#AustrianGP Red Bull Ring, Saturday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News


Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) converted pole position into Tissot Sprint victory number four of 2023 as the Italian fended off an early Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) challenge at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) picked up P3 but the Spaniard was heavily involved in the drama that unfolded right from the get-go, as well as another dose later in the Sprint.

Key contenders crash at Turn 1
Bagnaia got away well from pole well with Binder – as always – launching like a rocket ship from the outside of the front row as well. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) got a sluggish start from P2, however, and dropped like a stone as Turn 1 played host to high drama.

Martin was on the inside line, with contact made with Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), which then started a domino effect. Viñales was involved as he was sandwiched between Quartararo and Marco Bezzecchi(Mooney VR46 Racing Team), and the latter went down along with Johann Zarco(Prima Pramac Racing) and Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team). Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) was also caught up in the incident. Martin was later given a Long Lap penalty for Sunday’s race after being found to have been riding irresponsibly. Hear all their perspectives in the video below.

Bagnaia untouchable on Saturday
Back at the front, Bagnaia led from Binder. By the start of Lap 5 the duo were over a second up the road from Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), with Martin running in P5. On Lap 6, Miller went from P3 to P5 as Marini and Martin pounced though, and more drama involving Martin then unravelled – this time at Turn 2A. Martin was up the inside of Marini but contact was made as the duo tipped it into the apex, with the latter crashing out unhurt.

Meanwhile, Bagnaia’s lead was up to a second over Binder, who in turn had three seconds in hand to Martin. With six laps left, Pecco was 1.3s ahead of the leading KTM, and the gap kept on climbing. Binder was a safe second, the #33 was 2.7s up the road from Martin, and Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) was a lonely P4 as we got confirmation that no further action would be taken regarding the Martin-Marini clash.

Bagnaia made no mistake to bring his Ducati home for Austrian GP Tissot Sprint victory to extend his title lead, with Binder claiming P2 in KTM’s backyard. Martin took the bronze medal from P12 on the grid. A spirited – albeit slightly controversial – comeback ride. Alex Marquez held on to fourth, with Miller taking P5.

With a host of other expected frontrunners further down the order facing a fight back after that huge Turn 1 shuffle, there was plenty going on there, including a charge from GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3’s Pol Espargaro. He took an impressive P6, highly commendable as the Spaniard competes in just his second Tissot Sprint of the season.

Aleix Espargaro finished P7, 0.144s further back, and had some serious pressure from teammate Viñales. The number 12 produced a great fight back to take P8 and nearly, nearly pounce on the final lap. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) held off Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) for the final Saturday afternoon point.

Meanwhile, Quartararo had some extra drama after the Turn 1 incident too. He clashed with Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing), and was given a Long Lap to serve in the Sprint, which he did.

As the dust settles, it truly was drama aplenty in the Austrian GP Tissot Sprint. Now, the big points are on offer on Sunday, with plenty looking to fight back.


It was a pole position to remember for Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the Championship leader stamped some authority on Moto2™, bouncing back from an early crash to grab pole position for KTM and Red Bull’s home race. The Spaniard’s 1:34.040 was enough to deny previous Spielberg winner Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia), with Celestino Vietti (Fantic Racing) alongside Ogura and Acosta on the front row as the Italian bagged P3 in Q2.

It was a plot twist early on as the favourite for pole, Acosta, hit the deck. After smashing the lap record in Practice 3, the Championship leader wasn’t going to let a small off affect his confidence. After getting his machine back to pitlane and heading back out onto the circuit, the Spaniard went straight to the top of the timesheets with no one able to better the untouchable pace of the #37.

Jake Dixon (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) has been there or thereabouts all weekend and will head row 2 at the Austrian Grand Prix in P4. Somkiat Chantra(IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) showed strong form in Practice but was unable to quite put the same together in Qualifying, and the Thai rider will start from 5th ahead of Silverstone winner Fermin Aldeguer (CAG SpeedUp) and second overall, Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team).


Saturday at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich won’t be a day Colin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) will be forgetting anytime soon, and neither will Dutch motorsport fans! The Dutch rookie’s 1:41.486 was enough to fend off Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3), who secured an important front-row for Sunday’s race, with Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) well in the mix as always in P3.

As ever the times began to tumble in the final couple of minutes of Moto3™ Q2. Holgado was leading the way in the closing stages, but red sectors came flying in from the likes of Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing). Masia lost a lot of time in the final sector though and with just 13 seconds on the clock, the rookie Veijer snatched the top spot.

On the second row, it’s Masia who took P4 with Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) joining him in 5th and 6th. Silverstone victor David Alonso (GASGAS Aspar Team) was looking strong but a late-session crash limited the Colombian’s progress to P7. Joining the rookie on the third row will be Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) and Joel Kelso(CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) in 8th and 9th, with David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) rounding out the top 10.

Source: motogp.com

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