Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Skiing star completes a dream by switching his two skis for two wheels.
Eight-time overall FIS World Cup ski champion Marcel Hirscher switched two skis for two wheels to make his motorcycle debut at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
Riding a 300-brake horsepower KTM RC 16 factory machine, the slalom king mastered the machinery on tarmac rather than the snow surface he is most accustomed to. Here is all you need to know:
– For an athlete earning a living going fast, unsurprisingly Hirscher was pretty adept at getting up to speed quickly on the Moto2 machine, and then the RC16.
– He was put through his paces by former world championship racer turned instructor Gustl Auinger, who talked about the complexities of the powerful machinery at the Austrian’s disposal.
– Hirscher is an accomplished enduro rider, pursuing that passion in the off-season. But the idea that gave him a head start for his Red Bull Ring ride was dispelled by his instructor. Auinger said: “These are two completely different worlds. Marcel has never made a turn with his knee on the asphalt. No one can just sit on a MotoGP bike and ride a bit.”
– As for how good Hirscher was on the bike, he added: “He is gifted, ambitious and very intelligent. That’s a good mix. The most important thing is mutual trust and the knowledge that you can rely on each other.”
– For Hirscher, the ride out was the realisation of a long dream. He added: “Others have the desire to sit in a Formula 1 car but, for me, that was definitely MotoGP. I am one of the few on the planet who are allowed to ride such a motorcycle.”
– The Austrian, who has won a record eight overall World Cup titles since 2012, was given the bike of Johann Zarco and admitted the pair were looking into a sporting swap in the winter months. Zarco said: “We talked about showing me skiing. I think I’m better at skiing than he is on the bike but we’ll have to find out next winter! We’re looking forward to the result.”