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MotoGP Austria 2023 Rider Ratings – Those who excelled and those who struggled at the Austrian GP

Francesco Bagnaia topped both races and the MotoGP Austria 2023 Rider Ratings.
Photo by Gold and Goose / Icon Sport

On a weekend dominated by Francesco Bagnaia, who won both the Sprint and the Grand Prix, there were plenty of storylines across the field. Let’s revisit them, as we rate the riders’ performances across the weekend.

Francesco Bagnaia, S: 1st, R: 1st – 10

Francesco Bagnaia was impeccable at the Red Bull Ring throughout the weekend. The Italian rider claimed pole position and led every lap on his way to victories in both the Sprint and the Grand Prix. It never even looked in doubt for the reigning World Champion, who is well on his way to a second crown.

Brad Binder, S: 2nd, R: 2nd – 9

On the weekend his contract extension until 2026 was announced, Brad Binder gifted a pair of great results to KTM, on its home event. Francesco Bagnaia was obviously out of reach, but the South African got the most out of his weekend.

Marco Bezzecchi, S: DNF, R: 3rd – 7.5

A difficult weekend came to a positive conclusion for Marco Bezzecchi. The Mooney VR46 rider made errors in qualifying and was an innocent bystander of the Turn 1 accident at the Sprint. His Grand Prix performance was very good though and he steadily made his way through from seventh to third, for his fifth podium of the year.

Luca Marini, S: DNF, R: 4th – 7

After an unfortunate end to the Sprint for Luca Marini, after contact with Jorge Martin, the Grand Prix was somewhat of a redemption for the Italian. Fourth in the end for him, after he emerged on top of a tight battle with Alex Marquez in the closing stages of the race.

Alex Marquez, S: 4th, R: 5th – 7

Alex Marquez had a very steady weekend in Austria, as he showed good pace and avoided any errors on his way to a pair of top five finishes. His growth lately has been evident, especially in terms of finishing races and the results are positive as well.

Maverick Vinales, S: 8th, R: 6th – 7

When Maverick Vinales qualified second, hopes were sky high for both races. But it all came undone on the starts, as he was buried in the midfield by the time he reached the first corner on both occasions. While he was able to effectively make his way forward on Saturday, where he lost time in the first corner crash, he was not able to do better than sixth on Sunday.

Jorge Martin, S: 3rd, R: 7th – 5

Jorge Martin was the center of attention in the Sprint, to say the least. He was found guilty of causing the accident that compromised the races of five other riders at the first corner and he was given a long-lap penalty for the Grand Prix because of that. More contact, that ended the race of Luca Marini, followed and tainted his podium finish. A quieter race on Sunday though, as he finished seventh.

Fabio Quartararo, S: 15th, R: 8th – 6.5

Another one of the victims of the first corner carnage in the Sprint, not much could be achieved by Fabio Quartararo on Saturday, especially after penalty for taking Lorenzo Savadori out of the race. Sunday was better though and was capped off by a last-lap pass on Aleix Espargaro for eighth, his first top ten finish in five races.

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Photo by Gold and Goose / Icon Sport

Aleix Espargaro, S: 7th, R: 9th – 5.5

Following his second victory in MotoGP last time out, Aleix Espargaro did not perform on the same level in Austria. Consistently slower than his teammate, he was never in contention for a good result and settled for a couple of top ten finishes.

Enea Bastianini, S: 13th, R: 10th – 4

Ever since he returned to action following the shoulder injury he sustained at the first weekend of the season, Enea Bastianini has not been his usual self. This did not change in Austria, where the Italian was unable to make it to Q2 and was a long way off his teammate, as well as other Ducati riders, for the entirety of the weekend.

Franco Morbidelli, S: 9th, R: 11th – 4.5

Franco Morbidelli had another quiet weekend with no high or low moments. A pair of points finishes for the Italian, who is one of two riders to score in each of the ten Grand Prix so far in 2023.

Marc Marquez, S: 10th, R: 12th – 5

In no way a spectacular weekend from Marc Marquez, but stunningly this is just the first time that the eight-time World Champion has finished a Grand Prix this season. Twelfth is nothing significant though, as the Spaniard has not produced any of his early season miracles in his return following the summer break.

Johann Zarco, S: DNF, R: 13th – 3.5

Another innocent victim of the first corner accident at the Sprint was Johann Zarco, who failed to reach the end of that race. The Grand Prix left a lot to be desired though, as a lack of pace meant he was only thirteenth at the chequered flag.

Augusto Fernandez, S: 17th, R: 14th – 5.5

Not a memorable weekend from Augusto Fernandez, as the rookie continues his good rookie season. He sneaked into the points with a last lap pass on Jack Miller, a move that made sure he has kept his 100% scoring rate in the Grands Prix, an impressive achievement so far.

Jack Miller, S: 5th, R: 15th – 3.5

While his qualifying effort was good enough to place him in fourth, Jack Miller had no long run pace in Austria. It did not become apparent as much in the Sprint and he was able to stay in the top five, but the longer Sunday race exposed him. Even so, fifteenth is a terrible result for the Australian, who ran third early on and dropped like a stone.

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Photo by Gold and Goose / Icon Sport

Pol Espargaro, S: 6th, R: 16th – 8

On his second weekend back from his serious injuries in Portimao, Pol Espargaro produced a brilliant performance in the Sprint and finished sixth. Keeping the same level on the longer race was a tough ask and he finished fourteenth, before losing a couple of positions thanks to a post-race penalty for track limits.

Fabio di Giannantonio, S: 11th, R: 17th – 3

The same story was repeated for Fabio di Giannantonio in Austria, as the young Italian was again the slowest of the Ducati riders. He avoided the first corner accident and finished eleventh, while his disappointing performance in the Grand Prix means he leaves Austria with no points. Performances like this prove why he is on the way out of Gresini for 2023.

Takaaki Nakagami, S: DNF, R: 18th – 3

A heavy fall in the Sprint meant Takaaki Nakagami entered Sunday somewhat bruised and he was unable to challenge for the points-paying positions as a result.

Lorenzo Savadori, S: DNF, R: 19th – 6

Lorenzo Savadori made his fourth start of the 2023 season in Austria and it was a good weekend in terms of performance. He was taken out by Fabio Quartararo in the Sprint and finished 19th -and not last- in the Grand Prix.

Iker Lecuona, S: 16th, R: 20th – 5

Filling in for the injured Alex Rins once again, Iker Lecuona made his fourth appearance of the season. His progress is good, but not much was achieved again, as he prepares himself for a potential MotoGP return in 2024.

Raul Fernandez, S: 14th, R: DNF – 4

The young Spaniard was not a factor for another weekend on his Aprilia, as he failed to make any impression in any session. The end of his bad weekend came courtesy of an issue with the bike that forced him to park it in his garage.

Miguel Oliveira, S: DNF, R: DNF – 5.5

Somewhat of a cursed weekend for Miguel Oliveira, who never even got a chance to showcase his speed. Qualifying in eighth was a promising sign, but the Portuguese rider was taken down on the first corner of the Sprint and suffered a race-ending mechanical failure that put an early end to his Grand Prix.

Joan Mir, S: 12th, R: DNF – 3

Nothing out of the ordinary for Joan Mir, who is yet to finish since the first race of the season and still stands on the five points he scored that day. This season is a write-off and huge changes are needed for the former World Champion ahead of 2024.

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