Andrea Dovizioso won an eventful Austrian MotoGP for Ducati on Sunday just 24 hours after revealing he would leave the Italian team at the end of the season.
Spain’s Joan Mir on a Suzuki robbed Ducati of a one-two by clinching second spot from Australian Jack Miller with a single corner to spare.
“That was really strange,” said the world championship runner up in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“For a whole load of reasons,” added ‘Dovi’, who avoided a string of crashes and narrow escapes notably that of Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli and Frenchman Johann Zarco.
In a two way tangle on lap eight at the empty Speilberg circuit Yamaha’s Morbidelli and Zarco hit the deck at high speed.
Zarco’s Ducati carried on without him, cut a corner and narrowly missed the veteran Valentino Rossi, who was clearly shaken by the close shave and who went on to take fifth.
The riderless bike exploded into pieces at a safety barrier scattering debris through the air as the race was red-flagged.
Morbidelli was taken away on a stretcher but was later able to walk to an ambulance as Zarco appeared unhurt.
Pol Espargaro of KTM then slid spectacularly into Portugal’s Miguel de Oliveira, who pursued the limping Spaniard to remonstrate beside the wreckage of their bikes.
Alex Rins of Suzuki then simply fell as he was challenging Dovizioso for the lead.
This was Ducati’s fifth consecutive MotoGP success at Spielberg, and their 50th in the elite division.
The MotoGP standings continue to be led by Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha’s satellite SRT team rider and winner of the coronavirus-curtailed season’s first two races in Jerez.
The Frenchman finished eighth in this fourth leg of the campaign.
The day’s big loser was Maverick Vinales, who had started from pole on his Yamaha only to trail in 10th and lose his second position in the championship to Dovizioso.
South African Brad Binder, who celebrated his breakthrough MotoGP win last weekend in Brno, took fourth for home team KTM.
Defending champion Marc Marquez was missing for the third race in a row following surgery on a broken arm sustained in a crash in the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix.
The mayhem in MotoGP followed a similar spectacular spill in the earlier Moto2 grand prix.
Spain’s Jorge Martin won that race, which will be better remembered for its crash which injured Malaysia’s Hafizh Syahrin.
Enea Bastianini fell off coming out of a bend with Syahrin hitting the Italian’s bike at full speed, sending him through the air, smashing his bike into pieces.
The stricken Syahrin was treated on the track and rushed away in an ambulance with his team saying the rider was conscious but had an injured hip.
Edgar Pons and Andi Farid Izdihar also fell as debris littered the track.
The race was eventually restarted with victory going to Martin, the 2018 Moto3 champion.
The action began with Spain’s Albert Arenas celebrating his third Moto3 win of the season by donning his red superman cape after extending his lead in the world championship standings.
Another Spaniard Jaume Masia came second and Britain’s John McPhee was promoted to third place after penalties were imposed on Japan’s Ai Ogura and Italy’s Celestino Vietti.
The 23-year-old Arenas has been in the Moto3 division since 2015 but has never placed higher than 11th in the final standings.
“I’m really happy how I managed the race,” said Arenas, who started second on the grid.