The MotoGP World Championship is finally back on after a five week holiday break. The return to the competition starts with a double appointment at the Red Bull Ring. First it will be the turn of the MotoGP Styrian GP 2021 this weekend (6-8 of August) followed by the Austrian GP a week later. The Championship thus returns with a full calendar of excitement and emotion.
Current leader after winning in Qatar 2
, Fabio Quartararo
will concentrate on maintaining his comfortable reign of the standings. After his fourth victory of the year in Holland before the summer break, ‘El Diablo’ arrives to his particular hell.
The Spielberg track is not the best suited for his M1. In 2020, he could only manage a tenth and eight place at the GPs of Styria and Austria, respectively. Quartararo will therefore face both appointments with the sole aim of minimising the damage.
Ducati: Favorites in their stronghold
Ducati, contrary to Yamaha, will be arriving in lucky territory. The long straights of the Red Bull Ring will play in their favor. Since the return of Austria to the World Championship circuit in 2016, in fact, the Italian machines remain undefeated, with five consecutive triumphs. The red bullets are thus the top favorites to take the win at the Styrian MotoGP 2021.
One of those Desmosedicies belongs to Johann Zarco, currently second in the pilots’ standings. The Pramac Racing rider currently treasures 122 points, 34 less than his compatriot Quartararo.
Bagnaia: To hold his ground
A place below in third is the official Ducati of Pecco Bagnaia. With a 46-point disadvantage with the lead, he is eager to shine in the friendly track, and above all, not be left behind in the fight for the crown.
His inconsistent teammate, Jack Miller, is also likely to play an important role in the race. The Australian is comfortable in Styria where he got second place in 2020 followed by a third place in Austria that same year; positions that he will attempt to improve on. The Aussie is currently fifth in the standings 56 points below Quartararo and so he should make the most of this opportunity.
SRT: Rossi retires announcement
Cal Crutchlow will be the new attraction of the private Yamaha team Petronas SRT. The Briton will be filling in for Franco Morbidelli for at least three weeks as the latter recovers from a knee surgery.
All eyes at the MotoGP Styrian GP 2021, however, will be on a different member of the Malayan squad, Valentino Rossi
, after his announcement this Thursday that he is set to retire from MotoGP at the end of the season.
KTM: To shine at home
The machines from Mattighofen will also be racing at home with their greatest asset, Miguel Oliveira, winner of the Styrian GP 2020. The Portuguese pilot has become one of the strongest contenders over the last four races with two second places in Italy and Germany and a victory in Catalonia.
With those credentials, Oliveira is also one of the big candidates to climb to the top of the podium this weekend. The orange team will also count on Dani Pedrosa on board the RC16 who is back competing in MotoGP after he retired in Valencia 2018.
Marc Márquez comes back stronger
Marc Márquez, winner in Germany
will compete at the only World Championship circuit (besides season debutant Portimao) where he has never had a win. Despite finishing second in Austria from 2017-2019
it seems unlikely that he will repeat the feat this time around.
Having made the most of the holiday break to make progress on his recovery, the Catalan champion has warned that he is coming back stronger.
Images of MotoGP Styrian GP 2021: MotoGP.
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