moto3 / Joan Mir triumphant in Austria with glorious victory
After the pole position yesterday, the Palma de Mallorca rookie won his first race in the World Championship, with Quartararo able to tough the podium in fourth while Andrea Locatelli was in the points.
11:00 o’clock saw the lights turn off at Spielberg under a full sun with ideal temperatures for young lions in Moto3, ready to carve up the curbs and corners on the 4.3 km Austrian track. Joan Mir starting well from pole position, the first ever in his career and the first for the Leopard team this year, and running together with Binder and Bastianini.
Behind them Fabio Quartararo got rid of his opponents and, to the sound of fast laps, he caught up to the leading trio: soon joining the poker game of four players looking to command the race. Even Andrea Locatelli was not far behind, able to climb at the start of the race and entering the Top 10 by force. The Italian exceeded countrymen Bulega and Di Giannantonio grabbing provisional 6th place, leading the second group during the race.
Ten laps from the end, Quartararo jumped his rivals and threw himself in pursuit of Binder. The Talent of Nice took the fight to the South African and three laps later passed to command of the race. Just one lap later, Joan Mir was stuck to his teammate. The last five laps were a succession of passes and counter passes among the five contenders for victory.
The last lap was thrilling, a fight with nothing left to give at the end. Joan Mir was quickly in the lead and, with determination and lucidity, held his rivals back until the checkered flag. In his tenth appearance in the World Championship and after the extraordinary pole position yesterday, the Palma de Mallorca rookie won his first race in the championship standings and flys in 7th place overall with 75 points. The battle for Rookie of the Year continues to tighten, Mir only seven points behind Bulega.
The Leopard Racing team dominated the Red Bull Ring thanks to Fabio Quartararo in fourth, only 8 thousandths off the podium after photo finish at the finish line and the points finish of Andrea Locatelli (13th). This victory is a strong signal for the Leopard Racing team but there is no time to relax: between a week in Brno there is the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic!
#36 Joan MIR – 1st
“It’s all so unbelievable, I’m speechless. Win a round of the World Championship and also starting from pole position is fantastic. I managed my race perfectly, always in the leading group without letting anyone run away. In this area we improved, not making the mistake of the previous races, to stay behind and wait, but I went to attack and I struggled. I want to dedicate this win, in addition to the Leopard team and my family, to Luis Salom.”
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO – 4th
“It was a difficult race, I enjoyed fighting in the lead. In the first laps three riders were running away, but I managed to close the gap, even trying to run away, but it was not possible. When you get attacked on the last lap you never know what will happen in the finish. This race really gives me a great motivation for Brno.”
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI – 13th
“At first I recovered nine positions and I was 6th, but halfway through the race I started to feel some vibration too: after the race, we have detected a problem with the tyres. In the second part of the race I suffered and I was sucked into the group behind. I tried to fight, but the tyre betrayed me. We could have a good race, we will try again in 7 days.”
Moto3™ Race – Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich 2016:
1 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / KTM / 23 laps
2 – Brad Binder / RSA / Red Bull KTM Ajo / KTM / +0.279
3 – Enea Bastianini / ITA / Gresini Racing / Honda / +0.431
4 – Fabio QUARTARARO / FRA / Leopard Racing / KTM / +0.439
13 – Andrea LOCATELLI / ITA/ Leopard Racing / KTM / +5.905
Moto3™ World Standing 2016:
1 – Brad Binder 179 points
2 – Jorge Navarro 112 points
3 – Romano Fenati 93 points
7 – Joan MIR 75 points
12 – Andrea LOCATELLI 53 points
13 – Fabio QUARTARARO 52 points
Photo credit: Leopard Racing