Pecco Bagnaia maintained his relentless charge towards back-to-back MotoGP World Championship titles with an emphatic fourth full-length MotoGP win of the season in the Austrian MotoGP.
The Italian consolidated his Sprint Race success on Saturday by once again leading from lights-to-flag, ensuring him a maximum points haul that puts yet more daylight between himself and his increasingly distant title rivals.
Brad Binder was once again Bagnaia's closest rival, the South African keeping the Ducati man honest initially before wilting into a distant and lonely second place, while Marco Bezzecchi returned to the podium after winning out in an exhaustive battle with Alex Marquez for third.
Arguably his most comprehensively dominant weekend of the season so far, while Bagnaia could always be counted on to make the most of Ducati's stellar record of results around the Styrian venue, even by his impressive standards, he was in a class of his own from the moment he secured pole position on Saturday morning.
Going on to complete an unflustered Sprint Race win on Saturday, Bagnaia was similarly a cut above over the longer distance of Sunday's main event. After winning his first challenge by resisting the fast-starting Brad Binder around Turn 1, Bagnaia calmly kept it neat to repel the KTM rider's close attentions during the early laps.
Steadily carving out a comfortable lead during the first-half of the race, Bagnaia's consistency out front was rewarded during the latter portion of the race when Binder's pace slumped on fading tyres.
Allowing Bagnaia to put fistfuls of time between himself and his closest rival, the Italian would find himself more than five seconds clear by the time he'd reached the flag. His fourth full length win to go with four more success in the Sprint Race, the weekend also marked his second 'perfect' haul of pole position, two wins and two fastest laps following a similar outcome at Mugello.
In the context of the title race, with closest rival Jorge Martin - forced to take a long lap penalty as a punishment for triggering a turn one pile-up in the Sprint Race - down in seventh and Marco Bezzecchi third, the defending champion's advantage has now swelled to 62 and 68 points respectively.
Binder battles bravely as Bezzecchi bounces back
In second, Binder notched up welcome podium for KTM on home soil to keep himself on the cusp of staying in the title fight mix, albeit 91 points down on Bagnaia.
Following his painful exit at the start of Saturday's Sprint Race, Bezzecchi gritted his teeth to bounce back for third on Sunday. The VR46 Ducati rider spent much of his afternoon tussling it out with fellow Ducati rider Alex Marquez in the fight for third, Bezzecchi making life difficult for himself with multiple lunges for position that simply sent him too wide on the exit.
With Marquez's tyres fading though, Bezzecchi eventually completed his pass with seven laps to go, a move that dragged team-mate Luca Marini through with him to secure a double top four finish for the VR46 Racing team.
Marquez held onto fifth place from a charging Maverick Vinales in the sixth, the Aprilia rider yet again forced to fight back through the field following another poor start from the front row that got him bullied down to eighth on the opening lap.
After making an enemy of several riders by triggering a pile-up involving six other riders at the start of the Sprint Race, Martin came into the main race expecting an uphill task once he'd taken his punishment of a long lap penalty early on.
Dropping to 13th once he'd completed the detour, Martin nonetheless picked his way back up the order to take seventh at the flag, ahead of Fabio Quartararo - scoring his best Sunday result since Le Mans - in eighth, Aleix Espargaro in ninth and Enea Bastianini in tenth.
A race of low attrition, the fight for the final points went to the wire with Franco Morbidelli taking 11th, ahead of Marc Marquez in 12th and Johann Zarco in 13th, while Augusto Fernandez made up two positions on the final lap to nab two points in 14th.
Behind him, Jack Miller picked up the final point in 15th, the Australian spending much of his afternoon plummeting from having run as high as third initially. Even then he was lucky to score anything, only doing so after Pol Espargaro was given a long lap penalty added as a time equivalent, demoting him to 16th
2023 Austrian MotoGP, Spielberg | Race Results
|2023 Austrian MotoGP | Spielberg, Austria | Race Results | Round 10 of 20|
|1||Pecco Bagnaia||🇮🇹||Ducati Leonovo Team||Ducati GP23||28 Laps|
|2||Brad Binder||🇿🇦||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||+5.191|
|3||Marco Bezzecchi||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||+7.708|
|4||Luca Marini||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||+10.343|
|5||Alex Marquez||🇪🇦||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||+11.039|
|6||Maverick Vinales||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||+11.724|
|7||Jorge Martin||🇪🇦||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||+12.917|
|8||Fabio Quartararo||🇨🇵||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||+19.509|
|9||Aleix Espargaro||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||+20.231|
|10||Enea Bastianini||🇮🇹||Ducati Leonovo Team||Ducati GP23||+20.729|
|11||Franco Morbidelli||🇮🇹||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||+21.527|
|12||Marc Marquez||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||+23.027|
|13||Johann Zarco||🇨🇵||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||+24.259|
|14||Augusto Fernandez||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||+25.365|
|15||Jack Miller||🇦🇺||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||+25.475|
|16||Pol Espargaro||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||+28.073|
|17||Fabio di Giannantonio||🇮🇹||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||+28.998|
|18||Takaaki Nakagami||🇯🇵||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V||+32.316|
|19||Lorenzo Savadori||🇮🇹||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||+42.392|
|20||Iker Lecuona||🇪🇦||LCR Honda Castrol||Honda RC213V||+46.239|
|DNF||Raul Fernandez||🇪🇦||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP|
|DNF||Joan Mir||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V|
|DNF||Miguel Oliveira||🇵🇹||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP|