Quartararo returns to the track with the platonic title of 'summer champion'. Yamaha's French rider is currently leading the MotoGP standings, 34 points ahead of Zarco and 47 over Bagnaia, but on paper, two tough weekends lie ahead for him. The Red Bull Ring is certainly not the best track for the M1, while Ducati has only been beaten in Austria once, by Oliveira's KTM.
Fabio, however, certainly does not want to start with a defeatist attitude and he knows full well that the Yamaha can have a hand in the matter on a circuit where power matters a lot.
“I'm really happy to be back racing - Quartararo begins - I was fine during the summer break and it was nice to rest a bit, but now I just want to get back on my bike again. I want to take the season race by race, so I'm not too focused on the standings. My main goal is just to do a good job in Austria this weekend and the next. We know that the Red Bull Ring is not the best track for us on the calendar, but I have been on the podium here in the past, so we also know that it is possible to fight for the top positions. We will do our best".
For Vinales, the holidays were an opportunity to take a break after the news of his farewell from Yamaha. The Spaniard has not yet decided what his future will be (even though Aprilia's door is wide open for him) and in the meantime he has to think about ending this year in the best possible way.
“Last year‘s races in Austria were eventful to say the least, and the results weren‘t what we had hoped for – Maverick recalls the horrific crash he had when he found himself without brakes at the first corner – but overall the feeling wasn‘t too bad. For sure, we will put in our maximum to start the second half of the 2021 season in the best way possible. I have been training a lot these last few weeks, so I feel great! The upcoming two races will probably not be the easiest for us, but in Assen we showed that we have great potential. We did have some good races in Spielberg in the past, especially in 2019, so I think we can do a good job again.”