Satellite Ducati MotoGP
riders such as Eugene Laverty have an excellent chance of fighting for top non-factory honours in terms of pure pace this weekend in Austria.
The Red Bull Ring may only have a 626m main straight, but the lack of long corners mean it is characterised by a succession of hard acceleration and braking areas, which plays to the strengths of the Desmosedicis.
Aspar rider Laverty, who starts the second half of the season holding tenth in the world championship, said:
“I like the track, it suits our bike and it seems like it is made for the Ducatis. There are a lot of straights, hard acceleration points and hard braking zones, which are the strong points of our bike.
"The test there in July went quite well, we managed to set some consistent times and we worked on different aspects of the bike that we hadn't had chance to work on up to then, such as variations to the geometry and the front suspension.”
Team-mate Yonny Hernández was tenth quickest at the recent test
, two places ahead of Laverty. But both within half-a-second of the fastest satellite rider, Hector Barbera (also riding GP14.2 machinery), although main rivals Tech 3 Yamaha were absent.
“My first impressions of the track in Austria were good; it is small but it has some fun elevation changes and the Ducatis were fast in the July test so we are hoping for a good result there this weekend," Hernandez said.
"From our point of view in the test we had some problems with the rear tyres, which were wearing out quite quickly, so that is something we will need to work on this weekend.”