Austrian Grand Prix: Friday roundup – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
After just being pipped to the post in FP1, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) hit back in the afternoon at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich as action ended in a shootout, coming out on top by two tenths to keep Ducati’s stranglehold on the venue. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was second quickest after a late lap, ahead of Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa as the number 26 impressed on Day 1.
FP1 was dry and topped by Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) by a few thousandths ahead of Dovizioso, after the Italian exceeded track limits on what had been his fastest lap. A shootout also ended that session as doubts about the weather circulated, with provisional qualification to Q2 at the forefront of everyone’s minds. But FP2, despite beginning with some damp patches, soon dried out – and the majority of the field made good use of the good conditions to improve their times.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was another threat for the top in the latter stages of FP2, and the French rookie ended Day 1 in fourth – very much in line for entry to Q2 should the bad weather return for FP3. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was another big hitter in the second session of the day, and the ‘Spartan’ completed the top five after taking four tenths off his morning’s best.
Hector Barbera was one who didn’t go faster in FP2, and the Spaniard is therefore seventh on the combined timesheets with his laptime from the first session – only 0.015 off Lorenzo. Behind him was reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who was seventh quickest on Day 1 and only a further 0.018 behind Barbera. Marquez also had a run off in FP2, but remained upright and got back on track.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) kept the incredibly tight timesheets taught in P8, just 0.019 off seventh, ahead of a solid first day for Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini). Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) completed the top ten, edging out Pull&Bear Aspar Team’s Alvaro Bautista.
P12 was another incredible performance from Pol Espargaro as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing take part in their first home Grand Prix, ahead of nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) – the biggest name who could be at risk of heading through Q1 should the weather set in on Saturday morning. Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) and Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) locked out the fastest fifteen.
FP3 is the last chance to go straight through to Q2 and gets underway at 9:55 (GMT +2), with qualifying underway from 14:10.
Moto2™ FP1 was interrupted by a dramatic downpour on Day 1 of the Austrian GP, but a fully dry FP2 gave the field one good session of time on track at least. In the final minutes, it was points leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) who hit the top, taking over from key title rival Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) by only 0.031 seconds. Another key frontrunner, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo), was third.
Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) was a crasher in FP2 – rider ok – but takes fourth overall from his best lap, ahead of an impressive performance from Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) to complete the top five. Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) was sixth on combined times and fastest rookie.
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was seventh quickest from his FP2 time, and the rider from Cervera made some headlines in FP1 after a crash in the wet session that saw his bike collect Dynavolt Intact GP replacement rider Danny Kent – both riders ok and Marquez quick to apologise. FP1 saw more than ten incidents in the tricky and drenched track conditions, with a host of riders sliding out at Turns 1 and 3 – two of the hardest braking points on the track – including Marquez and teammate Morbidelli.
Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) was another crasher in the morning but eighth by the end of action, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), who locked out the top ten.
Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) was P11, ahead of Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) in P12. The Swiss rider was also in the top three in the morning, ahead of the deluge. Luca Marini (Forward Racing) followed up his best ever result in Brno to begin the Austrian GP in thirteenth, ahead of Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) and Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), who crashed twice on Day 1.
Moto2™ qualify from 15:05 (GMT +2).
FP1 at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich was reigned by Joan Mir (Leopard Racing), and the combined timesheets told the same story by the and of action as FP2 was interrupted by rain. The Majorcan’s best from the morning was unthreatened, with Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) the closest challenger a few tenths back. Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) was third.
Canet was the master of the afternoon session as conditions changed from damp patches to drying and then back to rain, with Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) second in the tricky conditions and Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) taking third.
On the combined timesheets, Bastianini was P4 from his FP1 time, with Dutchman Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the top five. Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was sixth in a solid session for the Frenchman.
John McPhee (British Talent Team) opened his Austrian GP account with a good performance to go seventh, and also proved his pace in wetter conditions in the afternoon. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) took P8 on combined times, in close company with McPhee and only 0.002 off the Brit’s best.
Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) set the ninth fastest time overall, staying clear of Brno polesitter Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) by only 0.013 as the Argentinean completed the top ten. Rodrigo was also fifth fastest in the afternoon.
Livio Loi (Leopard Racing) was eleventh ahead of a solid time from Marco Bezzechhi (CIP), who in turn headed compatriot Tony Arbolino (SIC58 Squadra Corse). Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) was fourteenth as he comes back from a broken leg sustained at the German GP, and the Spaniard played it safe in the tricky conditions of FP2, not venturing out.
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) locked out the fastest fifteen, also showing great pace in the wettest conditions of FP2.
Moto3™ qualify on Saturday at 12:35 (GMT +2), with the race set for 11:00 on Sunday morning.