The summer race at the Red Bull Spielberg circuit looked set for another Ducati triumph, with Honda’s Marc Marquez trying to leverage his wafer thin pole position into a victory ahead of the two Ducatis sharing the front row. The race didn’t go Andrea Dovizioso’s way – it was left to Marquez’ future teammate Jorge Lorenzo to power his Ducati in for the race win ahead of the Honda.

Race start however went Marquez’ way. He used his slight lead to grab the hole shot and then power away from the two Ducatis, leaving the actual battle to the two riders who have no love lost between them. The two Yamahas had suffered during qualifying resulting Rossi’s bad placing on the grid at 14th. In fact the issues were so bad that Yamaha MotoGP honcho Kouji Tsuya issued his riders a public apology. However this resulted in Rossi trying his best to upend the field as he charged ahead.

The other real challenge looked like it would come from LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who managed a stellar ride through the race.

Lorenzo Marquez and Dovizioso at 2018 Austria MotoGP

But it was finally down to the grunt and braking power of the two Ducati machines. While Marquez’ lead started shrinking, it was Lorenzo who first closed in and then put on a brilliant display of hardcore gamesmanship as he overtook Marquez and then responded to Marquez taking the lead back on a brilliant Turn 3 move. The final lap saw Marquez trying to repeat the manoeuvre at the same spot, but Lorenzo’s straight line acceleration helped him get ahead and then experience helped him fend off Marquez on the last few corners to take his third win of the season. Dovizioso came in a close enough third with Crutchlow coming in ahead of Petrucci in fifth. And then there was Valentino Rossi who managed to draw some satisfaction from his hard fought sixth place.

Lorenzo was ecstatic at Ducati retaining the Austria crown, “It was an incredible race, maybe one of the best of my career, quite simply spectacular! Winning with Ducati on this circuit, where I had never won before, after a close quarters battle with Marquez, has a really special taste. Before the race I had thought about which strategy to use, and I decided to do like Brno, administering the tyre wear well and then attacking in the final part of the race, especially because I was one of the few riders who had chosen ‘soft’ tyres and my riding style allowed me to conserve them until the end. When I found myself fighting against Marquez I knew that it was going to be difficult to pass him, so I decided to improvise by making the best use of the Desmosedici GP’s acceleration and it worked perfectly.”

2018 MotoGP Riders

Bike NoNameTeam2018 season2017 season
93Marc MarquezRepsol Honda321298
4Andrea DoviziosoDucati220261
46Valentino RossiMovistar Yamaha195208
25Maverick ViñalesMovistar Yamaha193230
42Alex RinsSuzuki Ecstar14959
5Johann ZarcoMonster Yamaha Tech3149174
35Cal CrutchlowLCR Honda148112
9Danilo PetrucciAlma Pramac144124
29Andrea IannoneSuzuki Ecstar13370
99Jorge LorenzoDucati130137
26Dani PedrosaRepsol Honda106210
19Alvaro BautistaAngel Nieto10575
43Jack MillerAlma Pramac9182
21Franco MorbidelliEG 0,0 Marc VDS50 
41Aleix EspargaroAprilia4462
55Hafizh SyahrinMonster Yamaha Tech340 
53Tito RabatReale Avintia3535
44Pol EspargaroRed Bull KTM3555
38Bradley SmithRed Bull KTM3029
30Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda23 
45Scott ReddingAprilia1564
17Karel AbrahamAngel Nieto1032
36Mika KallioRed Bull KTM6
6Stefan BradlLCR Honda3
30Nakasuga KatsuyukiLCR Honda2
10Xavier SimeonReale Avintia1 
51Michele PirroDucati Test team1
12Thomas LuthiEG 0,0 Marc VDS0 

2018 MotoGP Teams

Team2018 season2017 season
Repsol Honda427508
Movistar Yamaha388438
Ducati363398
Suzuki Ecstar282130
Alma Pramac235188
Monster Yamaha Tech3189258
LCR Honda174112
Angel Nieto102107
Red Bull KTM6584
Aprilia5967
EG 0,0 Marc VDS50117
Reale Avintia3673

2018 MotoGP Races

LocationDateFirstSecondThird
Spain (Valencia)18-Nov   
Malaysia4-NovMarc MarquezAlex RinsJohann Zarco
Australia28-OctMaverick ViñalesAndrea IannoneAndrea Dovizioso
Japan21-OctMarc MarquezCal CrutchlowAlex Rins
Thailand7-OctMarc MarquezAndrea DoviziosoMaverick Viñales
Spain (Aragon)23-SepMarc MarquezAndrea DoviziosoAndrea Iannone
Italy9-SepAndrea DoviziosoMarc MarquezCal Crutchlow
Britain26-Aug   
Austria12-AugJorge LorenzoMarc MarquezAndrea Dovizioso
Czech Republic5-AugAndrea DoviziosoJorge LorenzoMarc Marquez
Germany15-JulMarc MarquezValentino RossiMaverick Viñales
Netherlands1-JulMarc MarquezAlex RinsMaverick Viñales
Spain (Catalunya)17-JunJorge LorenzoMarc MarquezValentino Rossi
Italy3-JunJorge LorenzoAndrea DoviziosoValentino Rossi
France20-MayMarc MarquezDanilo PetrucciValentino Rossi
Spain (Jerez)6-MayMarc MarquezJohann ZarcoAndrea Iannone
United States22-AprMarc MarquezMaverick ViñalesAndrea Iannone
Argentina8-AprCal CrutchlowJohann ZarcoAlex Rins
Qatar18-MarAndrea DoviziosoMarc MarquezValentino Rossi

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