MotoGP has produced another thriller this weekend which saw Red Bull KTM Tech 3 rider Miguel Oliveira take his maiden premier class victory at the Styrian Grand Prix.
At the start, Jack Miller jumped to the front to lead the 28-lap Styrian Grand Prix while pole-sitter Pol Espargaro slipped down to fourth. Johann Zarco started from the pit lane after receiving a penalty for crashing with Franco Morbidelli at last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Rossi was the biggest winner of the start by gaining five positions to improve to ninth place.
With 25 laps to go, Suzuki rider Joan Mir took over the lead. The Palma-born 22-year-old rider immediately posted the fastest lap of the race, trying to break away from the chasing pack. However, he was unable to build up a gap behind himself.
On lap 8, the leading trio started to create a healthy gap while all KTM riders got within the top 10 by that time, showing great race pace on home turf. In the meantime, the four Yamaha rider started to struggle and found it hard to keep up with the pace of the Suzukis, KTMs and Ducatis.
With 15 laps to go, Maveric Vinales dropped down the order with seemingly suffering from a technical problem on his Yamaha. The Spaniard was hindered by clutch issues last weekend. On the next lap, Takaaki Nakagami overtook Jack Miller to take over the second spot.
Just a lap later, Vinales lost the brakes on his Yamaha at Turn 1, jumped off his bike that crashed into the tyre barriers. The race was red flagged to give the marshals time to clear the track.
At the restart of the 12-lap sprint race, Mir got off the line perfectly, but Ducati’s Miller managed to pass him, using the mighty top-speed of his Ducati.
With 8 laps to go, Pol Espargaro passed Mir to jump to second place. The Spaniard was also overtaken by Miller, Oliveira and Dovizioso.
On the last lap, Espargaro tried everything to keep Miller behind. The Spaniard braked just a little bit too late at Turn 3 which allowed the Australian to overtake him when braking into the next corner. The battle continued with Espargaro passing Miller at Turn 9.
The Ducati rider was adamant to fight back at the final turn. The battle saw the duo running a bit wide at Turn 4 with Oliveria taking the racing line and passing them to clinch victory at the 900th race of the MotoGP Championship.
Yamaha brought a very disappointing weekend to an end with Valentino Rossi ending Round 5 of the curtailed season in ninth spot, becoming the highest placed rider of the Japanese manufacturer.
Championship leader Fabio Quartararo finished down in 13th place. The Frenchman continues to lead the Standings, but his lead has been cut back to just three points ahead of Ducatio rider Andrea Dovizioso. Jack Miller jumped to the third place with 56 points, 14 championship units behind the leader.