Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
After an exciting weekend in Great Britain, which saw Aleix Espargaro grab Aprilia's first win of the season, Grand Prix Motorcycle racing leaves the East Midlands of England for the Styrian hills of Austria, for the aptly-named Austrian Grand Prix.
Home to KTM and Red Bull, two powerhouses of European motorsport, the Austrian Grand Prix is a classic event hosted on a classic track: The Red Bull Ring.
Formerly the A1 Ring, the Red Bull Ring is one of the most prominent race tracks in the world. Its long straights leading into uphill braking zones, testing both man and machine, whilst its sharp turns provide plenty of opportunities to overtake. In 2022 a chicane was introduced between turns two and four, taking the total number of corners to 11, though the two corners making up the chicane are referred to as 2a and 2b.
The dominance of the Ducatis has been a major part of the discourse in MotoGP as of late, with no other manufacturers seemingly able to mount a consistent challenge. However, with the unpredictable nature of Motorsport, it would be unwise to discount the other European manufacturers on the grid.
Whilst European manufacturers seemed to have made a breakthrough, it is the opposite for their East Asian counterparts, who were at the helm of the sport for decades. Yamaha and Honda's woes seem to have no end in the immediate future, despite the brilliance of their riders, with three of the four factory bikes from Japan being fielded by premier-class world champions.
On the flip side, Ducati's Bagnaia has emerged as the runaway championship leader. The Italian leads Spaniard Jorge Martin by 41 points, an illustration of the lack of a consistent assault on the defending world champion's reign.
Whatever may come in Austria, Bagnaia will still remain world championship leader. Although, how comfortable his margin will be, is set to be determined amidst the Styrian hills.