Rossi arrives in Austria holding second place in the championship standings. He was able to try some new setting solutions and a new fairing during the Brno test just two days ago and is eager to show great speed in Austria, though the nature of the Red Bull Ring traditionally doesn’t play into Yamaha’s strengths.
The Doctor secured his first ever podium at the Spielberg track with a third place in the 125cc class in 1996 and followed it up with a second place in the same class in 1997. The Italian is determined to add an Austrian MotoGP rostrum to his résumé this time round, as well as decrease the current 49-point gap to first place in the championship rankings.
In the last two years, Viñales took solid sixth places in Austria, but this year nothing but a podium result will do, as he aims to make up for last week’s DNC.
The Spaniard was feeling sore on the Monday after the crash and decided to skip the Brno test in order to be fully recovered at the start of this weekend’s GP, though the decision left him with some regret. The youngster had planned on working on acceleration, which is a vital point at the Austrian circuit. However, feeling close to 100% fit again, he is ready to reclaim third position in the rider standings by bridging the 4-point gap.
In 2016 the Spielberg circuit hosted its first MotoGP Grand Prix after nineteen years. The circuit was constructed in 1969 and was rebuilt in 1996 to the track’s current lay-out. The circuit stands out, as it has only ten corners in total (three left and seven right). Other features include a 626m longest straight and an 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 opportunity to fully open the throttle.