2016 MotoGP of Austria - Red Bull Ring / Spielberg
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Poised for Second Half of the MotoGP Season
After a three-week summer break, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team returns to the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg circuit with renewed energy to take on the competition this weekend at round ten of the MotoGP World Championship. This Sunday the Spielberg circuit will host its first MotoGP Grand Prix in nineteen years, but Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi already got a first taste of the only ten corners comprising track during the two-day test three weeks ago.
Having been deprived from their YZR-M1s over the summer break, they are eager to head back to Austria this week to reunite with their bikes and prepare for the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.
Lorenzo booked steady progress during the first testing days in Spielberg and he aims to build on the already promising set up of his bike this week to make a strong comeback at the start of the second half of the season. Being in second place with a 48-point gap to close to the leader in the championship standings, the current World Champion's fighting spirit is as strong as ever and he is determined to give his all during the rest of the season.
Teammate Rossi had already ridden at the circuit before and secured his first ever podium at the Red Bull Ring for a third place in the 125cc class in 1996. This weekend he aims to visit the Austrian rostrum again and reduce the current 59-point margin to first place in the championship rankings. The summer break gave the nine-times World Champion time to unwind so he returns to the scene ready for action.
The Red Bull Ring - Spielberg circuit was originally built in 1969 and was rebuilt in 1996 to the track-layout it still has today. Its unique design of three left and seven right corners and a 626m longest straight puts the emphasis on top speed, acceleration and braking stability, which allows the riders plenty of opportunities to fully open the throttle and put on a show for the Austrian fans.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We arrive in Austria with renewed energy after the summer break. We needed the time off to recharge our batteries and now we're looking forward to going back on track after a period of rest. It's always exciting to race at a circuit where we have no prior experience other than the two-day test held three weeks ago. Though we already determined that the track's lay-out might not play into Yamaha's strengths, we made good progress in finding a basic setting and we're looking forward to challenge at the front. Jorge and Vale have spent a large part of their time off on physical fitness training and preparing for the races to come. They are both in a good shape, so we feel ready to tackle the next nine rounds."
Championship: 2nd, 122 points
"After the summer break we get back into action in Spielberg, a place we were able to check out for the first time three weeks ago during a two-days-test. I spent a few days' time on the Balearic Islands to relax but then I started to train again to get in the best shape to face the second half of the season. It's true that the situation is difficult because Marc is slightly ahead in the championship but we will do our best, as every year, to try and cut the distance. We will keep fighting until the end of the championship!"
Championship: 3rd, 111 points
"It was a long break. I certainly rested a lot! I went on holiday but I continued to train. Now, however, I really want to get back on the track and do my best in this second half of the season. We have done good races up to this point. Some of them could have been better but we have proven that we're fast. The Austrian circuit is very nice and the tests went pretty well. The two long straights don't help us much, but during the race weekend we still have time to improve. We will do our best to get onto the podium."
Tech3 duo ready to kick-start second half of season at high speed Spielberg circuit
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 pairing of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith optimistically aim to commence the second part of the year with two solid performances at Spielberg as the World Championship returns to Austria for the first time since 1997. The riders will battle at the rapid and undulating 4.3-kilometre venue that features three left corners and seven right. The track also has an altitude difference of 65 metres which promises a fast and spectacular 28 lap race on Sunday.
Pol Espargaro will seek to continue his impressive form in 2016 by following up his superb Suzuka 8 Hour victory with a strong finish in the round 10 Grand Prix. The young Spaniard currently holds the top satellite rider position in 6th in the championship standings and will look to consolidate this placement further. Meanwhile, Bradley Smith intends to get straight back into fight mode and begin the second half of the season with a notable result. The 25-year-old has experienced a challenging year so far but remains fully confident of his chances in the nine remaining MotoGP races.
Championship: 6th, 72 points
"At last, the summer break is over and I can't wait to get back on my Yamaha as I want to continue my quest to complete the year as the top satellite MotoGP rider. It has been a busy few weeks for me because I flew to Japan for the Suzuka 8 Hours event after Sachsenring. Of course, I am delighted about my work there with Alex Lowes and Katsuyuki Nakasuga in the Factory Yamaha Racing Team, where we succeeded in winning the event for the second consecutive year. It was even more emotional than last year, as it was my final Suzuka race for Yamaha, but this performance has given me more determination to push harder on my YZR-M1 in MotoGP. Yet, after that, I also managed to have a holiday and relax a bit before we head to Austria. The Spielberg track looks really fun to ride with its fast flowing nature and elevation changes. However, I think it will be very competitive GP due to the straights and no doubt, the Ducatis will have a slight advantage there. Nevertheless, we aim to hit the ground running and give it everything we've got in order to leave this race with a good result in our back pocket. I am looking forward to the challenge."
Championship: 16th, 35 points
"The three-week break was nice for me and although I had some time to wind down, it wasn't for very long as I trained hard to be ready to get back to where I need to be in the second half of the season. This year has been tough at times, yet I am confident that I can turn it around, just like I did in 2014, and close my final year with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team in a positive way. I am certain that our good fortune will start in Austria and even though I think it will be very tight in the race, I am highly motivated for the battle. I have done a lot of preparation for this track and with the fast flowing corners, it will be fun to ride on my Yamaha YZR-M1. The GP will be long with 28 laps, but I am excited to sample the track on my MotoGP bike after sampling the layout on a Yamaha R1 recently."