Red Bull KTM Factory Racing gave their home fans a memorable day at a sun-splashed CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich as Brad Binder took his KTM RC16 to runner-up status at a stacked Red Bull Ring. Jack Miller classified 15th as 2023 MotoGP arrived at the halfway point of the season and KTM toasted their 100th win in Moto3™.
Q2 entry, the first two rows of the start grid, a Sprint podium and faster lap-times compared to 2022: the hype and hopes built up around Red Bull KTM Factory Racing ahead of the 28-lap MotoGP race on Sunday afternoon, and with a bumper attendance basking in summery conditions for the latest episode of the championship.
As is now the custom, both Brad Binder and Jack Miller surged into the leading positions from the start. Miller fought for a top five slot but started to suffer with rear traction and drifted back into the clutches of his pursuers. Binder rallied hard behind leader Francesco Bagnaia and kept close to the Italian for almost half the race. When the South African also started to lose rear grip he had to concede seconds but rode securely to bank his second Prosecco spray of the weekend, third of the season, equal his PB of 2023 to-date and pulled to within 23 points of the top three in the championship standings. Jack made the line in 15th. Red Bull KTM are ranked 4th in the Teams table and the company is the 2nd best manufacturer.
MotoGP’s next appointment will swing the series around the popular Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the second visit to the Spanish mainland this year. The race will be followed hard the following week by the San Marino Grand Prix.
Brad Binder, 2nd: “I knew from yesterday that we were looking for drive grip but I did everything I could; protect where I could and push where I could on the brakes. I tried to keep him [Francesco Bagnaia] honest in the first half of the race but there was a moment where the rear grip just said ‘goodbye…’ and I knew I had to be clever and just bring the bike home. The team made another huge step from yesterday to today and I could brake so much later and so much harder. We still have a bit of work to do but I cannot thank them enough. It is awesome to be on the podium twice here in Austria and at their home Grand Prix.”
Jack Miller, 15th: “I started the race good and tried not to kill the tire in the first laps. I wanted to build up the temperature as smooth as possible. It wasn’t to be. I noticed that I didn't have the drive grip that I needed, so then I was just trying to manage the best I could with riding style and everything like that. I think the biggest thing for us is taking a step back, going back to our old setting and maybe finding a little bit of a different direction to work for myself.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “Another good result for Brad and a second podium here. At the moment we are not able to catch the world champion who is in his best form but Brad fought like a lion, as usual. Second place was hard-won because the conditions were tough but he managed the race so well. Another brick in building our future. We are very confident after the last few grands prix. With Jack we suffered again in the second half of the race and we need to understand what is happening and how we can help him because he cannot ride like he wants. He can be better and we have to give him the support for that potential. We’ll enjoy our podium today but we’ll look towards round eleven and the next GPs for more.”
Results MotoGP CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati 42:23.315
2. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +5.191
3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati +7.708
15. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +25.475
World championship standings MotoGP
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 251 points
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 189
3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 183
4. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 160
8. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 96
KTM GP Academy
The Moto3 Grand Prix came down to a superb contest between four riders and just 0.1 second split the quartet at the finish line. Among the runners were Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Deniz Öncü and Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Daniel Holgado and it was the Turk who prevailed through the last corner and the rush to the flag. The margin of 0.005 between the KTM RC4 riders presented Öncü with his second win and fourth podium result from the last five races. Holgado’s runner-up rank meant a 4-point expansion of his lead over Ayumu Sasaki in the championship and he now has a gap of 26 (Öncü is 3rd while Red Bull KTM Ajo front the Teams standings). Jose Rueda started from his best qualification position in 5th and the rookie rode to 11th. Another rookie, Fillipo Fairioli, took 21st.
Deniz Öncü: “The race pace was not bad but I made a really good exit on that last corner and I knew I’d be strong on the brakes going in. I had to be really relaxed, patient and clever. It was a good race and a lot of passing going on and in the end the cleverest – not the fastest – guy won. My friends in 2nd and 3rd were really quick today. It was hard. My team worked great to make sure we were competitive.”
Daniel Holgado: “It was an amazing race today. A crazy Moto3 race! I did a fantastic job this weekend. Austria is always a great place for us and the KTM riders. Congratulations to Deniz because he was very smart in the last corner. I’m focused now on the next race.”
Moto2 remains a ripe domain for the skills and speed of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta. The Spaniard began the 23-lap race from Pole Position for the second event in succession and was the front-runner for the most part and until his tire performance started to drop and he had to make sure of 2nd. The points ensured an increased to 12 over Tony Arbolino at the top of the table. Albert Arenas crashed out of top ten reckoning in the formative stages and then retired after a second spill.
Pedro Acosta: “I was on the limit and I want to say sorry to all the KTM management and fans because I wanted to win today. Life is like this sometimes though! We will push again in the next races and we have to be tough.”
Race day in Austria began with the second and final outing for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Alvaro Carpe had been victorious on Saturday (his first ever win in the competition) but new champion Angel Piqueras beat his fellow countryman by 0.039 of a second on Sunday morning for the seventh checkered flag of the campaign. The ‘Rookies’ gather again for the seventh and last round of the season at the Misano World Circuit – Marco Simoncelli in three weeks time.
Results Moto3 CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich
1. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo 34:04.291
2. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +0.005
3. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna +0.119
11. Jose Rueda (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +8.667
21. Filippo Farioli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Tech3 +21.850
World championship standings Moto3
1. Daniel Holgado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Tech3, 161 points
2. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna, 135
3. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 124
8. Jose Rueda (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 65
26. Filippo Farioli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Tech3, 2
Results Moto2 CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich
1. Celestino Vietti (ITA) 36.25.093
2. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.435
3. Ai Ogura (JPN) +5.189
DNF. Albert Arenas (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo
World championship standings Moto2
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 176 points
2. Tony Arbolino (ITA), 164
3. Jake Dixon (GBR), 117
14. Albert Arenas (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo, 43