Husqvarna Motorcycles secure their third trophy of the season through slick conditions in Austria.
The Michelin Grand Prix of Styria, round ten of eighteen in the 2021 world championship, brought MotoGP back to the racetrack after a five-week summer break and as a result of more fluctuations with the calendar. The Styrian event was the first of two consecutive fixtures at the fast and flowing Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg, Austria.
The Sterilgarda Max Racing Team resumed speed with Fenati holding fourth in the Moto3 standings and with rookie Adrian Fernandez keen to continue his Grand Prix education and obtain further championship points.
The Austrian affair began in bright and sunny conditions. Moto3 ran on a dry track through Free Practice sessions on Friday and Saturday and Fenati – a winner at the circuit in 2019 - was able to find a decent rhythm around the ten-corner layout to set the 3rd fastest lap-time. The Italian therefore rolled his FR 250 GP onto the start grid with a front row advantage.
Sunday morning dawned dark, cloudy and showery. The teams and riders were able get a feel for the asphalt in a sodden warm-up session and then the 23-lap chase began at 11.00 with the track beginning to dry in places.
Fenati led into the first corner but was unable to do anything about the speed of Pedro Acosta and Sergio Garcia that pulled away to a sizeable margin in their dispute for the win. Fenati had his hands full with Jaume Masia and the pair duelled for the final podium plinth. In the end the white Husqvarna was able to prevail by just a tenth of a second.
Fernandez, who had launched from 27th on the grid, made excellent ground to reach as high as 9th. The young Spaniard eventually crossed the line in 10th for his second-best classification of the season.
Fenati has 96 Moto3 points and has moved up to 3rd in the rankings. Fernandez is 23rd. The Sterilgarda Max Racing Team will remain in Austria this week for the second attempt at the scenic Spielberg circuit next weekend.
Romano Fenati: “A very difficult race today for the feeling with the tyre. When I was braking on the straight it was slipping, and the front end was closing. I was a bit slower just to save any crashes. The other riders were incredible with their pace. For the next race we need to make a small step and then we’ll be ready to go with them. I’m happy anyway to make the podium today.”
Adrian Fernandez: “It has been a very positive day, I knew that the race was going to be very difficult this morning but I kept calm and did the job. I am very happy with the position and I hope to continue improving.”
Max Biaggi, Team Principal: “This was a good weekend for us, starting Friday and up until the race. We were consistent in the dry and fast in the wet. To come back after a long break and to take a podium finish makes us happy. Also Adrian finished in the top ten which is very good for us. I’m satisfied to see us up there in Austria; it is great for the brand.”
Results – 2021 Moto3 World Championship, Round 10
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 39:45.869, 2. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) +14.431, 3. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) +15.410, 10. Adrian Fernandez (Husqvarna) +36.355
World Championship standings
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 183pts; 2. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) 130pts; 4. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 96 pts; 23. Adrian Fernandez (Husqvarna) 16 pts.