Ducati have a hattrick of wins at the Red Bull Ring. Ever since MotoGP™ returned to the Spielberg layout in 2016, a Bologna factory rider has occupied the top step of the podium come Sunday afternoon – but can the run continue at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich in 2019?
2017 Austrian GP winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) will certainly be hoping he can claim victory for the first time since his Qatar heroics this weekend. The Italian went toe-to-toe with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in that epic 2017 encounter and with the reigning World Champion in formidable form, it’s more than likely ‘DesmoDovi’ will have his hands full of Repsol Honda orange once more. Marquez beat Dovizioso in Ducati territory last season but thanks to then Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo, the Desmosedici domination continued.
A return to the podium at Brno and good feelings in the post-GP Brno Test on Monday have given Dovizioso plenty to be pleased about heading into a vital weekend in terms of the Championship. The rider’s Championship is Marquez’ to lose but Ducati Team currently heads Repsol Honda by 40 points, while in the constructors, Honda have 39 points in hand over Ducati.
“We cannot deny that the Red Bull Ring is a very good track for us, it is shown by the results we have achieved in recent years, but as I always say each race has a story to write,” previewed Dovizioso, who hasn’t finished off the podium at the Red Bull Ring. “Last year Marquez finished in front of me so I am sure that this year he will be competitive again. The most important thing is to focus on ourselves, keep the feelings we had in Brno both during the weekend and in the test, which were very good. We will try again, no one gives up here.”
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) was left disappointed after Brno saw the Italian finish outside the top six for the first time this season. Is Red Bull Ring redemption forthcoming for ‘Petrux’ this weekend? Fifth place in Austria last season was his best result at the circuit by some distance and after a brilliantly consistent 2019 until Brno, Petrucci will be hoping he can mix it for a second win of the year on Sunday.
“I really want to ride in Austria after Brno's disappointment,” said Petrucci. “It will be a race where we should fight for the podium, but I think the forces have balanced a lot and we are not as favourite as in previous years. We will begin to see where we are from Friday. I had very good feelings during the test on Monday and I want to keep these, I want to move this feeling to the next race in Austria.”
Add Brno podium finisher Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) into the mix and we have ourselves three GP19s ready to hold Ducati’s fortress for another year. Can any of the trio claim victory on Sunday afternoon? The first signs of how Ducati will fare will be at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Friday morning as the MotoGP™ riders head out for FP1. Tune in live!