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. He booked steady progress in Monday’s Brno test and aims to build on the steps made there, in order to stand on the Red Bull Ring rostrum this weekend.
Teammate 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.
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 Austrian fans.