On the face of it, Austria’s picturesque Red Bull Ring is MotoGP’s simplest circuit to get right. With just ten turns and an uncomplicated layout, three long straights are punctuated by slow, low gear corners, giving bikes with high top speed and strong braking stability a clear advantage over those dependent on maximising corner speed.
But the Red Bull Ring presents a unique challenge. First of all, it’s the fastest track on the calendar in terms of average speed: the lap record stands in at 1m 23.827s, over 4.3 kilometres an average speed of 183.2kph, some four faster than Phillip Island, the next quickest layout. Riders are believed to be using full throttle for 39% of the lap, ten more than the second most ‘gas-happy’ circuit.
While hairy in places, the layout provides a unique challenge. Australian Jack Miller said of the venue after his first experience there: “I had a sore jaw after the test because I was gritting my teeth the whole way around!”
Here there is no room for error. The heavy braking zones entering turns one, three and four demand total precision. Fail to nail the braking marker and it’s easy to go off line and lose crucial time that is close to impossible to recover.
It all starts with the fast plunge uphill toward Turn One where riders go from sixth to second gear in the blinking of an eye. Squaring the corner off is a must to ensure the gamer gets the best drive possible up the sizeable hill that leads to Turn Three. One of the slowest turns on the entire calendar, it’s best attacked from the left of the track before going all the way from sixth to first gear.
A similar pupil-dilating plunge toward Turn Four follows. Approached downhill, remember to hit your braking marker perfectly before downshifting from sixth to second gear and trail brake toward the inside apex.
The long Turn Five will test the player’s throttle control as they rise through the gears before the daunting Turn Six. The first left corner on the track needs to be given the required care to ensure that cool left side of the front tyre isn’t pushed with too much force.
Turns Six and Seven provide an opportunity to test the gamer’s cornering ability before the fast switch to Turn Eight, which needs to be perfected in order to set up an overtaking opportunity on the short stretch that leads to the downhill Turn Nine.
The 90 degree right should be taken in second gear with an emphasis on corner exit in order to tackle the slow Turn Ten with the sufficient aggression. As Dovizioso demonstrated in this year’s thrilling MotoGP contest, the perfect manoeuvre can be completed if executed to perfection. Be sure not to brake too late as the track limits on the corner exit must be observed before the high-speed run to the finish line.
2019 MotoGP™ eSport Championship finalists will enjoy the favourable weather conditions and take the plunge to claim the third eSport crown.
Stay tuned! On Friday at 19.30 (GMT+1) a 1 hour 30 minute show will be broadcasted live worldwide across MotoGP™ eSport Channels (Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) plus motogp.com and key MotoGP™ Broadcasters.