It will be a brand new circuit that hosts the first MotoGP race after the summer break. In fact, the Austrian Grand Prix will be held at the Red Bull Ring, a revamped track just a few kilometres from Spielberg bei Knittelfeld. The premier class riders had a chance to familiarize themselves with the new track during the two days of testing immediately following the German GP, assessing the decidedly particular characteristics.
In fact, it is a fast track, with steep slope changes and turns where the riders will have to slow down a lot and then take advantage of acceleration coming out of the corners. The optimum setup must therefore adapt to these circumstances, deviating quite a bit from the standards applied on most of the other tracks.
For the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini the weekend promises to be a demanding one with a bike that is making its absolute début on the Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing tracks, the RS-GP. Alvaro Bautista sized up the tricky spots on the track after the 160-plus laps he took during the tests, whereas Stefan Bradl will have a chance to take his first look at the Austrian asphalt only during the first practice sessions on Friday. In fact, the German rider skipped the tests after his crash in the Sachsenring warm up, from which he has fully recovered.
“This will be my first race in Austria, a round that I am anxiously looking forward to because many German fans will be there to support me, since it is so close - said the German rider who will be in Superbike with Honda next year - I know the track even though I was unable to be there for the tests. The summer break was perfect. I am back to 100% fitness after the crash on the Sachsenring. In the second part of the season it will be important to continue on the same path that we have already begun, putting forth our best efforts in every race. We know that the Austrian circuit is not one of the more favourable ones for us on paper, but in any case we can do a good job on the RS-GP.”
"We are taking on a decidedly particular track, where the stop-and-go concept is taken to an extreme - added Romano Albesiano - The braking and acceleration performance of the bike is therefore crucial, which is why we will be taking a better engine configuration to Austria, as well as an aerodynamic package aimed at reducing aerodynamic drag. Precisely because of the characteristics of the track, we will be using settings that are abnormal compared to the standard ones. This will allow us to explore some very different and, from certain points of view, extreme solutions. I expect this to help us get to know the RS-GP even better, with some advantages for the coming races as well."
"We are back with two consecutive races and the one in Austria is on a decidedly particular track - added Bautista - There are only a few corners and above all it is a stop-and-go circuit where we will need a bike that is very stable in braking and with a lot of grip. We did a good job in the tests, finding a few solutions that will be useful for the race. We will also need a great engine and maybe there will be some news on that front for this race. Physically I am doing very well. I have been training, but I also relaxed a bit during the break. The top-10 is by now our goal for every race, although at the Red Bull Ring it will be harder than on other tracks, but we will give it our best shot."