And it probably came as no surprise that the best-placed rider before the summer break, Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), emerged with his lead still intact after Sunday’s main race.
But it was Spain’s Jorge Martin who won the race in Austria, his first ever MotoGP victory in just his sixth premier class race makes him the first non-factory rider to win for Ducati.
He led all but three laps in what was a revised 27-lap race after a red flag halted the original race.
Martin was second at the end of both opening laps having started from pole, however, an overtake on Australian Jack Miller (Ducati) was good enough to seal victory with 24 laps remaining and make it six out of seven wins for Ducati at the Red Bull Ring.
And while Martin impressively pulled away from Joan Mir (Suzuki) in second as the race went on, the red flag caused by Lorenzo Savadori’s Aprilia catching fire, meant Martin could change tyres for the second race which was vital to making the win possible.
“In the first start I felt okay, but I had some moments with the front tyre. So, luckily they stopped the race; I hope Savadori is okay, but luckily I could change both tyres and I felt super good in the second start,” said Martin.
“As soon as I could I took the lead and tried to set my pace because I knew today was a race to be constant all the race. I could keep this 24.3/24.4s all the race.
“Joan [Mir] was super strong today, but when I see this little gap of two tenths on the board, I tried to put a little bit more on the track.
“Making this gap was perfect for me and also necessary because in the last laps my physical condition wasn’t great. Happy for my team and for Ducati because it’s so important to win here for Ducati.”
Martin’s victory puts him in a class of his own as the only rider to win for Pramac – a major surprise given the team has had riders such as Danilo Petrucci in the past, and second in the championship currently Johann Zarco.
Speaking about the achievement, Martin added: “I’m the first rider to win for Pramac and this is so special for me. Johann [Zarco] was so close in other races, but finally I did it.
“But I don’t feel like an independent or satellite team rider because I have a factory bike.
“Everything that is new is also coming to me and I’m trying new stuff nearly every race. Sometimes I prefer not to try because I feel like I need to make laps, but I feel incredible here in Ducati.”
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World Championships standings:
|1||Fabio Quartararo, Monster Yamaha||172|
|2||Johann Zarco, Pramac Ducati||132|
|3||Joan Mir, Suzuki Ecstar||121|
|4||Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team||114|
|5||Jack Miller, Ducati Team||100|
|6||Maverick Vinales, Monster Yamaha||95|
|7||Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM||85|
|8||Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM||73|
|9||Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Gresini||61|
|10||Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda||58|
|11||Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda Idemitsu||52|
|12||Jorge Martin, Pramac Ducati||48|
|13||Alex Rins, Suzuki Ecstar||42|
|14||Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda||41|
|15||Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha||40|
|16||Alex Marquez, LCR Honda Castrol||34|
|17||Enea Bastianini, Avintia Ducati||31|
|18||Danilo Petrucci, KTM Tech3||26|
|19||Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha||20|
|20||Luca Marini, Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati||16|
|21||Iker Lecuona, KTM Tech3||14|
|22||Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda||11|
|23||Dani Pedrosa, KTM Factory||6|
|24||Lorenzo Savadori, Aprilia Gresini||4|
|25||Michele Pirro, Pramac Ducati||3|
|26||Tito Rabat, Pramac Ducati||1|
|27||Cal Crutchlow, Petronas Yamaha||0|