After a long break of five weeks, the Ducati Lenovo Team is ready to kick off the second half of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship starting with a double-header at the Red Bull Ring. Located near Zeltweg, the Austrian track will host the tenth round of the season, the Styrian GP, scheduled for this Sunday, and the Austrian GP next weekend, from 13th to 15th August.
For Ducati, this is a historically favourable stage. In the six races held so far at the Red Bull Ring, the Borgo Panigale manufacturer has managed to triumph on five occasions, achieving its 50th MotoGP victory here last year with Andrea Dovizioso. Ducati also has had nine podiums at the Austrian track, the most recent with Jack Miller. The Aussie rider finished second at last year's Styrian GP with the Desmosedici GP bike of the Pramac Racing Team.
Pecco Bagnaia, who was forced to miss last year's two Grands Prix in Austria after sustaining an injury to his right leg in the Czech Republic, returns to the track determined to start the second half of the season in the best possible way. The Italian rider aims to shorten the gap in the overall standings, which currently sees him third, 47 points behind leader Quartararo. Jack Miller, fifth in the championship with 100 points, aims to be among the protagonists again this year, returning to fight for the top positions of the standings at the Austrian circuit. After nine rounds, Ducati is second in the Constructors' Championship with 177 points, while the Ducati Lenovo Team is second in the Teams' classification with 209 points.
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 3rd (109 points)
"This long five-week break has really helped me recharge my batteries, and now I'm ready for the second half of the season. I'm really looking forward to getting back on my Desmosedici GP and, above all, to racing in Austria again. Last year, I had to sit out both races held here because of my leg injury. At the Red Bull Ring in 2019, in my debut year in MotoGP, I had managed to finish seventh at the Austrian GP, while Ducati has won five of the six races held so far at this track, so I'm sure that we have all that we need to fight for a good result on Sunday! I'm determined to get off on the right foot in this second half of the championship".
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 5° (100 points)
"I am excited to be back in action this weekend! During this five-week summer break, I had time to rest, but I also continued to train with my Panigale V4 S, having fun with the other Ducati riders in Misano. Now, we will have a double-header at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, where last year I went close to claim victory. In 2020, I got on the podium twice, both at the Austrian GP, where I came third and at the Styrian GP, which I closed in second place. This track has always been a happy hunting territory for Ducati, but I expect tough competition this year. Anyway, we will do our best to be at the front and end the weekend on a high".
Name: Red Bull Ring
Best lap: Dovizioso (Ducati), 1:23.827 (185.4 km/h) – 2019
Circuit record: Márquez (Honda), 1:23.027 (187.2 km/h) – 2019
Top speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 316.7 km/h – 2020
Track length: 4,3 km
Race distance: 28 laps (120.9 km)
Corners: 10 (3 left, 7 right)
Podium: 1° Oliveira (KTM), 2° Miller (Ducati), 3°P. Espargaró (KTM)
Pole Position: P. Espargaró (KTM), 1:23.580 (185.9 km/h) – 2020
Fastest lap: Espargaró (KTM), 1:23.877 (185.3 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 43
GPs started: 163 (108 x MotoGP, 49 x Moto3, 6 x 125 cc)
First GP: Qatar 2015 (MotoGP), Qatar 2012 (Moto3), Germany 2011 (125 cc)
Wins: 9 (3 MotoGP + 6 Moto3)
First Win: Netherlands 2016 (MotoGP), Qatar 2014 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 9 (1 MotoGP + 8 Moto3)
First pole: Argentina 2018 (MotoGP), USA 2014 (Moto3)
World Titles: -
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 63
GPs started: 143 (38 x MotoGP, 36 x Moto2, 69 x Moto3)
First GP: Qatar 2019 (MotoGP), Qatar 2017 (MotoGP), Qatar 2013 (MotoGP)
Wins: 10 (8 Moto2 + 2 Moto3)
First Win: Qatar 2018 (Moto2), Netherlands 2016 (Moto3)
Pole positions: 8 (1 MotoGP, 6 Moto2 + 1 Moto3)
First pole: France 2018 (Moto2), Britain 2016 (Moto3), Qatar 2021 (MotoGP)
World Titles: 1 (Moto2, 2018)
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3º (109 points)
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 5º (100 points)
Ducati – 2º (167 points)
Ducati Lenovo Team – 2º (209 points)