Petronas Yamaha SRT will be hitting up Austria with Rossi and Crutchlow
The Red Bull Ring of Spielberg, Austria will be seeing some very interesting MotoGP action over the next two weeks as MotoGP resumes its second half of the season after the long summer break. Petronas Yamaha SRT, in particular, is ready to ramp up its efforts to gain valuable points from its two riders, Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli's substitute, Cal Crutchlow.
Both riders will be facing an uphill challenge for the Styrian GP as the Red Bull Ring is the only place where Valentino Rossi has not been on the podium while Crutchlow has been away from active racing following his retirement at the end of the 2020 season. The 35-year-old Brit took the role as the official test rider for Yamaha, hence the proper replacement for Morbidelli in the next three rounds.
According to Valentino Rossi, "The summer break has been good. I was able to relax and spend some time away with my people, before heading back home for some training on the bikes. It will be nice to be racing again this weekend, but to be honest I’m not sure it is the best track for us. We know the areas where our bike is strong, but there are also areas that we need to improve and I think the Austrian track might not play to our strengths. It is in a very beautiful place though, with a lot of green around it so although it is a difficult track, it is a nice place to be. We will need to try to find the best balance for these next two races, as they are both at Spielberg, and aim to achieve the maximum that is possible for us."
As for Cal Crutchlow, he commented "I'm really looking forward to being back on the grid and getting into the swing of a race weekend again, although it’s going to feel very different to the job that I’ve been doing this year as Yamaha’s test rider. The circuit at Spielberg isn’t one that I’ve enjoyed too much in the past, however I did finish fourth in 2018 and that was a good result. It’s not a fast and flowing circuit, it’s somewhere where you need to be quick and very precise. I don’t have a target as such when it comes to results, my main aim will just be to try to improve session by session. I’ll be working with Ramon Forcada, who knows the Yamaha bike very well. I think it will be good as Ramon was with Yamaha when I was. I’m sure it will go well; I just want to make sure that I do a good job for the team."