More of the same coming up. The weather is going to play havoc with a few people’s plans, especially tomorrow. None of this alters the fact that Ducati are favourites to again dominate proceedings; the Austrian circuit plays directly to their strengths and to the weaknesses of the Hondas. Last year, Jorge Lorenzo was only three seconds away from them on a Yamaha. This year he’s got a Ducati and the new fairing. He is now saying that the extra downforce at the front end is worth half a second a lap. Remember that he led the first three laps last weekend, on exactly the sort of patchy half-wet track that’s been spooking him for the last four years, and but for the ten seconds plus he lost at the bike change would have been well in the top ten. That would have been some sort of decent result for Jorge in a flag-to-flag race.
The only thing that could mess his race up this weekend surely is a bad qualifying position, as at Le Mans, another track where Ducati historically does well. Thankfully, from Jorge’s viewpoint, only tomorrow looks as if it’s going to be wet, although fully wet as opposed to patchy has never scared him.
Talking of scary things, the RedBull Ring hasn’t been altered since last year so there are still a couple e of corners that the riders don’t like. There will undoubtedly be more on that after the Safety Commission meets on Friday. As they will also be discussing the bike-change procedure for flag-to-flag races, it could be a long session.