The preliminary decision in the Austrian Grand Prix with Brad Binder (KTM) in the picture on the right, who decided not to switch to slicks despite the onset of heavy rain.

Binder wins chaos races on slicks despite the rain ahead of Bagnaia and Martin

After qualifying, attentive observers particularly noticed the reaction of the World Championship leader. With five poles in eleven laps so far and, except for Losail 2, always in the front row, the fast Frenchman was not at all happy with second place on the grid. Except for his compatriot Zarco and Miller, this should worry his opponents because the man from Nice is clearly leading in the World Cup. Except for Fabio Quartararo, only the Australian and the World Cup runner-up Pramac Ducati have always made it into the first three rows. But of course there are no points for qualifying, so we now come to the course of the eleventh race of the season. After the Moto3 race, which was exciting up to the last lap, and the Moto2 GP, which was not very varied, it was the crowning glory of the day. With countless position changes at the top and behind, there was no breather for drivers and fans.

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) shortly before the start in front of the sparsely filled main grandstand in Spielberg – not even half of the audience figures from the time before the pandemic was reached, which is probably also due to the steep prices.

From five to three in the first half
It was the two Pramac Ducati pilots Martin and Zarco, who initially fought for the lead, but then lost touch with the group of three that was forming in front of them. Thirteen laps before the end, it was 1.3 seconds that the two teammates on Marc Marquez were missing in third place. Before the 6-time world champion, Fabio Quartararo fought doggedly not to lose touch with leader Pecco Bagnaia. The world championship leader even took the lead briefly in the downhill section, but was then caught again by the Ducati driver on the start-finish straight. At this point, Enea Bastianini was already out of the race after the left part of its casing had come loose in front of Turn 4 at a good 300 km / h. In front of only 86,000 fans, despite the unlimited number of visitors, it was an unbelievable spectacle, which was offered to the visitors and spectators on the screen.

Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia (Ducati) in front of Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) – the former student before his mentor and teacher – the number 46 was sometimes even third in the chaos race at the Red Bull Ring.

Drama for Zarco shortly after half-time
The fast man from Cannes lost his front in the finish curve and had no chance of preventing his crash. A little later, his compatriot made a mistake when braking for Turn 3 under pressure from the attacking Marc Marquez, which cost him third position. Then the Catalan chased the leading Bagnaia, whom he snatched after turn three with seven laps to go. At this point in time, rain flags were waved in the upper part of the route for the second time, as if it wasn’t exciting enough. At the next finish the Italian was in front again and Oliveira fell on turn 1. Quartararo had a respectable gap of half a second on the one in front of him when there were still five laps to go.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati Racing) on Turn 9 in his crash, even before heavy rain set in – the French would have been one of the favourites on the podium with these mixed conditions.

Raindrops in the final laps
Jack Miller and Alex Rins came to the pits when the rain was getting heavier and Quartararo, together with Jorge Martin, had re-established the connection. Suddenly Marquez was at the forefront in his favourite circumstances, and then heavy rain set in. The Frenchman raised his hand briefly and then the top five pitted, while Binder, Aleix Espargaró, Rossi and Lecuona risked staying outside. Bagnaia was then the first with a mistake, and Marquez fell a little later while in the lead. The rain got stronger and stronger and of course Binder drove on slicks like on rails, but he was already on the last lap. Then Bagnaia came across the rain tire, who struggled through the pack, but could no longer catch up with the South African. Binder’s plan worked and behind Pecco, Jorge Martin took the second podium in a row in Spielberg after his victory a week ago. Behind Joan Mir, Luca Marini and Iker Lecuona, Quartararo made it past Aleix and Rossi. With that, the world championship leader had kept the damage within reasonable limits compared to Zarco.

The podium with from left Pecco Bagnaia (P2, Ducati), winner Brad Binder (KTM) and third-placed Jorge Martin (Ducati), with right from him KTM man Mike Leitner, the former crew chief of Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda.

Again the big loser – Marc Marquez

It could have been his second success after his comeback, but the Repsol Honda Star threw away his possible win at Turn 1. With his pace, he would have been the only one to catch the eventual winner. Instead, it was only enough for a single point after his crash due to the high risk after driving on. His long-time arch-enemy Valentino Rossi, however, was even in third place in the meantime, but the race lasted one lap too long for the old master and in the end it was seventh. Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin were the other winners behind winner Binder and Joan Mir was also one of the drivers as fourth, who, unlike Marquez and Zarco, was another man who experienced a successful weekend. With a 3-second penalty, despite the long-lap penalty, Binder was the man who outshone everything with his tire poker because it was still enough for victory.

Marc Marquez and his Repsol Honda on the ground, while in the top right of the picture Fabio Quartararo on his Yamaha has to take a detour in turn 1, but can at least avoid a fall.

The eleventh MotoGP race of the season in numbers

Der Red Bull Ring in Spielberg

The MotoGP World Championship stand after round 11

P, Rider, Bike, Nat, Points
1, Fabio QUARTARARO, Yamaha, FRA, 181
2, Francesco BAGNAIA, Ducati, ITA, 134
3, Joan MIR, Suzuki, SPA, 134
4, Johann ZARCO, Ducati, FRA, 132
5, Jack MILLER, Ducati, AUS, 105
6, Brad BINDER, KTM, RSA, 98
7, Maverick VIÑALES, Yamaha, SPA, 95
8, Miguel OLIVEIRA, KTM, POR, 85
9, Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia, SPA, 67
10, Jorge MARTIN, Ducati, SPA, 64
11, Marc MARQUEZ, Honda, SPA, 59
12, Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Honda, JPN, 55
13, Alex RINS, Suzuki, SPA, 44
14, Alex MARQUEZ, Honda, SPA, 41
15, Pol ESPARGARO, Honda, SPA, 41
16, Franco MORBIDELLI, Yamaha, ITA, 40
17, Enea BASTIANINI, Ducati, ITA, 31
18, Danilo PETRUCCI, KTM, ITA, 30
19, Valentino ROSSI, Yamaha, ITA, 28
20, Luca MARINI, Ducati, ITA, 27
21, Iker LECUONA, KTM, SPA, 24
22, Stefan BRADL, Honda, GER, 11
23, Dani PEDROSA, KTM, SPA, 6
24, Lorenzo SAVADORI, Aprilia, ITA, 4
25, Michele PIRRO, Ducati, ITA, 3
26, Tito RABAT, Ducati, SPA, 1

The combined calendar for MotoGP and WorldSBK

In red letters are the collisions in which, especially in the first three cases, the simultaneous implementation of the MotoGP with the WSBK causes enormous damage to the latter. Hardly any broadcaster is likely to broadcast the WSSP and Superbike World Championship races live. Especially the Malaysian GP in Sepang, WorldSBK Mandalika (Indonesia) and San Juan (Argentina) are still questionable. In this respect, a few more changes in the permanently provisional and chaotic calendar of FIM & Dorna can be expected.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).