Alex Hofmann: „It will be much harder for Ducati“

Who are the “Men to Watch” at the Red Bull Ring round of the MotoGP this weekend? ServusTV’s MotoGP pro Alex Hofmann shares his thoughts about who he thinks is going to win and which teams and riders are the favourites.

“My personal insider tip is Andrea Iannone.” Last year Alex Hofmann predicted the Austrian GP winner two days before, and it turned out he was right! It was a sensation, as Ducati had to wait exactly 100 races – or 2,128 days – to win again in the premier class. And this year? It’s going to be much, much closer! The world championship is tighter than ever before, races are harder to predict than ever before – as the first race after the summer break at Brno clearly showed. Alex Hofmann has examined the form guide for the motorsport highlight at the Spielberg Ring this weekend, here’s his detailed analysis:

Servus from Red Bull Ring,

Spielberg is, and will remain Ducati-Land. This track needs power and the terrific Desmosedici GP bike is right at home here. The double victory of Andrea Iannone Andrea Dovizioso in 2016 was no coincidence. The “Reds from Bologna” remain favorites, but it will be much harder for the Italian technical boss Luigi Dall’Igna this time around. The Winglets era is over and the new aerodynamic solutions are not working as efficiently as the old ones.

Jorge Lorenzo should seize the moment at the Red Bull Ring if he doesn’t want to end up as Andrea Dovizioso’s dogsbody this season, something that has already happened with the new Ducati fairing. Jorge had to test in Brno and now Andrea must decide if it is of use for him at the Austrian GP.

Marc Marquez is very dangerous in his current form. His bike seems to work perfectly; the world champion is feeling confident and – as he explained at Brno – can push the limit again. It’s time for his opponents to warm up – if Marc wasn’t at the limit in what we’ve seen so far. Team mate Dani Pedrosa is in good shape as well but inside the team it’s 70:30 that Marc will be in front of Dani in Austria.

The most balanced pairing at the moment for sure is inside the Yamaha garage. Valentino Rossi as well as Maverick Viñales should be on the winners list for the Austrian race. I personally believe the Red Bull Ring will suit Maverick’s riding style a bit more. But those two are so close in their performances that just very small things will be the deciding factor. For instance: who gets out of the right side of the bed?

Next point on the list: The weather. For now, it looks like it will be sunny but cooler in Styria. However, I believe this will not be an important factor, temperatures won’t change anything at this weekend’s event. It will be much more important that every rider uses each practice session at 100 per cent and doesn’t make any mistakes. The Red Bull Ring is a mixture of hard braking zones, hanging curves and high speed straights - a race track with a character that you have to get used to as a rider.

So, there is just one question remaining: Who is going to win? My tip for 2017 is again Andrea Dovizioso – but I am not as sure as I was in 2016!

Meet and hear you from Spielberg
Your Alex #66

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