MotoGP contingent heads to Austria

Just a week after the Brno round, MotoGP crews are back in action again at the Red Bull Ring in Austria for Round 11 of the Championship. This is the second set of back-to-back races of the the season, only the fourth edition held here.

The Championship scenario is all Marc Marquez at the moment unless Andrea Dovizioso could answer the challenge. Marquez has been consistent at Red Bull Ring with top five finishes in the previous three occasions, including two seconds. He’ll be hunting for a first win this time around.

Team mate Stefan Bradl will again join the Repsol Honda Team in place of the recovering Jorge Lorenzo. The German rider is excited at the prospect of another Grand Prix aboard the RC213V after improving his feeling on the bike during the Brno weekend. Racing in Austria in 2016, Bradl has some experience of the track to draw upon.

Following his second place finish at Brno last weekend, Dovizioso currently also lies second in the championship standings with 147 points (63 behind leader Márquez) and he arrives in Austria determined to repeat the results of the last three editions, in which he has always been on the podium: second (2016), first (2017) and third (2018). For his part, Team mate Danilo Petrucci will be aiming to step onto the podium of the Austrian track for the first time, so as to maintain his third place in the overall standings with 129 points, 15 ahead of Suzuki’s Alex Rins in fourth.

In the Yamaha camp, Maverick Viñales took a solid sixth place twice in Austria, and a twelfth place last year. This year he is planning to come back fighting at the Spielberg track, especially after showing strong pace again at the Brno test. At the last testing, he worked on braking later and deeper to suit the Spielberg track’s stop-start corners to make sure that he would be able to get in the mix for the battle for top positions.

MotoGP veteran and 9-time champion Valentino Rossi looks to pour his best riding as he knows  that the nature of the Red Bull Ring traditionally doesn’t play into the Yamaha’s strengths. The Doctor is more familiar with the Spielberg track than most. He first visited the rostrum there in 1996, taking third place in the 125cc class, and secured second place in the same class a year later, before a 19-year hiatus in Austrian GPs. The Italian’s best premier class result in there is the fourth place he snatched in 2016. It’s his aim to try and change that this year and reach for the podium.

The action begins with FP1 on Friday morning, between the picturesque hills of the Red Bull Ring. Lights for the 28-lap Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich will go out at high noon on Sunday.