I NOSTRI RIDERS:
The Ducati Team put in an outstanding performance today at the Austrian Grand Prix, round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship, held at Zeltweg’s Red Bull Ring.
Andrea Iannone took the chequered flag to notch up his first-ever MotoGP victory, ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who finished runner-up nine-tenths of a second behind, in his 250th grand prix race.
The two Ducati riders dominated the 28-lap race, holding off attacks from Rossi and Lorenzo in the early stages: Iannone moved into the lead on lap 2 and was then passed by Dovizioso on the tenth lap. Dovi kept the lead until lap 20, but next time around was passed by Iannone who held onto first place until the flag.
Ducati returned to the winner’s podium for the first time in six years, since Casey Stoner’s victory in the 2010 Australian GP. The last Ducati 1-2 in MotoGP dates back once again to Australia, at Phillip Island in 2007 when Stoner won the race ahead of Loris Capirossi.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1st
“I am really very happy, because in my opinion we did an incredible race. I started off quite slowly and tried to stay up front without ever pushing too hard, because I knew that in the final stages I could have had a bit less pace than everyone else, having opted to start with the soft rear tyre, while all the others made a different choice. I ran the whole race keeping a bit of margin and my bike was really perfect. I think that we did a great job over the entire weekend and I’d like to thank my team, all of Ducati and my crew chief Marco Rigamonti who have helped me improve so much in these last four years” .
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd
“It’s a very important day for Ducati because we managed to obtain the win, a 1-2 even, that we have been chasing for such a long time. We’ve been working hard for four years and I am very happy to be a part of this project. I’m disappointed that I was unable to win however, because today I had a really good feeling with the bike and I was really good under braking. We didn’t take the risk of opting for the soft rear tyre, which in the end proved to be the winning move. Iannone on the other hand decided to use it and as he was the only one to do so, towards the end of the race he was at an advantage. In the last few laps, especially in the right-hand corners, I was losing too much time and I wasn’t able to stay close enough to make an attack on him. It’s a pity, but we must look at the positive side of the race because today we obtained a great team result”.
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 12th
“Irrespective of my result, I am really happy because finally Ducati have succeeded in taking a win in MotoGP after such a long time. We scored the result we had expected and I feel it to be a bit mine and the Test Team’s as well, because in the last few years we have worked so hard to improve the bike. As for my race, I did everything possible to move up and get into the top 10, but in the end I had to settle for twelfth place.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“I am really happy, it’s an enormous satisfaction! I want to thank all the guys in Ducati Corse who over the years have done an incredible job and I hope that this fantastic result repays them for all their efforts. I would like to have each and every one of them here with us to celebrate this 1-2 win together and give them all a big hug. My sincerest thanks to everyone!”
It was a demanding day for the LCR Honda Team and their rider Cal Crutchlow at the first Austrian Grand Prix in 19 years, after a jump-start ruled out any chances of fighting for the top positions.
Having let the clutch out a fraction too early, Crutchlow actually stopped his bike completely before the lights went out, so the ensuing ride-through penalty seemed a harsh punishment for the minor crime.
Rejoining the race at the back of the field the British rider still didn’t give up the ghost however, and with an impressive pace he eventually crossed the line in 15th position to claim a solitary point.
The next round of the MotoGP World Championship takes place in just a week, at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic, where the LCR Honda Team will be hoping for better luck.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 15th
“Obviously I’m really disappointed. I want to say sorry to my team, I made a mistake and it’s as simple as that. I let the clutch out too early. I thought the penalty was very harsh, but I suppose with the other people jump-starting if I didn’t get the penalty then there would have been complaints. I stopped, and then the lights went out, and promptly lost ten places on the track.”
“When things got going I was actually one of the fastest out there, the leader was in 1’25.1 and we were in 1’25.4. I made sure I brought the bike home though, that was the main thing. It’s been a great summer break for me, and a good one for the team too. So to take an average result when there are so many positives is a bit hard. I don’t know where we would have finished, maybe in between Marc and Dani, but we didn’t and that’s it.”
“We go to Brno with positive vibes because I’m feeling good on the bike and in good shape, and we hope it’s going to be different. I’ve had some great results there in the past and took my first podium there so I’m looking forward to it.”