Austria's Red Bull Ring Yamaha's worst MotoGP track of year - Rossi

Valentino Rossi says this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix will be the hardest of the MotoGP season for Yamaha, owing to the circuit's layout

Austria's Red Bull Ring Yamaha's worst MotoGP track of year - Rossi

Rossi was only 11th fastest in Friday's first practice session at the Red Bull Ring, a second off the pace set by Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, after having to change bikes early on due to a broken sprocket.

A rain-affected second session left Rossi in the same position overall at the end of Friday, meaning he faces having to go through Q1 if Saturday morning's third practice session is also affected by inclement weather.

The Italian said the combination of slow corners and long straights at the Austrian track means Yamaha - which has gone 22 races without a win in MotoGP - is in for another difficult weekend.

"For me, it's the worst configuration when you have to start from the slow hairpins, first or second gear, and after you have a long straight," Rossi said. "It's where we suffer more.

"The layout of this track is the worst one for us.

"Our bike has a better corner speed, so on a track like Brno or Mugello, you can push from this point of view. But in Austria it's more difficult because we don't have many of this [type of] corner.

"We have to work in all areas - also on braking. [It] looks like the gap to the top is bigger, and we are suffering."

Rossi added Yamaha's habitual acceleration problems were even more pronounced in the wet, after he finished 2.3 seconds off the pace in FP2.

"Our problem in acceleration with the electronics system in the wet becomes bigger," he said, "because the amount of [available] grip is a lot less.

"The gap between us and the top guys becomes very big."

Rossi's factory team-mate Maverick Vinales, who was 10th in FP1, offered a similar assessment of Yamaha's situation in Austria.

"The acceleration still remains a big problem, and on this track we have to suffer," said Vinales. "We don't have any chance.

"The bike is not working, but it's not in our hands right now."

Rossi is currently second in the standings, 48 points behind Marc Marquez, but is resigned to losing ground to the Ducatis of Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo in Austria.

"Except Argentina [when Rossi was taken out by Marc Marquez], in all the other races I've finished in the top five," said Rossi.

"Even if I haven't won, I've managed to get on the podium may times and I've not thrown away points.

"I'm ahead of the Ducatis, also because they have made some errors, but it will be very difficult to keep second place in the championship - especially from Dovizioso but also from Lorenzo.

"It will be very important to score points on Sunday even if they are ahead."

shares
comments
KTM: Finding Pol Espargaro injury stand-in for Silverstone is tough

Previous article

KTM: Finding Pol Espargaro injury stand-in for Silverstone is tough

Next article

MotoGP Austria: Marquez dominates damp FP3, Rossi to contest Q1

MotoGP Austria: Marquez dominates damp FP3, Rossi to contest Q1
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Oriol Puigdemont
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021