With the not unexpected yet still seismic news of Valentino Rossi’s retirement from grand prix motorcycle racing at the end of the season, the legend’s farewell tour on the MotoGP circuit now commences.
Whilst one old boy announces he’s on the way out, two have come back for more: Dani Pedrosa makes his first of three wildcard appearances for KTM, 995 days after his last race, as he looks to contextualise new parts developed for the Austrian team in a race situation. Britain’s most successful grand prix motorcycle rider since Barry Sheene, Cal Crutchlow, will also be coming out of retirement to take on his first of three substitute appearances for Yamaha SRT, deputising for Franco Morbidelli who is recovering from knee surgery.
The Frenchman last year described the Suzuki GSX-RR of now-reigning champion Joan Mir and Alex Rins as the “perfect” bike for the Red Bull Ring, and it appears potent again this year – its riders were second and fourth respectively on the timing sheet in FP1 today.
Miguel Oliveira won for Mattighofen brand KTM at its home race last year, but crashed out in Free Practice One this morning. A resultant injured wrist meant he had to abandon running in FP2.
How to watch on TV
Every MotoGP session throughout the weekend is broadcast live by BT Sport on the BT Sport 2 channel.
Coverage begins considerably in advance of each session. The broadcast for Saturday starts at 8am (with FP3 at 9:55) and ends after qualifying at 16:15, whilst Sunday begins warm-ups at 7:30am with the warm-ups and finishes at 15:00.
How to watch online
You can stream MotoGP online via the BT Sport app on all compatible devices. For those not using BT, you can watch using the MotoGP Video Pass, which gives access to every live session throughout the weekend. This is available through both the MotoGP website and app.
2021 MotoGP Grand Prix of Styria session start times
(All times BST)
FP3: 8:55 – 9:40
FP4: 12:30 – 13:00
Q1: 13:10 – 13:25
Q2: 13:35 – 13:50
Warm-up: 8:40 – 9:00