MotoGP heads for back-to-back race at Red Bull Ring

  Less than a week after the Czech Grand Prix, MotoGP heads to the Red Bull Ring this weekend for the Austrian GP. Last year the Spielberg circuit hosted its first MotoGP Grand Prix in nineteen years. The circuit was originally built in 1969 and was rebuilt in 1996 to the track-layout it still has today.

The circuit stands out as it has only three left and seven right corners, a 626m longest straight, and features a 18-metre-high landmark “Bull of Spielberg” in the track‘s centre. The circuit‘s design puts the emphasis on top speed, acceleration and braking stability, allowing the riders plenty of opportunities to fully open the throttle and put on a show for the fans.

Following a superb 1 – 2 at Brno, Marc Marquez and Repsol Honda lead the Championship. Marquez tops the riders standings from rival Maverick Vinales, while Dani Pedrosa lies fifth. Both Repsol Honda riders completed a one-day post-race test to carry out positive work on their RC213V’s setup before heading to the Red Bull Ring.

Marquez finished last year’s race in fifth and Pedrosa, seventh. They intend to improve their classifications at this year’s race. “Hopefully this year it will be different. Brno also used to be a challenging track for us but in the end we got a fantastic result, so we’re going to Austria feeling positive. In the post-race test we were able to look into several aspects of our bike’s setup, also in view of the next race, such as getting better acceleration and reducing the wheelying. Of course we also need good stability on the brakes so we’ll see; as always, it will be a matter of finding a good compromise,” Marquez said.

After four days of riding their YZR-M1s in the last week,Yamaha MotoGP‘ riders Viñales and Valentino Rossi are fired up and feeling confident to take on the competition at the next race.

Viñales took a solid sixth place in Austria last year, but is set on turning his recent third place in the Czech Republic into a podium streak, in order to remain a main contender in the 2017 title chase. Being in second place in the championship standings, with a 14-point gap to close to the leader, he is as motivated as ever to start working and bring in the results.

Rossi topped the Brno test just two days ago and is feeling confident that he can continue to show great speed in Austria, though the nature of the Czech circuit and the Red Bull Ring are quite diverse. The Doctor has ridden at the Spielberg track three times before. He secured his first ever podium at the Austrian venue with a third place in the 125cc class in 1996, and followed it up with a second place in the same class in 1997. Last year he just missed out on the podium, taking fourth place. The Italian is determined to climb the rostrum this time round and decrease the current 22-point gap to first place in the championship rankings.

Ducati achieved a perfect 1 – 2 at the 2016 Austrian GP courtesy of Andrea Dovizioso and former rider Andrea Iannone. This year, Jorge Lorenzo took over the reins of the Desmosedici GP bike. “I haven’t had much time to think of what happened in the race a few days ago at Brno. As I said before, the most important lesson for us is to stay united as a team and continue to work with the same enthusiasm. Monday’s test was positive because we found some new set-up solutions that will help us to go quicker. On paper our bike is perfectly suited to the Spielberg circuit. It will be the first time I’ll be on track with the Desmosedici in Austria and it’ll be very important to find the sensation,’ Lorenzo commented.

Two days ago, Lorenzo and Dovizioso took part in the official MotoGP test at Brno, evaluating several new technical solutions including the innovative aerodynamic fairing used at the Czech circuit only by the Spanish rider, which will be used by both riders in Austria.

The Austrian GP schedule gets underway on Friday with the first free practice session, while the 28-lap race will start in the afternoon on Sunday.