In the last three seasons, Maverick Viñales took a solid sixth place twice in Austria, and a twelfth place last year. This year he is planning to come back fighting at the Spielberg track, especially after showing strong pace again at the Brno test.
The Spaniard demonstrated his determination at the eight-hour testing session last Monday, where he fully focused on getting his 2019 bike ready for the start of the Austrian GP. He worked on braking later and deeper to suit the Spielberg track's stop-start corners to make sure that he would be able to get in the mix for the battle for top positions.
Valentino Rossi also arrives in Austria with high motivation. He was able to find some positive new setting solutions for his 2019 YZR-M1 during the Brno test. He is keen on putting it to the test this weekend, though he knows that the nature of the Red Bull Ring traditionally doesn‘t play into the Yamaha‘s strengths.
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 second place in the same class a year later, before a 19-year hiatus in Austrian GPs. The Italian‘s best premier class result in there is the fourth place he snatched in 2016. It's his aim to try and change that this year and reach for the podium.
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 before it returned to the MotoGP calendar in 2016. The track has a special character to it, 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.