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"It looks easy on the outside. It's not!": Thursday talking points in Spielberg | Superbike News - Our Archive Motorcycle News Site
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“It looks easy on the outside. It’s not!”: Thursday talking points in Spielberg

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“It looks easy on the outside. It’s not!”: Thursday talking points in Spielberg

“It looks easy on the outside. It’s not!”: Thursday talking points in Spielberg

“It looks easy on the outside. It’s not!”: Thursday talking points in SpielbergHear from Bagnaia, Martin, Binder, Aleix, Bezzecchi, Alex Marquez and Marc Marquez

We’ve saddled up and headed across to the spectacular Red Bull Ring for the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, with plenty to talk about on the way in. So let’s get going!

The first Press Conference on Thursday comprised Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), before the second saw Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) joined by Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Here are some key quotes and a few photos!


FRANCESCO BAGNAIA: “I’m happy to be here it’s always a great circuit for us. Last year we were competitive, we were struggling a little bit during the weekend but then on the Sunday we felt better. So let’s see, this year it won’t be easy because we know the step that KTM have done in terms of braking and acceleration and Aprilia this year are the ones that have improved in most. In the last races, they’ve been on the podium and then they won the last one, so there are many riders that could be competitive for this race. Also the other seven Ducatis, so let’s see.”

Do you expect to fight for the win here?
“Yeah, we know perfectly well the potential that our bike has in braking and acceleration and on the straight. It’s always important to take as many points as you can in circumstances that are great for you. I think that we can have an advantage at this track this year. The gap is maybe less than other years, but I feel that if we start well and we start the race weekend well we can improve the situation and have a good potential to fight for the win. For sure it will be important to take them the maximum amount of points to finish the weekend.”

JORGE MARTIN: “For sure it’s one of the best race tracks for me and normally I’m quite competitive. We never know but for sure I will be fighting for top spots. It’ll be an interesting weekend, trying to get back to the podium positions because the last two weekends for me were, I feel like Saturdays were complicated, so I hope we improve Saturdays to be more ready on Sunday.”

What is it about the Red Bull Ring that plays to your strengths?
“Stop and go corners are really good to me but also the third sector I’m quite competitive. It just feels like everything comes easier here. Last year I was struggling with the bike but I could fight with Jack for the podium position even if my race was difficult so I feel like this weekend will be a bit better.”

Big weekend needed?
“It’s not just one weekend but it’s a lot of weekends for the rest of the season. There’s still a long way to go, I feel competitive. There’s not been a track where I’ve been slow, this is important, and hopefully I can keep this consistency for the season and hopefully here I can fight for the victory.

What’s your favourite battle here?
“Yeah mine was 2021 also because I remember going into the final corner… I thought everyone had stopped and I thought I was still second. Then I saw my pit board and I was 11th going onto the last lap, then I finished on the podium. The last lap was like playing bowling!”

Do you feel more pressure here?
BRAD BINDER: “Well, I mean, I think it’s the closest thing I’m going to have for a home Grand Prix for a while. For me it’s important always to have a strong weekend at home, so obviously with this weekend being a home GP for Red Bull and KTM of course, it’s an amazing feeling to win here. I’ve done it in GP once and in Moto2 before and yeah, I really enjoyed it and there’s no better place to get the result right. So yeah, I’m going into the weekend with a lot of confidence. I feel like my bike’s been working exceptionally well lately, my team has done an incredible job, and yeah, I’m ready to give it a send and see how this weekend pans out.”

Could this be your weekend to get the Sunday win?
“Yeah, it’s about time I get another one right. It’s been cool to win two Sprints, but yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve won on the Sunday. I feel like many times this year we’ve been fighting for the podium, even if I’ve made small mistakes, made a lot of them, and thrown away a few. I think we just need to put some small things together. We’re not far, but yeah, with those small tweaks, I think on the right day we can definitely be in for a shot at giving it a good go.”

On KTM’s evolution:
“Yeah, I’m extremely proud to have raced for almost 10 years now for such an incredible manufacturer. To see the effort that they’ve put into this MotoGP project and the changes that they are making, and how big the whole thing has become over the years is incredible. To be a part of this whole story has been amazing. It’s awesome to see, it gives me a lot of extra motivation to try and get the job right. I think with all the massive effort that they’ve put in, they really deserve good results. We’re short of a win, so we better get it right sooner rather than later.”

ALEIX ESPARGARO: “We know we have an important challenge ahead of us this weekend because this track is quite difficult, not just for Aprilia but for my riding style. I will try my best to try and keep the momentum, as you mentioned not just for the victory at Silverstone but for the podium and the consistency in the last rounds. Important to see how we’ve improved from last season at a difficult track.”

Why have you found it difficult here?
“The Aprilia and my riding style, I pretty much created this bike. What Aprilia want is to ride on the apex, to be fast mid-corner and fast in long corners, tracks like Qatar, Argentina and Silverstone, but the stop-and-go is difficult for us. We’re struggling a little bit to stop the bike and also we are looking for better traction and more torque. It’s a good place to see how much we’ve improved the 2023 bike. As we saw in America we were a lot more competitive than in the past so I’m really positive sincerely.”

New parts?
“Yeah at Silverstone they brought me some new parts in terms of aero and cooling system in the fairing and it was quite good actually, the bike turned a bit better and it was more agile, we have some new updates as well here so hopefully we can test it tomorrow morning.”


MARCO BEZZECCHI: “In Silverstone as you said on Sunday I unfortunately made a mistake which made me crash. It was a shame, but the speed was there and my confidence on the bike was good. So overall I cannot say that was not a positive weekend, so I can’t wait to jump on the bike again. This is a track that I really like and I hope the weather will be good. I just can’t wait.”

What do you like about the track?
“Well, it’s a particular track. It looks easy from the outside but is not because of the different banking on the track and the very hard braking. I like hard braking with the MotoGP bike and also for our bike, it’s a strong strong point where the Ducati can work very well, so overall because of this I like this track.”

Future discussions…
“Well, as you already know my plan A would be to stay in the Mooney VR46 team. The Academy and my management is trying to work to find the best solution for me. I think in Barcelona I can give you a precise answer on the decision that I will take.”

How good is it to already have the contract signed?
ALEX MARQUEZ: “Very happy to announce officially the announcement, super happy to continue in the Gresini family next season. I felt at home from the first day in Valencia and the relationship with the team is fantastic, so it was my objective. Always the first year with a new team and bike I struggle a bit more but with this bike and this team I felt at home. So what’s better than to continue together and be more competitive in 2024, make better results and be more consistent!”

How much you looking forward to the Red Bull Ring?
“When you arrive in Austria you see the straights short… but when you arrive with another bike you see long ones. Last year I was happy with the chicane, but this year I’d prefer to go straight. Apart from jokes I’m looking forward to being competitive, I have a bad feeling inside from Silverstone’s technical problem, I think it was a great opportunity to have another great result. But it’s like this, this is racing, and we need to look forward and try to make a good result here in Austria.”

Targets to find more consistency?
“Yeah if we speak about my mistakes, I did just two: Jerez Sprint and also in the race at Mugello. The others were just racing and racing incidents, so yeah for sure I want to be more consistent in the top five, try to be from this point more in the top five with good speed, learn from the top guys in Ducati and next year make another step. This is the objective for this season, for sure if we have the opportunity to be on the podium or fight for a win again we will try, but we need to have in our head to be more consistent in the top five.”

MARC MARQUEZ: “Austria is one of the circuits where I’ve never won in the past. I don’t think this will be the year to win at this circuit. But yeah, we’ll try to approach it with a low profile. We’ll just try to understand our level on Friday and from that point understand if we can improve during the weekend.”

You’re testing almost as much as racing…
“Of course it’s a difficult approach, but it’s easy to understand. When I try to analyse the first half of the season, I broke three bones and I tore a ligament. So it’s easy to understand that you must to change your approach on the races. The only change we made at Silverstone was to try was trying to forget about the result and just focus on finding the limits of our package and that’s what I did. Of course, at some points in the weekend, like in the FP2, Qualiyfing and the races you are taking risks. My target is Silverstone was to finish the weekend without any crashes and I was able to do it. Unfortunately, in a race incident, I crashed on Sunday but the most important thing is that I revealed the confidence at the Silverstone Grand Prix. And yeah we will see, of course we’re working. I’m working on myself. Honda is working, as you’ll see tomorrow we will be trying a new aero package. So yeah, let’s see if step by step we can improve tenth by tenth.”

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