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“We’ve seen all manufacturers can win”: riders ready to race at the Red Bull Ring

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“We’ve seen all manufacturers can win”: riders ready to race at the Red Bull Ring

“We’ve seen all manufacturers can win”: riders ready to race at the Red Bull Ring
“We’ve seen all manufacturers can win”: riders ready to race at the Red Bull RingQuartararo is joined by Aleix Espargaro, Bagnaia, Viñales and Binder as the paddock returns to Austria

The hills are alive with the sound of everyone happy to be back in action once again, and this time at the stunning Red Bull Ring. Ahead of track action at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich there was plenty on the agenda, with the pre-event Press Conference gathering reigning Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), closest challengers Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), back-to-back podium finisher Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) and KTM rep Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), last year’s winner at the venue.

Here are some quotes!

Is the new track layout a good compromise for safety and will it change the race?
“I’ve not seen it for real but for sure I think our bike it’s not going to be a bad thing to cut some speed of the other bikes, but if you don’t lose the front going into it on the right it will be much better for the safety and then for the performance of our bike I think it will be better.”

On paper this track isn’t suited to Yamaha, 3rd in ’19 and ’21, how do you feel?
“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.”

Do you feel like there’s any more to come or are you and the bike at the potential?
“Of course I’m pushing Yamaha to bring something, but there is nothing more extra. As a rider I’m learning a lot, I think since the beginning of the season until now I’ve made a massive step and I think I can continue making steps between now and the end of the Championship.”

“we’ve Seen All Manufacturers Can Win”: Riders Ready To Race At The Red Bull RingALEIX ESPARGARO
Is the new track layout a good compromise for safety and will it change the race?
“Yesterday, I did some laps with the bicycle, and today as well; it looks good, they did a good job there. In terms of the left wall, it looks a little bit closer, so I can’t really wait until tomorrow to try it with the bike and see how it works. I think, in terms of pure safety, it’s much better than the previous corner, and in terms of speed performance for us, I think it’s also interesting. The bike is quite good, quite agile on the chicane, so I think it’s going to be positive.”

How are you physically after fracturing the heel at Silverstone?
“I feel good, I feel good. During these last 10 days, I recovered quite a lot. When I walk, it still hurts quite a little bit, but luckily I don’t have to walk; I have a bike to ride, so I think it’s going to be okay. It was a shame, Silverstone, because at both Silverstone and Assen, I felt strong enough to fight for the victory and I didn’t finish on the podium in either race. So, I can’t wait to go out on-track tomorrow here in Austria and try to fight again on top.”

Austria has not been good for the Aprilia before, but how do you feel about this year?
“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.”

Is the new track layout a good compromise for safety and will it change the race?
“For me it’s ok because we have one more braking and one more acceleration so this is still ok for us. Like Aleix said that the wall on the left is a bit close and in wet conditions it’s too close but let’s try tomorrow.”

Is this the perfect time to come to Austria?
“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. 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.”

Do you think you can go on another great run like last year?
“I will try. First of all I will think about this race to gain points but sincerely we were lucky in the last two races because my main rivals had problems, so it will not always be like this. Gaining points like this is because I had luck in the last two races, sure the races in front are good but I want to think about my weekend and the sessions. In the moment Aleix is the closest one to Fabio so we have to think about that too.”

Is the new track layout a good compromise for safety and will it change the race?
“It looks good. I was able to check some data from our test team that had been here a couple of weeks ago, I think. It looks pretty cool; I think it adds a good element to the track, it makes it a bit more interesting, but definitely safer for all of us, for sure, and I think it’ll maybe make the racing a little bit closer.”

What was the feedback from the test team?
“All positives, I think; nothing too serious. Ninety percent of the track’s still the same. So, everything seemed quite good; I think the guys liked the chicane; it’s not too bad. Bit of an extra job for everybody, so let’s see.”

How much are you looking forward to what is a big weekend for Red Bull and for KTM?
“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. 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.”

What do you need to turn the top sixes into podiums?
“I think consistency has been our strong point this season, other than the last race, where I made a mistake with the tyre choice. It was the first time I think I was outside the top 10, or maybe one other race; I’m not too sure. It’s clear we’re missing the outright potential of our competitors, whereas you see many times in qualifying, we’re more than a second off, and in the race pace, it’s a couple of tenths maybe; two or three tenths. So, we’ve got work to do, for sure, but coming here, it gives me a lot of confidence, I bit of motivation, really, to try and do something great for KTM and Red Bull, and it’s an exciting weekend for all of us, and let’s see. I think it’s about time we pull something out of the bag and it’s time to get back on the podium.”

How was riding a MotoGP™ bike around Kyalami and how great would it be to go back there?
“It would really be amazing to have a MotoGP race back in South Africa. I think it’s overdue – it’s been many, many years – and we have the facility for it. It was amazing to ride the MotoGP™ bike at a track that’s 40 minutes from where I grew up, so it was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it. We need to make a couple of changes, I think, to the layout to be able to bring MotoGP back, but everything there’s more than possible, so I expect to see us back there soon.”

“we’ve Seen All Manufacturers Can Win”: Riders Ready To Race At The Red Bull RingMAVERICK VIÑALES
Is the new track layout a good compromise for safety and will it change the race?
“We had a look early in the morning and it seems good. Safety speaking for me it’s better and it’s interesting to see who’s more suitable and it’s nice, I particularly like chicanes so let’s see more on the bike and see how it feels.”

How do you feel heading into the weekend?
“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.”

What’s the journey been like over the last 12 months?
“Well actually I battle a lot with myself, I wake up every morning working very hard. It hasn’t been easy because as you know I worked from the back of the pack in MotoGP and it’s become good days, and the best is yet to come. I feel very calm, we are doing good things on the track and also on the bike and I’m really happy to make it work with Aprilia, I’m happy Aleix is fighting for the title and I want Aprilia to clinch the title and I’m going to help them as much as possible. The way I can help is to be at the front, trying to win races and trying to be at my maximum potential.”

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