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Folllowing a frantic Sprint on Saturday, the MotoGP riders will be back on the grid on Sunday, as they compete in the main event, the 28-lap Austrian Grand Prix.
Francesco Bagnaia to win
Maverick Vinales to finish on the podium
MotoGP Austria 2023 Predictions
Francesco Bagnaia will start on pole position for the Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, after taking pole on Saturday morning. He followed it up with a dominant victory in the sprint and is now looking for his fifth win of the season. If he achieves it, it will be his second sweep of pole and victories in both races in 2023, something he achieved in Mugello as well.
As for those that hope to stop him, Maverick Vinales has been strong for the whole weekend and the fast-starting KTMs will be a threat as well. Thankfully for Bagnaia, his title rivals are further back, as Marco Bezzecchi will be seventh, while Jorge Martin will start twelfth and has a long-lap penalty to serve as well, for his part in the crash at the start of the Sprint.
Prediction #1: Francesco Bagnaia to Win
We start off with a safe bet for the race. Francesco Bagnaia won on Saturday without really getting challenged the whole way through. A great getaway meant he was able to beat Brad Binder on the run to the first corner and he did not surrender the lead ever since. His gap at the end was two seconds, but the championship leader surely had more in the tank and just managed his race.
Even if he gets in a battle with Binder or Vinales, the Ducati rider has shown the ability to bide his time this season, especially when battling riders on different bikes. With the other Ducatis further down the order and on a track that suits both his riding style and his bike, Bagnaia is the heavy favourite for victory.
Prediction #2: Maverick Vinales to finish on the Podium
Maverick Vinales has shown plenty of speed the whole weekend so far. The Aprilia rider started second in the Sprint but had a slow getaway. That put him in the middle of the pack and he lost a heap of places in his effort to avoid crashing among the carnage at Turn 1. Despite falling to the back, he showed great pace and was able to recover to eighth, as he settled behind Aleix Espargaro in the closing laps.
The longer races have been suiting the Spanish rider’s style over the past few years and a rare good starting spot should aid him as he chases his first podium since the season opener. With a decent start, Vinales will be in the fight for the podium, just like he was in Silverstone two weeks ago.
Taking his good form into account and the absense of a number of Ducatis from the top spots, we bet on him to make it into the top three. If you want to chase higher odds, a bet on him being first without Bagnaia is not a bad idea either.
MotoGP Austria 2023 Weather Conditions
Much like Saturday, Sunday will be a sunny and warm day on the Styrian mountains in Austria. This means that the riders will have to manage their front tyres in particular, especially if they follow other bikes closely.
MotoGP Austria 2023 Important details
How can I watch the Austrian GP Sprint race in the UK, the US and Australia? TNT Sports and Foxtel will have live coverage of the race in UK and Australia respectively, while NBC Sports will only show highlights for the US viewers.
What is the Austrian GP start time? The race will start at 2:00 pm BST (1:00 pm GMT) on Sunday, August 20th.
What happened in qualifying? In close fight against Maverick Vinales and the KTM riders, a late effort was good enough for Francesco Bagnaia to claim pole position.
How did the Sprint pan out? Francesco Bagnaia stayed clear of a crash on the first corner and won ahead of Brad Binder.
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