Andrea Iannone clinched his maiden MotoGP victory in Austria on Sunday as he held off Andrea Dovizioso to claim Ducati’s first win since 2010 and their first 1-2 since 2007.
Despite concerns from rivals that Ducati could run away with it, Yamaha and Marc Marquez took the fight to Iannone and Dovizioso at the high-speed Red Bull Ring.
Pole-sitter Iannone, who opted for the soft front and medium rear tyre while all other frontrunners went medium and hard, led off the line ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi and Marquez.
The four riders behind Iannone traded positions but it wasn’t until lap 4 that Lorenzo had a go for P1. He briefly took the lead off the Italian but it was short-lived as the Ducati ride had the better drive out of Turn 3.
Iannone was next challenged by Dovizioso with the latter taking the lead out of Turn 8. He immediately put in a new fastest lap to put some distance between himself and his team-mate, who in turn dropped Lorenzo.
Midway through the 29-lap race Dovizioso led at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Iannone, Lorenzo and Rossi while Marquez had drifted off the back in fifth, challenged by Maverick Vinales.
With seven to go Iannone was back in the lead as he powered past his team-mate. Dovizioso, though, was by no means broken and held onto his team-mate’s rear wheel, the gap oscillating between one and three tenths.
It was Iannone who had the run to the line, beating Dovizioso by 0.938s to claim his first MotoGP win.
Lorenzo held off Rossi to the final podium position while championship leader Marquez was a distant fifth ahead of Vinales.
Dani Pedrosa was seventh ahead of Scott Redding, Bradley Smith and Pol Esparago.
Stefan Bradl, Hector Barbera, Alvaro Bautista, Cal Crutchlow and Yonny Hernandez all had to take ride-through penalties for jumping the start. Barbera was black-flagged as he did not come in despite pitboard messages from his team.
Aleix Espargaro also did not see the chequered flag as he retired with four to go, parking his Suzuki in the pits. Eugene Laverty crashed out of a top ten position on the final corner, classified P17 on the day.
Jack Miller did not take the start as the Aussie fractured his wrist and T6 vertebra in a warm-up crash at the high-speed Turn 8.
1 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team 39’46.255
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team +0.938
3 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 3.389
4 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 3.815
5 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 11.813
6 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 14.341
7 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 17.063
8 Scott REDDING OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 29.437
9 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 29.785
10 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 37.094
11 Danilo PETRUCCI OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 39.765
12 Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 39.766
13 Loris BAZ Avintia Racing 44.284
14 Tito RABAT Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 45.004
15 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda 1’03.246
16 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’12.448
17 Yonny HERNANDEZ Pull & Bear Aspar Team 1’14.517
18 Eugene LAVERTY Pull & Bear Aspar Team 1’36.510
19 Stefan BRADL Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1 Lap
Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 4 Laps
Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing