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MotoGP™ riders concerned about wet conditions ahead of Austrian GP

Friday, 14 August 2020

The Red Bull Ring looks set for wet conditions.

MotoGP™ riders revealed their concern about the prospect of a wet race at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, with Cal Crutchlow, Johann Zarco and Valentino Rossi among those to highlight the forecast.

The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg will be the stage for the next two MotoGP™ races, first for the Austrian GP and then the Styrian GP the following weekend.

While the track has not regularly seen wet riding since it returned to the schedule in 2016, the Styrian Formula 1® GP earlier this year saw rainy conditions in qualifying and a Moto2™ event in 2017 had several issues due to surface water.

The Red Bull Ring is thought to be less inhospitable now, though riders remain anxious heading into the weekend.

Crutchlow said: "I don't like riding here in the rain, honestly. It seems over the last couple years I didn't like riding anywhere in the rain, but I mean this one is like ice, honestly it's like ice and it's not as if there's a lot of run-off.

"Yeah, we're all pretty concerned about that. Especially when I was here on Tuesday afternoon and it rained for a couple of hours and the water that was on the track was just ankle deep.

"I watched a van go round actually, the spray that was going off it was incredible. So, I think we have to be sensible, look at the situation and see from there."

Zarco, of Avintia, is similarly concerned but expecting organisers to implement common sense with regards to the conditions.

"I think with less rubber [from F1® tyres on the track] and different conditions we can be safe," he added.

"And overall, if it's very heavy rain just before practice, the practice I guess will be a little bit delayed, just wait for the rain to calm.

"We can ride on wet but not full rain. The Race Direction will wait always a little bit."

Yamaha's Rossi is looking to battle for a podium after breaking into the top five in each of the past two races, though he accepts the Red Bull Ring is not a good track for his setup and believes the weather could be crucial.

"On paper, this track is not good for the [Yamaha] M1 because I think the top speed is not a strong point for us, but like in 2019, the bike was good to ride and we had a good race," he said.

"The forecast will be very important because it looks like from the morning to the afternoon it is not clear, so we need to be strong for rainy conditions."