Austria Moto2: Bagnaia beats Oliveira in epic last-lap duel

Chris Stevens

Bagnaia had seemingly got the perfect start from pole ahead of pre-race title leader Oliveira, but he suddenly lost momentum on the run into the first corner, allowing the KTM into the lead.

This also gave fellow front-row starter Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up) a chance to pass Bagnaia on the inside, but the two made contact at the apex, which dropped Quartararo to 21st while Bagnaia escaped relatively unscathed in third.

Bagnaia made quick work of passing Jorge Navarro’s Gresini Kalex on the fifth lap into Turn 9, and began to chisel into the one-second advantage Oliveira had worked up.

A rehearsal overtake was made by Bagnaia with five laps to go on the inside of Turn 9, but Oliveira came straight back through at the final corner. Another attempt was made at Turn 1, but again to no avail as the KTM got better acceleration out of the corner.

With two laps to go, Bagnaia gave it another go into Turn 9, but again Oliveira remained on top out of the final corner.

But on the final lap it was Bagnaia who emerged victorious. The Italian tried to pass at the penultimate corner once more, and Oliveira went wide while re-passing into the final turn as he just gave Bagnaia the momentum to snatch the lead on the line by 0.264s.

This once again gives Bagnaia the championship lead by three points over Oliveira.

Luca Marini made it two Sky VR46 riders in the top three as he scored his third consecutive podium finish.

Alex Marquez looked like he would win the battle for the final rostrum spot against Marini and Italtrans’ Mattia Pasini, but he crashed, for the second consecutive race, at the final corner of the event while trying to pass the former.

Pasini scored fourth ahead of Navarro and the second KTM of Brad Binder. Intact GP’s Marcel Schrotter was seventh in his 150th Grand Prix start ahead of Joan Mir’s Marc VDS, who rose from 20th on the grid. Quartararo recovered to ninth.

Augusto Fernandez’s Pons Kalex and Simone Corsi’s Tasca Racing machine were eliminated after being collected in an incident with Lorenzo Baldassarri. Remy Gardner, Federico Fuligni and Sam Lowes were also casualties of the race.

Xavi Vierge was declared unfit to race after fracturing his right wrist in a collision with Steven Odendaal in qualifying.

Race results

Pos. # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 42 Francesco Bagnaia Kalex 37'45.914  
2 44 Miguel Oliveira KTM 37'46.178 0.264
3 10 Luca Marini Kalex 37'51.867 5.953
4 54 Mattia Pasini Kalex 37'52.028 6.114
5 9 Jorge Navarro Kalex 37'54.468 8.554
6 41 Brad Binder KTM 37'54.858 8.944
7 23 Marcel Schrotter Kalex 37'55.040 9.126
8 36 Joan Mir Kalex 37'58.318 12.404
9 20 Fabio Quartararo Speed Up 38'02.164 16.250
10 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 38'02.632 16.718
11 13 Romano Fenati Kalex 38'02.743 16.829
12 52 Danny Kent Speed Up 38'03.630 17.716
13 5 Andrea Locatelli Kalex 38'09.114 23.200
14 62 Stefano Manzi Suter 38'13.858 27.944
15 45 Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex 38'13.908 27.994
16 89 Khairul Idham Pawi Kalex 38'14.407 28.493
17 77 Dominique Aegerter KTM 38'14.957 29.043
18 4 Steven Odendaal NTS 38'24.090 38.176
19 16 Joe Roberts NTS 38'26.458 40.544
20 95 Jules Danilo Kalex 38'27.569 41.655
21 66 Niki Tuuli Kalex 38'27.641 41.727
22 64 Bo Bendsneyder Tech 3 38'28.680 42.766
23 32 Isaac Viñales Suter 38'29.725 43.811
24 55 Alejandro Medina Kalex 38'31.286 45.372
25 18 Xavi Cardelus Kalex 38'37.099 51.185
26 7 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex 38'59.815 1'13.901
  73 Alex Marquez Kalex 36'20.821 1 Lap
  22 Sam Lowes KTM 26'00.562 8 Laps
  21 Federico Fuligni Kalex 26'51.370 8 Laps
  24 Simone Corsi Kalex 4'40.347 22 Laps
  87 Remy Gardner Tech 3 4'40.608 22 Laps
  40 Augusto Fernandez Kalex 4'40.705 22 Laps