MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP ARRIVE IN SPIELBERG FOR AUSTRIAN GP
Spielberg (Austria), 12th August 2020
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team traveled straight from the Automotodrom Brno to the Spielberg circuit for Round 4 of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship.
Following last weekend’s race in the Czech Republic, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team have packed their YZR-M1s for transport and headed straight to Austria for this weekend’s Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.
Maverick Viñales still holds second place in the overall 2020 MotoGP rankings, though he had a tough outing in Brno last Sunday. This has made him all the more hungry for a good result this time round. He is planning to come back fighting at the Spielberg track and will leave no stone unturned to get the job done and reduce the 17-point gap to the leader in the championship standing.
Whilst the Spielberg circuit traditionally doesn’t play into the Yamaha’s strengths, the Spaniard previously scored a sixth and fifth place in Austria (in 2017 and 2019 respectively) on his YZR-M1. Since he came close to a top-3 result last year, he is eager to get in the mix for the battle for top positions throughout the upcoming weekend.
Valentino Rossi arrives in Austria with high motivation. Though he would have liked a podium at the Czech GP, he felt positive about his overall performance, especially the fact that he made up five positions during the race. He is keen to find out what he can do this weekend.
The Doctor is more familiar with the Spielberg track than most. He first visited the rostrum there in 1996, taking third place in the 125cc class, and secured a second place in the same class a year later, before a 19-year hiatus in Austrian GPs. The Italian’s best premier class results there are the fourth places he achieved in 2016 and 2019. He is currently 7th in the championship classification, but it’s still all to play for. He only needs to bridge a 4-point gap to enter the top 3.
The Spielberg circuit was constructed in 1969 and was rebuilt in 1996 to the track’s current lay-out. It had hosted two Austrian GPs in the 90s and staged its return to MotoGP Grand Prix racing in 2016. It has been a fixture on the MotoGP calendar since. The track has a special character, with only ten turns in total (three left and seven right) and multiple long straights, the longest measuring 626m. The circuit’s design puts the emphasis on top speed, acceleration, and braking stability, offering the riders plenty of opportunities to fully open the throttle.
We have left the Brno weekend behind us and headed straight to Austria. The team always like Spielberg a lot, because it’s such a nice venue, but traditionally this isn’t an easy circuit for us. The track lay-out is mainly focused on top speed, which is not our main strength, but there were three Yamahas in the top 5 last time out, so this indicates progress. We will use the data we got from last year to continue to build onto that.
In Brno I didn’t have the best feeling, but what happened earlier is not important. I will be completely focused on the here and now in Austria, and I feel positive. We know that Spielberg has a lot of stop-start corners and focuses on fast acceleration, but we did a good job there last year. It’s a difficult track to get right. In 2019 we had a lot of problems with tire degradation, so that will for sure be an area that we will be working on this weekend. If we do a good job, I think we can have a good weekend.
Last year in Austria it was a good race. I started from the fourth row and finished fourth, not so far from Quartararo, who was on the podium. I was able to finish in front of Maverick and Rins, so that wasn’t so bad. But every year is a different story. For sure, the atmosphere in Austria will be very different from the first three races, because it looks like it will be cooler there than what we had in Spain and Brno. This could bring advantages and disadvantages, but, anyway, for us it’s very important to be competitive there too. We will try our best.