Current MotoGP riders assembled in the pre-event press conference for the 2016 NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.
This will be the first MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix in nearly two decades when Honda’s Mick Doohan won at the then A1-Ring (now Red Bull Ring) in 1997. A new layout of the circuit has meant riders face new challenges at the Red Bull Ring this weekend.
Championship Leader Marc Márquez and his team-mate Dani Pedrosa for Repsol Honda, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo for Movistar Yamaha were in attendance at the pre-event press conference. While LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso also attended alongside the Honda and Yamaha riders.
Márquez said “We’ll see this weekend how the new track is for everybody. I’ve done a few laps on the road bike to get to know the circuit and there are some parts where we could gain, and some parts where we could lose, so it will be interesting. We could have a base setting though, because LCR Honda and Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS tested here.”
Lorenzo did test at the Red Bull Ring and is 48 points behind Márquez in second place in the Riders’ Standings. The current MotoGP World Champion was focused on clawing back the gap to his fellow Championship-leading Spaniard after the summer break.
“It’s important for me to come back strong. So let’s see tomorrow if we can be closer to the Ducati’s than we were in the test. However, we were able to improve at the end of the test in the last few hours, so let’s see if we can keep following that line and get closer to them.”
Rossi is the only rider to have raced at the Red Bull Ring, since he raced there in 1996. The Italian added “The layout is not so different, but the asphalt is different – it’s very flat with no bumps. I think it’s a particular track because it’s not similar to any of the others and there’s a lot of time spent at full throttle – so maybe it will create a different kind of race.”
Riders will get a sample of the Red Bull Ring on Friday with the slight alterations to Turn 10 at 9:55am (local time) tomorrow (8:55am UK time).