"It won't play to our strengths"- Rossi on Styrian struggle

The Italian admitted the M1 may flounder in the coming weeks, which could have big implications in the title race for Fabio Quartararo

This weekend will see the MotoGP™ paddock roar back into life after the summer break, with two back-to-back weekends of action at the Spielberg circuit, though Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) is wary of the potential pitfalls for the M1 at the Red Bull Ring. After a five-week summer break, the Italian will be looking to kick off the latter half of the season by continuing progress made in the first half and come away from the Styrian GP with a positive result.

Despite earning a top 5 and top 10 finish in Spielberg in 2020, the nine-time World Champion has never managed to earn a podium place in Austria, and has sent out a warning that factory teammate and Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) will surely have paid close attention to.

“The summer break has been good. I was able to relax and spend some time away with my people, before heading back home for some training on the bikes. It will be nice to be racing again this weekend, but to be honest, I’m not sure it is the best track for us,” said the number 46.

“We know the areas where our bike is strong, but there are also areas that we need to improve and I think the Austrian track might not play to our strengths. It is in a very beautiful place though, with a lot of green around it so although it is a difficult track, it is a nice place to be. We will need to try to find the best balance for these next two races, as they are both at Spielberg, and aim to achieve the maximum that is possible for us.”

Quartararo currently holds a 34 point cushion in the title race, but the coming double offers up an opportunity for the chasing pack to narrow the gap. The question is, will they be able to take advantage of the M1's supposed shortcomings in Rounds 10 & 11 of the 2021 Championship?

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