Contenders confident: "A good track for us for sure"

Another crucial weekend lies ahead in Austria and the top three in the title race had their say in the Pre-Event Press Conference

Track action at a new-look Red Bull Ring is almost upon us but first, reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) was joined in the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich Pre-Event Press Conference by Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), 2021 Austrian GP winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Maverick Viñales to discuss what might lie ahead this weekend.

Fabio Quartararo, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™, CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich

Contenders confident of another good weekend

The Red Bull Ring has never been a favoured stomping ground for Yamaha but Quartararo is feeling good coming to Austria. Before the rain fell in last year’s Austrian GP, the Frenchman was battling at the front with the Ducatis and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), so it’s not necessarily a bad circuit for Yamaha.


“I feel quite good. Especially the second race last year we finished in 7th but before the rain we were fighting quite hard for the podium and victory. So we have the speed, we know how critical it is during the race for us. For pace it’s not a bad track for us but to overtake is where we have more hard work but I wouldn’t say it’s a really bad track for us and I think with the chicane it will be a bit better,” commented the World Championship leader.


In the red corner, Bagnaia and Ducati know how strong they are in the Styrian mountains. Only KTM have managed to beat the Bologna brand to victory since MotoGP™ returned here, and Pecco is the in-form rider at the moment. However, the Italian is all too aware that it’s not going to be easy to replicate previous successes made by Ducati riders at the Red Bull Ring in 2022.

“Yes it’s a good track for us for sure, we demonstrate every year that our bike is competitive but if we look at the last races more than one manufacturer were in front. Last year I was fighting Marc and Fabio for victory, we opened up a two second gap before the rain came,” said Pecco.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing, CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich

“Looking at the characteristics of each bike, I was losing time in sector 3 and gaining time in sector 4, Yamaha was gaining time in sector 3, Honda was competitive like Ducati. This year all the bikes are in front because like we’ve seen in the races all manufacturers can win. Also with the new fairing we have less top speed, let’s see this weekend if we are in good form and we can fight for the win again.”

Silverstone wasn’t the weekend Aleix Espargaro was hoping for after his huge FP4 crash but with a faster RS-GP at his disposal this year in Austria, the Spaniard believes he’ll be back up the sharp end to continue his Championship charge.

“So, the 2022 RS-GP improved quite a lot especially on the aerodynamics side and also in terms of pure performance of the engine; the bike revs more. This track is the most demanding with a lot of difference in terms of engine, but the ’22 engine is definitely much better than in the past, and also regarding the wheelie with the wings and to stop the bike, this year’s bike is much more effective, so I think it’s going to be a good track for us,” said Espargaro.

Can KTM spring a surprise in their backyard?

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich

No one will forget Brad Binder’s 2021 heroics in a hurry, and as previously stated, the Austrian factory are the only other outfit to win here apart from Ducati.

“Of course, this is a huge weekend for Red Bull and KTM, with it being their home race, and the closest one I have to a home race, I suppose. It’s been a big week for us, a lot of hype coming here, and of course, a lot of build-up,” said Binder.


“So, it’s exciting to get back on the bike here tomorrow morning. In general, this track’s always been quite okay for us; never quite in qualifying, but always in the race, we seem to make something click. I’ve had a couple of fourths here and a win last year. I don’t want to have a repeat of last year – the position was great, but I don’t think I’ll be as lucky this time – so, looking forward to getting started though.”

Viñales out for a rostrum hat-trick

Two podiums on the spin for Viñales have seen the Spaniard return to form in 2022, so can the podium streak continue at the Red Bull Ring? A happy rider is a fast rider and Viñales is certainly upbeat about his and the team’s recent progress and pace.

Maverick Viñales, Aprilia Racing, CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich

“It’s a totally different weekend, we are really focused and motivated. We’ve come from two really good weekends and we want to continue with that battling at the front and for victory. We have room to improve and we are on a way, in the process, but we feel very competitive. I think this track will suit us and my riding style,” stated Viñales.

Make sure you tune into MotoGP™ FP1 on Friday morning at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) to see the riders tackle the brand-new chicane for the first time! 

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