The Championship resumes for the 10th round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship, the Styrian Grand, live from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria
The previous round in the Netherlands in June saw Riders’ Championship leader Fabio Quartararo of Monster Energy Yahama claiming his fourth win of the season to open a 34-point lead, with Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco now his nearest chaser.
Yamaha struggled at the Red Bull Ring last year, but Quartararo believes they will be stronger this time around and emphasised that the different teams have produced machines that are so evenly matched across different circuits.
“To be honest, Austria is a track that last year was a disaster for us, but I think more because of all the problems that we had last year in the braking,” said Quartararo. “For me, the bike has improved a lot in the braking area. Our holeshot device is also working better. The electronics… So I think Austria is not a bad track for us.
“I think it’s going to be okay. Of course, we miss the top speed, but in 2019 I was able to finish on the podium and Maverick [Vinales] and Vale [Valentino Rossi] finished 4th and 5th. So it’s not a bad track for Yamaha, just not the easiest one.”
He added, “I forget a bit about Yamaha tracks, Ducati tracks… Qatar and Mugello were ‘Ducati tracks’, but in Qatar two Yamahas won and in Mugello I was able to fight for the victory [and win]. I think there is not so much anymore the Ducati track, the Yamaha track, the Suzuki track… I think everything is getting close and I think it’s quite nice.”
Zarco, meanwhile, says he is delighted to be in second place on the standings, admitting that it is better than he expected, while also insisting that he will not be satisfied with merely being a runner-up.
“It’s better than the expectations, better than what I could announce at the beginning of the season,” said the Frenchman. “But once you are there, you need to take this opportunity and it’s my final target to fight for the title and try to be world champion in MotoGP.
“So, if everything has to come now I have to be clever and go to take it. So, it’s better than what I was saying but I cannot rest myself just because it’s better. I need to just use this moment and take it, so I’m pretty happy.
“And If I just think about the title, I could be disappointed to lose points to Fabio [at Assen] but if I also think about the championship, I’m happy I gained on the riders that are just behind me. So, it was a good operation once again.”
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MotoGP, Styrian Grand Prix broadcast details, 7-8 August 2021
All times CAT
Saturday 7 August
13:55: Qualifying – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Motorsport
Sunday 8 August
13:55: Race – LIVE on SuperSport Motorsport