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#StatAttack: MotoGP™ returns to Austria after 18 years

The MotoGP™ World Championship returns to Austria for the first time since 1997, who will come out on top?

Motorcycle Grand Prix racing returns to Austria after a break of eighteen years. Below are some facts and figures related to grand prix racing in Austria:

  • In 2016 Austria will stage a motorcycle grand prix event for the first time since 1997.

  • The first Austrian grand prix took place in 1971 at the Salzburgring circuit, which hosted grand prix racing on a total of 22 occasions.

  • At that first Austrian GP in 1971 Giacomo Agostini (MV Agusta) won the 500cc race, finishing more than a lap ahead of second place finisher Keith Turner. Agostini also won the 350cc race, with the other classes being won by the following riders: 250cc – Silvio Grassetti (MZ), 125cc – Angel Nieto (Derbi), 50cc – Jan de Vries (Kreidler).

  • The last occasion that a grand prix event took place at the Salzburgring circuit was in 1994, when Mick Doohan won the 500cc race with a race average speed in excess of 194 km/h (120 mph)

  • Due to the high speed nature of the Salzburgring circuit, and the limited amount of run-off provided, it was considered too dangerous for continued use for grand prix racing.

  • The current circuit has hosted two previous grand prix events – in 1996 and 1997, when named the A1-Ring.

  • Valentino Rossi is the only current rider to have raced previously at this circuit in a grand prix.

  • Rossi’s third place finish in the 125cc race in Austria in 1996 was his first GP podium finish. He again finished on the podium in the 125cc race in Austria in 1997, this time in second place just 0.004 seconds behind Noboru Ueda.

  • All of the six grand prix races (2 x 125cc, 2 x 250cc, 2 x 500cc) that have taken place at this circuit have been won by Honda mounted riders.