News 12 Aug 2010

MotoGP: Riders take to the streets before Czech Grand Prix

The streets of Vienna were humming with the sound of MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc bikes on Wednesday as riders from all three categories delighted fans with a display of their machines in the Austrian capital, in an official pre-event ahead of this weekend’s Cardion ab Grand Prix České republiky, organised by Austrian national broadcasters ATV.

Parading their machines from the 125cc category were championship leader Marc Márquez along with Bradley Smith and Randy Krummenacher, whilst Moto2 was represented by Toni Elías, Thomas Lüthi and Karel Abraham. MotoGP stars present on their prototypes were Ben Spies, Mika Kallio and Alex de Angelis, as all nine rode down the famous Ringstrasse in the heart of Vienna.

Thousands of local fans enjoyed the demonstration rides and the interviews on stage with ATV presenters. There were then autograph sessions with the fans and a group photo of all riders in front of the Parliament – iconic venue of the city of Vienna.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Spies, who is currently seventh in the overall standings in his rookie season in MotoGP, talked about Brno, a track he has superbike experience on.

“I like Brno a lot and I think everyone does,” he said. “We have had good results for the last four or five races, and now we’ll just continue in that way and see how we go here.”

“We have to try and keep the top privateer spot, and if we can continue the progression and keep doing what we’re doing that will be good. We just have to remain consistent and carry it into next year.”

Fellow premier class rider Kallio explained that after some difficulties in the first half of the season he is now ready to have a positive second stint.

“Now I think it’s time to show what we can do,” said the Pramac Racing rider. “We were struggling at the start of the season but now I think we’re on a better course, the last race was better. My confidence is getting better and I think we have some good ideas where we need to go with settings. Now I hope everything is at a good level.”

Moto2 Championship frontrunner Elías was also in a good mood during the appearance.

“It’s very special with all the fans here, and there are so many of them,” the Spaniard said. “Now we go to race and I hope it will be a good one. We’re trying to do a good job, and we will try to win on Sunday.

“The aim is to finish the second half of the season like we did the first, which would be perfect. It will be difficult because the championship is long, but I think we are in a good situation.”

Currently topping the 125cc class and having won the last five races of the campaign before the summer break, Márquez was just as pleased to meet fans and is looking forward to more action.

“It’s great to be here at this event,” he said. “The vacations went well, and we will now see if we can continue in the same manner as we did before the summer break. The objective, starting from this race, is to go race by race and see if we can be on the podium.”

After the event the riders headed across the border to begin their final preparations for the first round since the short summer pause, with the action at the Cardion ab Grand Prix České republiky in Brno set to begin on Friday afternoon.