Last year's pair of (re-started) Red Bull Ring races were among the toughest of the season for Yamaha in terms of points scored.

Valentino Rossi was the best of the M1s in both outings when a fifth in race one, after the earlier massive accident involving Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco, was followed by a ninth the following weekend, when team-mate Maverick Vinales suffered brake failure.

Current world championship leader Fabio Quartararo (then at Petronas Yamaha) only managed eighth and 13th in those shortened races. But the Frenchman, who also struggled with braking issues throughout the events, is confident of a much stronger performance next weekend.

"To be honest, Austria is a track that last year was a disaster for us, but I think more because of all the problems that we had last year in the braking," said Quartararo, who holds a 34-point title lead after winning four of his opening nine races as a factory Monster Yamaha rider.

"For me, the bike has improved a lot in the braking area. Our holeshot device is also working better. The electronics… So I think Austria is not a bad track for us.

"I think it’s going to be okay. Of course, we miss the top speed, but in 2019 I was able to finish on the podium and Maverick and Vale finished 4th and 5th. So it’s not a bad track for Yamaha, just not the easiest one."

The full power and hard-braking zones that characterise the Austrian track have traditionally played into the hands of Ducati, which won five races in a row from 2016-2020.

Local manufacturer KTM ended that run when a thrilling final corner showdown was won by Miguel Oliveira in the second of last season's 'sprint' races and Quartararo feels labelling tracks as clearly suiting a certain manufacturer is now a thing of the past.

"I forget a bit about Yamaha tracks, Ducati tracks… Qatar and Mugello were 'Ducati tracks', but in Qatar two Yamahas won and in Mugello I was able to fight for the victory [and win]," he said.

"I think there is not so much anymore the Ducati track, the Yamaha track, the Suzuki track… I think everything is getting close and I think it’s quite nice."

Ducati riders Johann Zarco and Francesco Bagnaia are currently Quartararo's nearest rivals in the world championship.

MotoGP 2021 | Crash MotoGP Podcast Ep. 11 Pt 1 | 2021 MotoGP Calendar and Dani Pedrosa KTM Wildcard