The summer break is over for the MotoGP™ riders and Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales are heading to Spielberg, Austria for the 10th GP of the season this weekend.
The Red Bull Ring is a newcomer in the MotoGP™ calendar, but the riders have already had the chance to test there some weeks ago in a two-day session that allowed them to appreciate its characteristics but – most importantly –to also gather information and prepare for the race.
The riders arrive in Austria after hard races in Assen and Germany, where rain made the set-up difficult for the GSX-RR, although they were very useful to Suzuki’s engineers to learn the machine’s reactions in wet conditions and work through them during the summer break. This will give a further boost to Viñales and Espargaró for a positive race, as the test in July proved the GSX-RR to be a competitive machine thanks to its chassis characteristics.
The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg is located in the scenic Murtal-region of Styria. The circuit was originally built in 1969, then known as the Österreichring. In 1996 it was rebuilt with the track-layout it still has today; and in 2011 it was reopened as the Red Bull Ring and again became the centre of Austrian motorsports. The sloping terrain and the natural arena are trademark features of the Red Bull Ring with the 18-metre-high landmark “Bull of Spielberg” in the centre and the voestalpine wing offering a spectacular architectural highlight. With a length of 4.318 km it features 10 turns and an altitude difference of 65 metres. The 2016 season will see the Red Bull Ring host its first MotoGP™ race as the World Championship returns to Austria for the first time since 1997.
“This summer break has been very useful for me to recover some energy and rebalance my focus. I had some vacations but I also trained a lot, because I wanted to be ready for this restart of the Championship. So far we have had positive results but we still miss some better placement, therefore we must keep on improving and take the best out of our machine. We had a test here in Austria in July and my feeling was positive; the circuit is very fast, with a sort of ‘old style’ layout which is pretty much an on-and-off. This means it will be very demanding in terms of engine performance, on this side the GSX-RR has improved a lot since last year but for sure competitors with more powerful engines will have it easier. At the same time, very fast corners will be suitable for us, so I think we should try to work on that area and finalise the best set-up possible so that we can play our cards.”
“When we came to Spielberg in July we could gather a lot of information and this is as precious as gold for us. The track is very peculiar, it is very fast and for this the most powerful engines will be eased, but has also some points where our chassis could be a positive weapon. The circuit has been rebuilt so that the tarmac is simply prefect: no bumps, no connections, its surface is smooth and clean. This will allow different lines and it will be interesting to see who will be the one to adapt better and quicker. After the test we could work on data and have already some ideas about the base set-up, but also the weather will play a role.”