Francesco Bagnaia comes into the weekend looking for a hat-trick of wins, while championship leader Fabio Quartararo will be looking for something special on a track where Yamaha has struggled in the past. 

With eventful races set to take place across the weekend, here’s some of the stories to look out for ahead of the Austrian GP.

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Viñales back to face his demons 

After a season and a half of finding himself on new machinery at Aprilia, the hard work of Maverick Viñales is finally coming to fruition. Running fourth before a mechanical failure in Sachsenring, Viñales kept his head down and rode two stellar rides at the following races Assen and Silverstone to pick up his first podiums with the Italian outfit. Arguably having the pace to have won in Silverstone, Viñales will be looking to go one better this weekend. Returning to the place where he was fired by Yamaha one year ago, if Viñales can break his duck and win for the first time on the Aprilia, it will certainly be a story for the ages. 

More Ducati dominance?

It’s hard to look past Ducati when it comes to favourites for the race on Sunday, after all a third of the 2022 grid is made of Desmosedici packages, but recent history is also on their side. Since the Austrian Grand Prix returned in 2016, a Ducati has won all but one of the races, and with the factory team taking a double podium last time out, they come into the weekend as odds-on favourites. While the others will aim to launch a challenge, all the statistics are written in the favour of the Italian manufacturer, who will hope to achieve their third win in a row at Spielberg this weekend.

Four-peat for Fernandez? 

Augusto Fernandez is a man in form right now. Three wins in a row have brought him to Austria leading the Moto2 championship, and his consistency throughout the season have been the key to his success. Heading to a track where he achieved a double podium last season, and where his KTM Ajo team won last time out, the odds are in Fernandez’s favour to extend his lead. Being chased by the likes of Ai Ogura, Celestino Vietti and Aron Canet, who all have good form around the Spielberg circuit, will Fernandez be able to handle the pressure of being the championship leader and win for the fourth time in a row?

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Can Aspar bounce back?

The last round of the Moto3 championship was horrendous for the Aspar team, as both Sergio Garcia and Izan Guevara were wiped out of contention for victory in separate crashes in Silverstone. With the pair currently running first and second in the championship, they will be looking to recover quickly from the disappointment last time out, as the gap between the GasGas pair and Leopard’s Dennis Foggia has closed ever so slightly. Given the Red Bull Ring has been a strong track for all three aforementioned riders in the past, they will be hoping to recreate this form as the race for the Moto3 championship heats up. 

A brand new layout

After a few years of complaints, there has finally been adjustments made to the Red Bull Ring ahead of this weekend’s races. Following a few scary incidents over the last few years at Turn 3 - including *that* incident from 2020 -  the race organisers have decided to install a new chicane in a bid to make the approach to the corner safer. With KTM rider and former Austrian GP winner Miguel Oliveira praising the new design, it seems that most of the riders are satisfied with the adjustments, as the chicane aims to make the approach to the infamous corner a lot slower, it will hopefully mean that we see less incident-prone races this Sunday.