Austria served up three classic races (Moto2 especially!) and it was very hard to pick our riders of the day, but here they are!
Josie Smith- Moto3:
Moto3: Marco Bezzecchi – He was faultless. He lead the entire race except a brief battle with Martin for two corners before regaining it. He couldn’t quite build the gap that he wanted but he did what he needed to do to get the job done and extended his championship lead by 12 points.
Moto2: Luca Marini – He made up 7 places and held off Marquez to take the final podium position. I’m really impressed with his pace and performance since the summer break, he’s found something and is finally stepping out of his half brother’s shadow. I think he deserves all the recognition he can get.
MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo – Can I leave it at ‘that last lap battle’? He was phenomenal! He made a couple of mistakes, yes but he fought back to rectify them and pushed Marquez to the limits to keep that lead. Once again, Spielberg is Ducati land and rightly so.
Jacob Ward- Moto2:
Moto3- Marco Bezzecchi. How many riders have led the entire race this year? Not even Jorge Martin has managed that and he has been the fastest all year. He controlled the race from the off and made sure he was going to take the win.
Moto2- Pecco Bagnaia. What a battle! What a race! Just wow, he made sure he knew where the move would be made and be able to hold onto the win, looking at where the strengths and weaknesses of the KTM lay in Oliviera’s hands and took full advantage. Is this the championship turning back to Pecco?
MotoGP- Jorge Lorenzo. He out Marquez’d Marquez, and made sure he could take the win with a tough but fair pass on the prodigal son to make sure that he could take the win and ensure Ducati would continue to regret letting him go.
Nat Jarvis- MotoGP:
Moto3 – Marco Bezzecchi. What a character. He pretty much controlled that entire race from start to finish. He had massive pressure from Jorge Martin (who is a very close second for me for ROTD) but Bezzecchi needs to capitalise on this momentum.
Moto2 – I said whoever won would be my rider of the day, so today it’s Pecco Bagnaia, he exploited the KTM’s weakness excellently and both riders kept a calm and rode a clean, fair and absolutely titanic battle, what’s better than the two best in the championship going for it?
MotoGP – Jorge Lorenzo. Just like Mugello 2016, he beat Marquez in a last lap battle, a few more of them and he may well carry a psychological advantage into his Honda career. Lorenzo is seriously exciting me at the moment and all it’s going to take is a couple of mistakes from Marquez and we could well be looking at championship contention, who would have thought that after Argentina?
Matic Kovacic- WSBK:
Moto3- Jaume Masia/ Jorge Martin. It’s impossible to decide just for one rider in Moto3, both had an amazing race.. For Jorge to race less than a week since his broken wrist was plated is simply outstanding.. Sure, he skipped some sessions to rest his wrist as much as possible, but injury didn’t take his edge away at all.. Very deserved podium from him and great damage limitation.. With Jaume something just clicked last few races, as this was his third top 6 in last 4 races.. Was very nice seeing young man so close to the podium, which would be an icing on the cake to great race for him.
Moto2: Miguel Oliveira. After complicated start of the weekend, Miguel showed very positive signs in Saturday’s qualifying session and just confirmed on Sunday why he is a title contender.. Even thought he lost close battle with his title rival Francesco Bagnaia in the last lap, he was doing an amazing job, managing the troublesome front end of his KTM bike, giving his all until very last turn of the race. Austria was in the end just another proof that title race is far from over in Moto2, with 2 guys clearly head and shoulder ahead of others..
MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo
Very fast in both wet and dry, this was the Jorge we all know very well.. Confident, smooth and extremely fast.. He made sure that Ducati win streak in Austria is still alive, even though Marquez gave him a proper run for his money.. As I mentioned last weekend, he could have a big impact on championship still.. Austria confirmed this.
Ryan Lilly- BSB:
Moto3: Jaume Masia. The kid rode an excellent race at a track he impressed on during his wildcard last year. Fighting with the big boys all race long showed that he has learned and is growing in stature.
Moto2: Joan Mir. P20 TO P6 IN 3 LAPS! Incredible to watch. In the end he dropped back behind Schrotter but it was a great recovery ride after a tough weekend
MotoGP: I couldn’t decide so have 3!- Jorge Lorenzo: Jorge has shown today that he can fight. He has shown that he can also beat his teammate to be in a straight fight and also showed Ducati who is number 1. Lorenzo rode a brilliant race with some very aggressive overtakes as he managed that soft rear tyre.
Cal Crutchlow: coming into this weekend Crutchlow wanted a top 6. He got a top 4. Cal described the track as the worst on the calendar yet still managed to dig deep and come home with a 4th.
Valentino Rossi: Well, he did what he does best. P14 to P6 was a great recovery ride from Valentino and also extends his lead over Maverick. Just think if VR and JL had a good bike, could he and Lorenzo be in with a real shot of the title?
Featured images credit- http://www.motogp.com