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Red Bull Ring Cements Status as Fastest MotoGP Circuit; Ducati Dominates Free Practice

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In advance of Sunday’s race, in Austria, the new Red Bull Ring circuit has eclipsed Australia’s Philip Island as the fastest race track visited by the MotoGP series. Averaging 115.6 mph during Thursday practice, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso eclipsed the fastest single-lap average at Philip Island by more than 2 mph. This gap will only grow during the weekend.

Dovizioso and his Factory Ducati teammate Andrea Iannone finished 1/2 on the time sheets as free practice ended on Friday. This indicates Ducati may be on track for its first MotoGP victory in quite some time, although the new circuit presents some unknown factors to the racers and their teams.

A few of the riders anticipate tire wear could dramatically slow some of the bikes in the latter stages of Sunday’s race.  Michelin has brought some new rear tires following recent testing at the circuit, so tire life is a bit of an unknown.

Safety is also a concern. In the opinion of some riders, there is inadequate runoff room on some of the corners, even after Turn 10 was modified for this weekend’s activities. The exit to turn 8 is particularly worrisome to Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.

Stay tuned for further coverage of the Austrian MotoGP round here on MD.


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6 Comments

  1. Gutterslob says:

    My prediction for Sunday; Ducatis fill the first row – two factory and one satellite. On the start, Iannone pushes too hard, goes down, and takes the other two Ducs out with him.

  2. BIG BELLY says:

    WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU AVERAGED 115 MPH ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE ALL DAY LONG?
    I CAN’T IMAGINE IT WOULD BE BORING.

  3. Mick says:

    For all the places that I have ridden and raced, a fast venue means somewhat boring racing/riding and favors equipment over skill. I have no idea how fastest circuit could ever sound like a good thing.

    But that’s just me. Your results may vary.

    Just so you know. I’ve been on Ducati street bikes for almost 25 years.

    • Gutterslob says:

      It’s not whether a circuit is fast or slow, but the nature of the layout. Phillip Island and Mugello are both fast circuits, and the last races there were absolute belters. Neither are power circuits either (barring Mugello’s straight, which doesn’t mean a whole lot considering how much ground riders can make up ground on the breaks into Turn 1). Phillip Island in particular is more a test of testicular fortitude than bike aptitude.

      • Mick says:

        A fast track can make a good race to watch. But I can’t watch a race on a venue that I wouldn’t want to race on myself.

        So a track the emphasizes sheer speed, long waits between corners, or risk taking isn’t likely to appeal to me. I’m sure that there are guys who like tracks like that. But I don’t. So I can’t imagine anyone like me really having a good time racing on that track. And so I can’t relate.

        Your results may vary. I don’t have a problem with that.

  4. Neil says:

    Glad to see the Ducs up at the front. Beautiful place. I lived in Germany for a year and the hills and small mtns like this are spectacular. Looks like a great track. Typical mountain cooler weather. Maybe some rain which will make it interesting for sure. Great place for the teams to visit and race.