UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
As the MotoGP championship reached its halfway point, Francesco Bagnaia claimed another victory, his second of the weekend, and grew his championship lead by 62 points.
MotoGP Austria 2023: How the race unfolded
Francesco Bagnaia again got a great start and was able to hold off both Brad Binder and Jack Miller on the run to the first corner. For Maverick Vinales, who started second, the getaway was better than yesterday, but he had contact with Luca Marini at Turn 1 and dropped to eleventh.
Marini had more contact on the first lap, as he touched with Alex Marquez a few corners later while the pair battled for fourth. Marco Bezzecchi was sixth, one position ahead of Jorge Martin. The Spaniard had to serve a long lap penalty after causing the first corner accident yesterday. He did that on lap three and dropped to thirteenth.
The two leaders pulled away, while Binder kept the pressure on Bagnaia and threatened to make a move on a number of occasions, but to no avail. His teammate did not have the pace to stay in podium contention and dropped three places in quick succession by lap four. In the meantime, Vinales was making a recovery and was quickly up to seventh.
Slowly but surely, the championship leader pulled away from his opponent, as he created a gap of a second by the halfway point of the race. It grew even quicker in the second half of the race, at the rate of half a second per lap, as Bagnaia showed off his dominant pace.
Binder also pulled away from the fight that was brewing for third, between Alex Marquez and Bezzecchi. The Italian attempted an overambitious lunge at Turn 1 and he went wide. His pace was very good though and he caught the Gresini rider once again. After an entertaining scrap, Bezzecchi prevailed and went up to third with six laps to go.
MotoGP Austria 2023: The results
In a trouble-free race, Francesco Bagnaia claimed his fifth win of the season, six seconds ahead of Brad Binder. The South African gave KTM a home podium, his third of 2023. On a difficult weekend, Marco Bezzecchi was able to step on the podium, a result that made Valentino Rossi ecstatic.
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) August 20, 2023
Luca Marini and Alex Marquez had a long battle in the closing laps, which concluded with the Italian rider on top. Maverick Vinales was not able to show any of the promising pace we saw earlier in the weekend and could do no better than sixth, a position ahead of Jorge Martin. Last weekend’s race winner, Aleix Espargaro, was passed by Fabio Quartararo on the final lap.
Enea Bastianini and Franco Morbidelli were behind the pair, in tenth and eleventh respectively. In twelfth, Marc Marquez finished a Grand Prix for the first time this season, in front of Johann Zarco. The last points went to the GasGas teammates, Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez. Jack Miller was the biggest disappointment of the race, as he could do no better than sixteenth.
Joan Mir was the first rider to crash, as his miserable season continues. He is yet to finish a Grand Prix since the season opener at Portimao. Miguel Oliveira was another retiree, a result of what looked like a problem with the bike.
Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!