Marquez, Bradl look to launch rejuvenated challenge
Forecasts are predicting a wet and wild Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring as Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl look to launch a rejuvenated challenge.
The MotoGP World Championship arrives in Austria for the first of two races at the Red Bull Ring hot off the back of the Czech GP. It proved to be a trying weekend for the Repsol Honda Team, but both riders are ready to put the weekend behind them and focus on adapting their respective Repsol Honda RC213V machines to the Austrian circuit. At 4.3-kilometre-long, the Red Bull Ring is characterised by hard braking and heavy acceleration, producing memorable last laps in recent years.
After three hot weekends, the weather looks set to turn at the Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich with heavy rain predicted throughout the weekend. For MotoGP rookie Alex Marquez, riding in the wet conditions will be another new challenge but the Moto2 World Champion has been quick to adapt to the wet in the past. Marquez currently sits second in the Rookie of the Year standings and is aiming to continue his perfect run of point scoring finishes in the premier class this weekend.
Stefan Bradl will once again join the Repsol Honda Team, filling in for the recovering Marc Marquez. It was a busy weekend in Brno for Bradl as he adapted to the 2020 RC213V and worked through a number of items for HRC. Although he finished outside of the points, Bradl showed strong progress over the course of the Czech weekend. The German joined the factory Honda team at the Red Bull Ring last year and raced to 13th place, returning to the points his objective for his second weekend aboard the RC213V.
Action at the Red Bull Ring begins at 09:55 Local Time with Free Practice 1 with a 90% chance of rain.
Alex Marquez says: “The second of three MotoGP races in a row and the second time we will have more than one race at the same circuit. In Jerez we were able to benefit a lot from having two races so I think it will be an interesting couple of races. It looks like it will rain, a lot, so I will need to adapt to the RC213V in the wet. It’s a new challenge, but being a rookie is all about accepting the challenges and learning. Our goal for the weekend is to keep understanding the MotoGP class and close the gap to the front.”
Stefan Bradl adds: “After an intense and busy weekend I am looking forward to riding at the Red Bull Ring as I have a race under my belt and understand what we need to do. I think we will have another busy weekend, but maybe the weather will change it a bit. I am really pleased to be back with the Repsol Honda Team again and I’m sure we can have a more competitive weekend. Let’s see how the weekend unfolds, I am confident we can be closer to the MotoGP regulars.”