Austrian GP Preview 2022: Quartararo under pressure from Espargaró and Bagnaia  

Two weeks after the English round, Formula One is back in action this weekend (August 19-21) at the Red Bull Ring Circuit for the Austrian MotoGP 2022 and thirteenth appointment on the calendar. 

Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) will continue to defend his diminished lead following his serious mistake in the Netherlands and an eighth place in the UK.

The Frenchman is now just 22 points ahead of Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia), who was ninth in Great Britain despite his injury. ‘El Diablo’ must start giving the best of himself if he wants to bring the situation under control again. 

The Catalan pilot cannot afford any more mistakes either. After crashing during Free Practice 4 at Silverstone he was not able to perform at his best, although he managed to save the day considering the situation.

In any case, Espargaró cannot give any more ground to the #20 if he wants to remain in the title race. The Spaniard’s performance is in marked decline since his resounding mistake in Montmeló with no more podiums ever since. We still don’t know how his latest injury has evolved after a week of rest. 

Both title contenders need to get back on track after their disappointing performances of the last two races. The Red Bul Circuit will add an extra challenge for both. ‘El Diablo’ could only manage a seventh place last time around in Spielberg, three places above his Catalan rival.

A ‘new’ threat called Bagnaia 

The Styrian racetrack, with its long straights and top speed, is considered Ducati territory. In 2021, the official Desmosedici of Pecco Bagnaia and the satellite bike of Jorge Martín (Pramac) finished second and third, respectively, behind a surprising KTM driven by Brad Binder. 

The red team and its Italian driver, by the way, are expected to stir things up this weekend. With the impulse of his second consecutive victory, fourth of the season after Spain, ItalyHolland & in Great Britain, the Milanese will face the Austrian MotoGP 2022 in great spirits.

He has now re-joined the title race after rising from sixth to third place in the standings. He is currently 27 points below Aleix Espargaró, second, and 49 away from leader Quartararo. Bagnaia just needs to continue on attack mode and slowly close the gap during the eight ‘finals’ that remain in the season.

 

Viñales & Miller might join the victory race in Styria 

Besides the leading trio, the other Aprilia rider is also gathering a lot of attention. Maverick Viñales’ progression is breathtaking with two consecutive podiums in the Netherlands (third) and England (second).

The reborn Catalan pilot dreams of his first victory with the Noale team, which could come this Sunday to coincide with his 200th MotoGP race. In addition to this, his teamwork with friend Aleix to defeat Quartararo could be decisive. 

On top of this, Jack Miller (Ducati), highly motivated after finishing third at Silverstone, Jorge Martín (Pramac Racing), who already knows what it’s like to win at Spielberg, or Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) could join the ‘big four’ in the victory race.

Whatever happens, all of them will have to adapt to the new chicane that extends the length of the track by 30 meters (between turn 1 & 3), making this dangerous section safer. 

Marc Márquez is back… in the paddock 

One of the protagonists of the Austrian MotoGP 2022 will not set foot on the Styrian asphalt. Marc Márquez (Repsol-Honda) will be present in the paddock from Friday while he continues to heal from his injured right arm. The news has raised fans’ expectations, who long for the return of the star to the World Championship. 

Images of Austrian MotoGP 2022: DAZN.

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