There has been one constant for the vast majority of the 2021 Moto2™ season so far: one or both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders on the podium. But in the Styrian GP it proved not so, with Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) ruling the venue once more and with some serious speed. As we head into the second back-to-back weekend in Austria, can the orange machines fight back?
Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KT Ajo), certainly, looked to have the raw speed – and took pole – but the Australian had a couple of uncharacteristic moments, one of which sealed his fate of a finish off the podium. But uncharacteristic is the key word, with the number 87’s form so far this season having been so imperious, and he took a good finish and some good points despite that run off. Bezzecchi also said he’d improved a couple of things in his riding from watching how Gardner attacked the venue, so the two surely lead the bets heading into the Austrian GP…
Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo), meanwhile, had a tougher weekend as he came home in seventh – his worst Moto2™ finish to date. With plenty of talk around the Spaniard and his future it was a busy weekend on track and off, so will some serenity return at Spielberg this time around?
In the end, it was Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) who emerged as the rider putting the pressure on Bezzecchi, so the Spaniard should be one to watch again. He’s also got a bowtie to explain too, which he says he’ll do when he wins. Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) was also back on the podium and although he acknowledged a little luck playing its part there, the Spaniard backed up his speed from Assen. Is there more in the locker? And what about his teammate Sam Lowes, who, like Gardner, also paid the price for a run off and dropped down the order?
Finally, there is another rider who created a little Jaws music on Sunday for those ahead of him: Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). The Japanese rookie fell foul of track limits, got a Long Lap penalty and then another that took him out of podium contention, but he was fast – fastest lap fast, and more than once. He’d also not only been homing in on a debut Moto2™ podium, but the race lead… so with even more fire from feeling he could have left the Styrian GP with more, can Ogura get back in that fight for victory?
The Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich sees the lights go out for Moto2™ at 12:20 (GMT +2).