MotoGP might be stopping off in Styria, but in reality, the riders and paddocks have not moved one inch from the Red Bull Ring as it will be the Spielberg track, the scene of the Austrian GP last week, to host the first, and probably also the last, edition of the GP of this particular Austrian Land. The top class therefore arrives at the fifth round of the season bringing with it a fair number of unknown factors including Yamaha's competitiveness with Quartararo at the top of the world rankings but struggling in the last two races.
A similar situation but third place in the standings also for Maverick Vinales who finished in 10th position last Sunday. Last week, after the race, Quartararo told us that he sees Dovizioso as his chief rival for the world title, leaving "Top Gun" a bit out of the question. Now the points that separate him from the top of the standings are 19 and one wonders if the Spaniard still feels that he is still in the fight with Fabio and Dovi for the title.
“I think it’s good that they think like that because it takes a lot of pressure out of me, so for me it’s perfect,” Vinales said. “I mean, for sure we haven’t shown our potential yet because we haven’t had a good race. We had a few podiums, but then made a lot of mistakes during the races. So, I think we need to get rhythm, I think we need to get to good tracks for us, especially Misano, Aragon – really good tracks for me, for my riding style. We’ll see. Now I don’t even think about the championship, only about improving the bike because there are a few things to improve and then we will see where we are.”
Consistency in the race, perhaps, is precisely what Yamaha was missing a few days ago. Tell us about your weekend…
“Overall, we made a really good weekend, because Saturday morning I was out of Q2 and then we were able to improve a lot our lap times and be fast and consistent. And then we made the pole position. So now we need to find out what we need to improve for the race. This weekend is a very good opportunity to do it and we’re going to try to do it.”
What does Yamaha still lack in order to be fully competitive on all circuits?
"The Red Bull Ring is certainly not the best track for the M1 but last week some of the potential of this bike came out in the race too, as I was quite fast in the final stages. We got a lot of data from last Sunday's race and we will use it to improve the bike and to get on the podium ”.
In addition to the difficult race, on Sunday, you were also an indirect protagonist of the terrible accident between Zarco and Morbidelli with the two bikes passing a few centimetres away from you and Valentino Rossi. Is the Red Bull Ring a track that should be modified in your opinion?
"For this year we can’t do much, maybe we could discuss the changes for 2021, perhaps in terms of speed. We mustn’t even think about it right now, we need to focus on the race because there are people who think about our safety and who will think about how to improve in this sense, especially in Turns 2 and 3. "