The long summer break has drawn to a close and racing action is set to resume with round 10 of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.
As in 2020, the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, will host two races after revisions to the 2021 calendar. The Michelin Grand Prix of Styria will see racing resume after a five-week hiatus for the mid-season break and the entirety of the Repsol Honda Team are ready to get back out on track. Red Bull Ring’s 4.3-kilometre layout has seen some titanic battles since 2016 and both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro are working to be in the mix once again.
2021 will see Marquez return to the Austrian track for the first time since 2019 after missing the double-header there in 2020. The Red Bull Ring stands as just one of two circuits on the current calendar where Marquez has not won at, finishing second on three occasions from 2017 to 2019. A five-week break has allowed Marquez to continue focusing on his recovery as he works towards full fitness. Now incorporating more motorcycle-based training into his regime, Marquez is entering the second half of the year determined.
Pol Espargaro has bitter-sweet memories of the Austrian circuit from 2020 where he fought for victory until the final corner after starting on pole position. Although he was forced to ultimately settle for third, Espargaro clearly has pace around the Red Bull Ring. Like his Repsol Honda Team team-mate, Espargaro has spent much of the break training with multiple days on the Honda CBR 1000RR-R Fireblade SP to be prepared for the final half of the year.
The long-awaited return of MotoGP on track action will happen on Friday, August 06 at 09:55 Local Time as Free Practice 1 for the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria begins.
“I’ve enjoyed the summer break; I was able to relax with friends and family and enjoy it. It was good not just for the mind, but also for the body and I am feeling better and stronger. I’ve been able to increase my training, spending more time on bikes and even returning to riding motocross – which I am enjoying a lot! But we know the situation on track will still not be simple and we have to keep working and stay focused. I’m looking forward riding my Honda RC213V again and having full grandstands again will be incredible.”
“Let’s ride! It has been a long time away from the track and I am looking forward to returning to riding my Honda again. We’ve been training hard over the whole summer and I am fully prepared physically for the final end of the year. The Red Bull Ring is a unique circuit with a lot of hard braking and accelerating, I think it can suit us. It looks like we will have full grandstands for the first time in Austria, I am so excited to see all the fans and hopefully we can see more people at more circuits soon. We didn’t have the easiest start to the season, but it’s time to keep our focus and show the potential we know we have.”
- From Honda Racing Corporation