MotoGP remained in the speedy confines of the Red Bull Ring for round eleven of the 2021 world championship and encountered a bright and warm climate for the second Grand Prix at the spectacular Austrian site. Compared to the damp conditions for Moto3 found the previous Sunday at the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria, the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich provided a dry and fast stage for another enthralling Moto3 contest.
The Sterilgarda Max Racing Team had remained in the Spielberg region during the week and were full of optimism for the second taste of the Red Bull Ring after Romano Fenati had captured his third trophy of the season with 3rd place at round ten. Their hopes increased further after the Italian used his FR 250 GP motorcycle to seize the company’s first Pole Position in Grand Prix racing since the Japanese GP in 2014. Adrian Fernandez was further back and started from the seventh row of the grid.
Fenati’s achievement helped the 25-year-old slot the motorcycle into the leading group in the formative laps. He took the holeshot and was part of a six-rider tussle for first place with multi changes. Approaching the crucial final circulations, Fenati lost the tow of Deniz Öncü and Sergio Garcia for the race win and just missed enough metres in the slipstream to break into the top three. He crossed the line in 5th and less than half a second from Garcia.
Fernandez tried to make another fighting comeback to hunt more Grand Prix points but the Spaniard was forced to retire at mid-race distance.
The results mean that Fenati now has a total of 107 points. He is still 3rd in the world championship standings and has a 48-point gap to Sergio Garcia. Fernandez is 23rd.
The team and the MotoGP series will now have a brief respite before moving to the UK and another fast circuit. Silverstone will host the Monster Energy British Grand Prix on August 28-29.
Romano Fenati: “I’m not 100% happy but it’s been two weekends of consistently being at the front. So, I’m satisfied. We need to keep working and it will come but we will continue to take all the points possible in the next GPs.”
Max Biaggi, Team Principal: “A solid race for Romano who finished 5th but fought for the win until the last lap. I’m happy with our performance in qualifying. We’re still missing a bit in braking but we are quite OK with his speed. We’re looking forward to getting to another track and one that suits his style a bit better. We’re looking into what happened with Adrian but, anyway, he was improving through the weekend.”
Results – 2021 Moto3 World Championship, Round 11
1. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) 37:10.345, 2. Deniz Öncü (KTM) +0.027, 3. Dennis Foggia (Honda) +0.346, 5. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) +0.462, DNF. Adrian Fernandez (Husqvarna)
World Championship standings
1. Pedro Acosta (KTM) 196pts; 2. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) 155pts; 3. Romano Fenati (Husqvarna) 107 pts; 23. Adrian Fernandez (Husqvarna) 16 pts.