Brad Binder has taken an unbelievable victory in one of the craziest races in MotoGP history.
There was one word on the mouth of everyone at the start of the Austrian Grand Prix – rain. Moments before the start of the race, huge black clouds appeared on the horizon, with teams scrambling to get wet tires as the rain was spitting at the top of the hill at turn 3.
Jorge Martin was on pole again, from Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia. Jack Miller in sixth would be one to watch if it rained as most riders changed to soft tires in anticipation of rain.
The lights went out, and Martin made a magnificent start but was passed by Bagnaia and Johann Zarco. It was a Ducati 1-2-3 as Quartararo was passed by Marquez to end up in fifth.
Marquez was by now up to third, with Zarco and Bagnaia ahead. He passed Zarco at the start of lap 4, with Martin getting ahead as well. Iker Lecuona was having a good race in the top 10, and Martin passed Marquez for second.
Martin then fired up the inside of Bagnaia but ran wide, falling to fourth, it became third briefly as Marquez made a mistake. Then they went three-wide through turn 2 with Quartararo winning the battle with a divebomb around the outside of turn 3.
Then the rain flags came out. It was raining at the top of the hill, meanwhile, Bagnaia and Quartararo battled for the lead. Quartararo briefly took the lead but ran wide at turn 1, losing the position.
The rain seemed short-lived, and Bagnaia began to make a break over the field, with Quartararo and Marquez dueling for second. Behind, Joan Mir passed Miller for sixth, with supreme pace which could set him up for a podium challenge.
The race was by now calming down, with a rhythm beginning to emerge. The threat of rain seemed to ease off, but then huge drama came. The man in second place in the title, Zarco, was down and out of the Austrian Grand Prix, putting a huge dent in his title hopes.
Quartararo went in very hot at turn 3 and lost second place to Marquez, and the rain flags were out again, and Miguel Oliveira was caught out by the spits, going down at turn 1. Marquez was piling pressure on Bagnaia.
The race exploded, the heavens were opening, and Miller and Rins went onto the wet tires. There were only four laps left, and all of a sudden seven riders were in contention
Marquez took the lead, Martin took third, Quartararo to second, and Bagnaia fell to fourth. It was raining heavily by now and everyone except Brad Binder came in for wets. He was leading from Aleix Espargaro with only three laps left.
Marquez crashed. With a lap and a half left Binder was leading by 10 seconds but it was tipping down with rain. All of a sudden, Iker Lecuona was in second and Luca Marini in third. Then the wet tire runners picked them up, with Bagnaia, Martin, and Mir passing the slick tire runners.
But it was Binder who won from Bagnaia and Martin. An incredible result of one of the craziest races in MotoGP history. Mir was fourth, and Marini fifth, with a season-best finish for Valentino Rossi in eighth. A truly incredible MotoGP race that left the crowd and fans around the world breathless with excitement.
The top 10 of the MotoGP Austrian GP:
|1||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||40:46.928|
|2||Francesco Bagnaia||Ducati Lenovo Team||+9.991|
|3||Jorge Martin||Pramac Racing||+11.570|
|4||Joan Mir||Team Suzuki Ecstar||+12.623|
|5||Luca Marini||VR46 Ducati||+14.831|
|6||Iker Lecuona||Tech3 KTM Factory Racing||+14.952|
|7||Fabio Quartararo||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||+16.650|
|8||Valentino Rossi||Petronas SRT||+17.150|
|9||Alex Marquez||LCR Honda||+17.692|
|10||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+18.270|