathless days, in full MotoGP style.

The good news: Syahrin and Morbidelli coming out of the infirmary with only a few plasters, the lack of aim of Franco and Zarco's bikes, Dovizioso's victory, first place in the Moto2 World Championship for Marini.

The bad news: Zarco playing dodgems at 300 per hour, Ducati forcing Dovi to leave it, Vinales and Quartararo in the role of supporting characters, the silence of the Race Direction.

Basically, there was a lot of meat on the barbie… And there’ll be more of the same in a few days’ time...

THE GOOD - Call it what you will…fate, luck, or even divine providence. The important thing is that the day after we can talk about the centimetres that separated from a tragedy, gape at images bordering on the unbelievable and discuss blame, without having to worry about medical bulletins. Saint Columbanus was a medieval monk and Irish missionary who worked miracles; when he was around there weren’t even any bicycles, yet he became passionate about motorcycles. This year he decided not to go on vacation and so earns himself a recognition candle.

THE BAD - Maybe Spencer and his Stewards are still busy identifying millimetre passes on the green zone to review the standings of a race 10 years ago. It’s required work, because the rules must be respected, but when it leaves its normal administration behind, the supervisory body of MotoGP only makes itself heard for its silence. They gave no explanations in Brno after the accident between Zarco and Pol Espargarò and yesterday, while the whole world was discussing the contact between Zarco and Morbidelli, they were the only ones not to speak. Freddie, if you're there, give us a sign...

THE UGLY - Winning usually goes hand in hand with happiness, but Dovizioso's latest masterpiece only adds to the sadness about his divorce from Ducati. If all stories are to have an ending, this one could find it at the worst possible moment. Or the best moment, because now Andrea can think about the title and Borgo Panigale with whom to replace him. It is not easy, but above all maybe it was not even necessary. The pieces are broken, but only for the Rossa.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT - We risk being repetitive, but Yamaha is doing everything possible to monopolize this box. Vinales and Quartararo, the dream team chosen by Iwata for the future, stand out in practice and vanish in the race. So far behind in the results sheet that they blend into the background. Meanwhile, the engines of the M1 give Moto2 performance and that much-vaunted bike in the winter is already under accusation. A few weeks ago the title seemed like a formality, now it’s a chimera…

THE CONFIRMATION - In amongst the endless brawl of Moto3 there is one rider who uses his head as well as his hands. It is Albert Arenas who, not by chance, is leading the championship. Aspar and Borsoi were right, the rider from Girona perfectly understood the rules of the game and hasn’t made one mistake. A lot of riders should learn from him.

THE ERROR – Just as he had what it took to get a podium at Brno, in Brno he ended up in the gravel instead of in the points. In addition, he also threw the innocent Oliveira to the ground. Pol Espargarò is the veteran of KTM and yet he is riding like a rookie, something that Brad Binder - who saved the company in its home race - does not do.

THE SURPRISE - It is the year of the first times and in Austria it was Joan Mir who had his ticket stamped. While Rins fell victim to over-enthusiasm, his teammate kept his nerves of steel and made the most of a Suzuki that is in no way inferior to the top bikes. After a subdued start, a breath of fresh air…

THE PASS - And we also give Mir the prize for the best pass, (almost) at the last corner as in the best tradition of the Red Bull Ring. Miller was struggling with a soft front tyre, but passing the Australian is never a formality.

THE CURIOSITY - Ducati reached 50 victories, distributed as follows: 23 by Stoner, 14 by Dovizioso, 7 by Capirossi, 3 by Lorenzo and one each for Iannone, Petrucci and Bayliss.

I TOLD YOU SO - "The Red Bull Ring has problems with safety". More or less all the riders had said so. Maybe, just maybe they were right…



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