Since returning to the calendar in 2016, the Red Bull Ring in Austria has been a happy hunting ground for the Factory Ducati team take every race win since it’s returned to the calendar, the wins have come in the shape of Andrea Iannone (2016), Andrea Dovizioso (2017) after a extraordinary last-lap duel with Marc Marquez, and of course last year Jorge Lorenzo took the victory and still stands as the 2015 World Champions last victory in the class.
We head into Austria with Marc Marquez in excellent form winning the last two races and a with a 63-point lead in the World Championship. In the last two years, Marquez has come perilously close to beating Ducati on what is the Italian manufacturers strongest circuit on the calendar, with long straights and hard braking zones it generally tends to suit the Desmosedici’s DNA which is all about getting out of the corners, this is the only circuit on the MotoGP calendar where Marc Marquez has yet to win a race.
For the opposite reason why Austria is the strongest circuit for Ducati, is the exact reason why it’s the toughest circuit of the year for Yamaha, the circuit layout compounds the issues Yamaha have had in recent years which has generally been struggling for rear grip and coming out of the corners.
Heading into the meeting there has been a lot of speculation surrounding last-years race winner Jorge Lorenzo, with rumours circulating that his manager had been seen in Brno last weekend meeting with Pramac Ducati, what was spoken about was unspecified however Jack Miller said “I didn’t at all (speak about the Lorenzo to Pramac rumour) prior to this weekend but after some feedback I had there’s some truth behind the rumours.” source motogp.com.
Weather will play a critical role this weekend, with the forecast for Saturday looking as though there will be high temperatures and thunderstorms in the area, whilst Sunday currently looks as though it could be a wet race with rain forecast all day.
Ecstar Suzuki’s Joan Mir will miss the Austrian Grand Prix after a 300KPH crash at turn one in Brno he was released from hospital on Wednesday (7 August) however Ecstar Suzuki confirmed he will miss the Grand Prix and he will not be replaced by test rider Sylvain Guintoli who rode at the last Grand Prix at Brno.