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Aug 10, 2018

MotoGP: Marc Marquez Quickest In Wet FP2 At Red Bull Ring (Updated)

Marc Marquez (93).

Eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix Von Osterreich

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Spielberg, Austria

August 10, 2018

Free Practice Two Results (wet conditions, all on Michelin tires):

1. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:33.995

2. Scott Redding, UK (Aprilia), 1:34.538

3. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:34.981

4. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Ducati), 1:35.488

5. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:35.514

6. Bradley Smith, UK (KTM), 1:35.970

7. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:35.985

8. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:36.135

9. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:36.202

10. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:36.327

11. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Suzuki), 1:36.384

12. Xavier Simeon, Belgium (Ducati), 1:36.950

13. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Honda), 1:37.105

14. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 1:37.296

15. Johann Zarco, France (Yamaha), 1:37.361

16. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:37.552

17. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland (Honda), 1:37.772

18. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1:37.876

19. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (Yamaha), 1:38.072

20. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:38.174

21. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Ducati), 1:38.892

22. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:39.349

23. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda), 1:39.911



More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Decent first day in Spielberg for Monster Yamaha Tech3 Racing pair

Fresh off a very positive test, Johann Zarco initiated the Austrian Grand Prix today with huge enthusiasm and a fastest time of 1’24.767, which placed him well inside the provisional Q2 positions in P9. When the rain arrived in this afternoons’ second Free Practice the fast Frenchman was one of the first out on track trying the conditions and eventually finishing the day as the fastest Yamaha rider.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage Hafizh Syahrin got his first taste of a full wet session on board his Yamaha YZR-M1 in FP2, following the dry morning, where he was missing out on his team mate by just 0.827 seconds. From 9.55 local time on Saturday, the Malaysian rookie gets the chance to adapt further to the beautiful track surrounded by the Austrian mountains.

Johann Zarco

Position: 9th - Time: 1’24.767 - Laps: 36

“I’m disappointed about the first day. On the track this morning I enjoyed the circuit, but my feeling on the bike was not good. We lost quite a lot time, nine tenths behind the fastest is too much on a small track like this. I still believe in the work we are going to do this evening in order to really improve in the dry. Later with the rain, I was very careful because we don’t know this venue in the wet. Therefore, I did many laps to gain confidence and then we made a good improvement on the bike, but when I went out the rain was heavier, so I couldn’t improve my lap time. But I feel that in the rain we quite good.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 21st - Time: 1’25.594 - Laps: 35

“We had some changing weather today. This morning it was dry and I wanted to learn from FP1 to improve in the second session, but finally we found wet conditions, which was the first time for me in the full wet. I tried to understand lap by lap and we improved slightly. I just need some more time to get used to this. We didn’t change the setup on the bike and for sure we need to do a slight adaption on the front in order to feel better when it rains. Tomorrow I hope we have good weather and obviously, we want to try to improve our position.”




More, from a press release issued by Angel Nieto Team:

LITTLE TO TAKE FROM OPENING DAY IN AUSTRIA

Álvaro Bautista finishes the only dry session just a tenth off Q2 positions

Andrea Dovizioso headed up a Ducati trio at the top of the timesheets following the opening day of the Austrian Grand Prix today, continuing a strong tradition for the Italian factory at this track over the past two years. Dovizioso was the only rider capable of breaking the 1’24 barrier today, lifting him above teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Independent rider Danilo Petrucci on the same machinery as the factory pair. Heavy rainfall in the afternoon meant that lap times were around ten seconds slower in the second session, which was topped by Marc Márquez from Scott Redding.

There were few conclusions to be taken from the opening day’s action for the Ángel Nieto Team, with the second session ruined by the rain. Álvaro Bautista had lapped thirteenth fastest this morning, just a tenth of a second outside the top ten and a provisional place in Q2. The Spaniard was amongst the pacesetters throughout the session but was unable to match the improvements made by his rivals in the latter stages as he struggled with a front brake issue. Karel Abraham ended the day with a good feeling despite not being able to complete his work programme with his first bike this morning due to a technical problem. Even so the Czech rider was just 1.7 seconds off the top and 0.7 outside the top ten in 20th place.

12+1 Álvaro Bautista 1:24.938 (28 laps): “We’re close to the top ten. We were running up at the top from the start and we knew that this afternoon and tomorrow there was the chance of rain. We all tried for a lap time to secure a spot in Q2 but on my last lap I had an issue with the front brake – it was the same set I used at Brno and it seems it lost some performance. It wasn’t to be and we missed out on the top ten and Q2 if it rains tomorrow by a tenth of a second. If we get good conditions I feel good, although this tyre is a slightly harder construction and I don’t have the same feeling with it. Even so, the feeling is not bad with the medium tyre and in the dry I think we can match the level of the last few races. We only managed a few laps in the wet, I think it’s the first day it’s rained all season, and we have more work to do with the set-up. Anyway, the track wasn’t as slippery as we thought it would be, the grip wasn’t bad.”

20º Karel Abraham 1:25.541 (28 laps): “I really like the circuit, it is so nice apart from maybe one corner. This morning didn’t go badly, I pushed hard. We wanted to work with one bike, which had a new engine, but unfortunately because of a technical problem we had to use the other one. Just before the second session this afternoon it started to pour down and I didn’t think we would get out to ride but in the end we got half an hour in the wet. It was one of the first times we have ridden in the wet this season. The track surface wasn’t bad, although I was very cautious in a couple of sections. I improved gradually but the pressure in the front increased, I was having some problems with it and I had to stop. When I went back out it was raining a lot and I had some issues with aquaplaning. It is difficult to evaluate the results because we were all improving lap by lap and the order was constantly changing.”



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

GOOD START TO THE WEEKEND FOR APRILIA IN AUSTRIA

ALEIX FAST ON THE DRY, REDDING FLIES OVER THE WET

The MotoGP weekend in Austria got off on the right foot for the Aprilia camp. Aleix Espargaró stayed stably in the top ten during FP1, held on a dry track, and only a misunderstanding with Morbidelli, just in the final stages of the session, kept him from improving his time and going straight through to Q2, missing out on it by less than one tenth (69 thousandths, to be precise). In any case, the feeling was promising, including on the few laps turned in the rain during FP2.

Scott Redding confirmed his skills in the wet, setting the second-best time in the second free practice session held in rain conditions. With a dry track, the British rider complained of a certain difficulty braking, mitigated by the latest changes made to his RS-GP, but Scott and his crew will be focusing their efforts on this problem.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

"This morning we started with a completely revamped setup. Yesterday I spent a lot of time with Romano and we decided to change the RS-GP drastically. It was a risk, but I must say that from the first laps, I felt very good on a track that is certainly not our favourite. I was fast, just missing Q2, and even in the 20 minutes lapping in the wet, the sensations were positive. The rain frightened me a bit, given the many crashes last year in Moto2 and Moto3, but I must say that a good job was done and the track was in more than acceptable conditions."

SCOTT REDDING

"Today I was finally able to get through an entire practice session in the rain astride the Aprilia RS-GP. That had not happened yet this year, not even in the tests! Despite it being the first time, I felt at ease straight away. The bike proved to be stable and I had fun riding in the wet. I turned several laps to increase my confidence but without taking any risks, after which I pitted to try a small change on the bike. But when I got back onto the track, it had started raining harder and it had become difficult to ride with so much water. As for FP1 on the dry track, I am rather pleased with how things went. However, I still struggle a bit to get the bike stopped on the braking sections, so tomorrow we'll work on this aspect in particular."



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

RAIN SOAKED RED BULL RING MAKES FOR DIFFERENT DAY 1

Andrea Iannone: 5th - 1:24.436 (+ 0.606)

Alex Rins: 14th - 1:24.939 (+ 1.109)

• Iannone in Q2 time in FP1 before rain.

•Rins not far behind top times.

•No improvements during wet afternoon.

Just 5 days after the conclusion of the Czech Grand Prix it was time for the riders to rejoin the track again in Austria. The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg was dry for the morning’s FP1 session, allowing Iannone and Rins to try and reconfirm some settings tried during the post-Brno test and push to set good times early on. Both riders had a smooth FP1 and Iannone set the 5th fastest time. Rins was just over a second off the top in 14th.

For FP2 the rain which was feared and predicted, arrived. Michelin’s soft-soft rain tyre combo saw the riders gradually take to the water logged track after a delayed start. Alex Rins was one of the first out of the box and the Spaniard used the session to gain some wet experience. Andrea Iannone soon joined him. The FP1 times stood, meaning that the order of tomorrow’s qualifying sessions could all depend on the conditions in FP3.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“It was a different type of day today because we had rain in the afternoon and that stopped us from finishing the set-up job that we started in the morning. We knew that it could rain so we tried to make a quick time attack in FP1, it worked well for Andrea as he was able to be in the Top 10. And Alex was very very close, but just outside the Top 10 - by one tenth of a second! Then the rain stopped us, so we’ll see tomorrow. Unfortunately it looks like it will be wet tomorrow too. We’ll try to get prepared.

Andrea Iannone

“This morning the feeling with the bike was good, despite the fact that we were losing out a bit on acceleration. In any case, in the corners we could recover and the grip wasn’t bad. The first corner, especially this morning, was good. But in the wet the front was slipping on the left hand corners. Tonight we’ll look at the data and tomorrow we’ll have some new ideas.”

Alex Rins

“It was nice to ride on a wet track, at the beginning the track was completely wet, but I don’t have any problems riding in those types of conditions. This morning the conditions were not bad, and we put some new tyres in at the end but we missed the Top 10 by a tenth of a second. For sure we can improve tomorrow, even if it’s still wet.”



More, from a press release issued by Alma Pramac Racing:

Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich - Free Practices

#AustrianGP FP. Petrux scores a double Top 3 on the “mixed” Friday at Spielberg. Jack finds feeling on the wet.

The first day of free practice saw Danilo Petrucci great protagonist with two stunning performances in the morning (in dry conditions) completing the Ducati’s triplet (behind Dovizioso and Lorenzo), and in the afternoon as he confirmed himself in P3 (behind Marquez and Redding). Jack experienced some difficulties in FP1 (18th place) while in the afternoon the feeling was better.

Danilo starts off great in FP1 by lighting many red helmets. The rider from Terni was the fastest in the T3 and the race pace was very good. In the final time attack, he conquers the third position that will allow him to qualify directly in Q2 in case of rain tomorrow morning.

Jack tries to push but the feeling with his Ducati Desmosedici GP is not the best. The Australian wasn't able to make it to the top especially in T4 and the lap time forced him to settle for 18th place. Miller went out on track early in wet Fp2 and the feeling was better (7th) time.

P3 – Danilo Petrucci 1'24.320

"It was a good day. I was able to finish in third place in both dry and wet conditions. I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow because we did a really good job with the team as the bike in the FP1 went very well and the feeling was extremely positive".

P18 – Jack Miller 1'25.184

"In the FP1 I could not find the conditions to be performing. We will have to do a lot of work on both set-up and electronics. Things went better in the afternoon but it's clear that we will have to improve a lot on dry track in order to do well in sight of Sunday's race".



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez and Pedrosa secure provisional Q2 positions in mixed Austrian weather

A sunny morning and a rainy afternoon on the opening day of the Austrian Grand Prix meant that only the FP1 session was available for the riders to fight for a provisional top-10 position.

Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa set the fourth- and sixth-fastest times, respectively, having both found a good enough pace since the start of action at the Red Bull Ring.

Should the bad weather continue into tomorrow morning, Marc and Dani will have already secured entry in the Q2 session.

Marc Marquez 93

1ST (WET FP2) - 4TH (COMBINED) 1'33.995 (WET FP1) - 1'24.411 (COMBINED)

“It was a good day for us. This afternoon, we actually had some doubts about going out in the rain, because it should be dry tomorrow afternoon and Sunday. Anyway, we decided to try, and we just did a few laps to check the electronics and a little bit the setup. I immediately felt very good and confident, but the most important thing is that I also had a good feeling this morning in the dry. We knew there was the possibility of rain later but we decided to go on with the same tyre, the medium spec, for the entire session, working for the race as we normally do. Tomorrow we’ll try the other tyre specs. Sure, the Ducatis are very fast here, especially Dovizioso, but we’re not far off.”

Dani Pedrosa 26

23RD (WET FP2) - 6TH (COMBINED) 1'39.911 (WET FP2) - 1'24.474 (COMBINED)

“The track was completely dry in the morning, so we tried to be as fast as possible because of the high chance of rain in FP2. We also hoped to take full advantage of the session, to understand as much as possible the track and the tyres. This afternoon I did just a couple of laps, just to check the tyres and the grip in wet conditions, and it was better than I expected. Clearly, it would be a problem if the rain gets really hard. The weather here changes very quickly, so it was important to try and understand the feeling we were able to get, but anyway the conditions should be better tomorrow.”



More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

RAIN SPOILS PRACTICE PROCEEDINGS FOR MOVISTAR YAMAHA AT THE RED BULL RING

Today Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi prepared for an intense weekend at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track. They had to adapt to dry as well as wet conditions in the first two practice sessions and wrapped up the day in 10th and 11th place respectively in the combined Free Practice timesheets.

Spielberg (Austria), 10th August 2018

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi used the first dry free practice session to get a base set-up for the race locked ahead of Sunday‘s eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, whilst in the afternoon they had to switch to full-wet settings and cope with completely changed track conditions. Their results from FP1 put them in 10th and 11th place respectively in the combined Free Practice timesheets.

The looming rain clouds at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track put some extra time pressure on this morning‘s FP1. Viñales was eager to start work on his bike‘s race setting as rain was expected for the afternoon. He upped his pace gradually and took tenth place in FP1, with a 1'24.835s best lap, 1.005s from the front.

The Spaniard took his time to get up to speed in the afternoon. He waited to see how a few other riders fared out on the wet track, before deciding to also brave the conditions. However, he remained careful not to cross the limit, as he had only recently recovered from his crash in Brno. He still made progress and ultimately secured 20th place with a fastest lap of 1'38.174s and a 4.179s margin to first.

Teammate Rossi delivered a productive FP1 session despite losing some vital practice time due to a broken rear sprocket on his first run. Once he returned back out on track, the Italian climbed the provisional results list and regularly featured inside the top-10 in the morning. However, a last-minute "mini shoot-out" by most of the rider field, in anticipation of the predicted rain, saw the number 46 rider end FP1 in 11th place with a 1'24.884s, 1.054s from the top of the timesheets.

With the weather conditions taking a turn for the worse at the start of FP2, the Doctor stayed inside the pit box for a while but couldn't fight the urge to head out. He was the fourth rider to leave pit lane to gather some extra data in wet conditions. He was able to improve his time more and more, to conclude the afternoon with a best time of 1'36.327s. He finished 2.332s from the top, securing 10th position.

With no time improvements being made in FP2, Viñales and Rossi ended the day in 10th and 11th place respectively in the combined timesheets.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

The Austrian track will never be easy for us, but today's sessions also didn't help. The riders struggled to find a good feeling in the dry morning session and, unfortunately, we couldn't try the solutions we had planned in the afternoon because of the rain. Nevertheless, we were able to use FP2 to work on our performance level in wet conditions, which is useful as we haven't done many wet sessions this season so far. Since we weren't able to fully exploit today's practice time, we will have to push extra hard tomorrow. We hope for a dry FP3, so we can take full advantage of those 45 minutes and prepare for Sunday's race.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

Especially the morning was difficult, we had some problems, but we kept working and tried to solve everything we could. For the afternoon we had many things planned to try, but finally it was wet and we didn‘t have really good feelings, so we need to keep pushing.

VALENTINO ROSSI

For me the biggest issue is that I'm not inside the top-10 on the dry. Unfortunately, I had a problem with one bike and had to stop. I had to use the other bike, but it had some things that were different, and I wasn't able to arrive inside the top-10. This can create a problem to improve the lap time tomorrow morning if the conditions aren't 100%. On the wet I'm not very fast, but the spray deflector worked well. We tried to take some water away from the tyre. Especially at this track we have a lot of aquaplaning, also on the straight, which makes it difficult to control the bike. But now we have to try to understand and improve, and we'll see tomorrow.



More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo take the top 2 places on the first day of Austrian GP free practice at the Red Bull Ring

It was a good start for the two Ducati Team riders at the Red Bull Ring near Zeltweg today, where this weekend’s eleventh round of the championship – the Austrian Grand Prix – is taking place.

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo ended the day in first and second position after concluding the morning’s dry weather session at the top of the timesheets, while the afternoon session was held in heavy rain and as a result the standings remained the same.

Dovizioso was the only rider capable of dipping under the 1 minute 24 second mark as he set a time of 1’23.830, while Lorenzo’s best lap time was 1’24.045.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04): 1st (1’23.830)

“We got off to a very good start today and right from the morning session the bike was all set to go, mainly because we’ve just come from a race where we went very well and so we didn’t have to change the set-up very much. Even though we only did one session in the dry, our times are already very good and we have already completed a large part of the work load for the race. Unfortunately, in the afternoon we were unable to continue working on the tyres because of the rain, but what counts is that we were quick right from the start. Tomorrow let’s hope that the weather conditions allow us to work on the final details for the race.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99): 2nd (1’24.045)

“Today we weren’t able to draw many conclusions for the race, but in the few laps we did we were always amongst the quickest and we were competitive both in the morning when it was dry and in the afternoon with the rain. Finishing the day in second place behind Andrea is a good sign, but we will have to try and improve even more, especially under braking, and so I hope that the weather conditions tomorrow will allow us to work on this. In any case we’ve begun this weekend well.”



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

ENCOURAGING START FOR CRUTCHLOW IN SPIELBERG

LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow made a solid start to the Austrian Grand Prix weekend as he ended the opening day in Spielberg in seventh position on the timesheets. With heavy rain arriving as predicted on Friday afternoon, and expected to hang around on Saturday, the Briton secured what could be a crucial top-10 spot ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

With FP1 taking place in dry conditions at the Red Bull Ring, Crutchlow produced a strong performance to take seventh place – just 0.017 seconds behind factory Honda colleague Dani Pedrosa in sixth. A huge deluge ensured FP2 was a much more tricky affair, although the LCR man posted the ninth fastest time in the rain and acknowledged afterwards that he had felt quite comfortable despite the slippery track surface.

Cal Crutchlow – 7th

(1’24.491 – lap 22 of 22)

“Some tracks give fantastic grip in the rain, but here it’s quite slippery. This is track is not most safe in the dry, let alone in the rain. But it is what it is, you have to go out because you don’t want to be at a disadvantage to the other riders”.

“Overall, it was a positive day, I felt good in the dry and the rain and we have to look forward to tomorrow now and try and improve the setting for Sunday’s race. I want to try and improve the sliding feeling I have in the middle of the corner, which happens at three corners in the dry and the wet. But we can work on the settings to improve that.”



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

A CHALLENGING FIRST DAY FOR TAKA IN SPIELBERG

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami endured a demanding day as free practice got underway for the Austrian Grand Prix. The Japanese rookie is competing in his 150th GP this weekend and contrasting weather conditions made life tough for him and his fellow riders on Friday, with morning sun giving way to torrential rain in the afternoon.

Nakagami posted the 16th fastest time in FP1, but found the going much harder in a delayed FP2 as surface water made the Red Bull Ring treacherous to ride. The 26-year-old suffered due to his lack of experience in the rain on a MotoGP bike as he was only 22nd quickest, but remained upbeat despite the forecast of further rain on Saturday.

Takaaki Nakagami – 16th

(1’25.011 – lap 23 of 23)

“I don’t remember the last time I rode a MotoGP bike in wet conditions, maybe it was three or four months ago, so I have almost no experience with a wet session. It was really difficult to understand, some sectors were ok, but others were completely full of water so it was a bit dangerous. Some corners I was able to push and little by little I am learning”.

“The position at the moment is not what we want, but after a few laps I was able to understand how much I can improve in myself and also what we need to adjust on the electronic side. We’ll be ok, we’ll keep calm about the wet conditions and we’re looking forward to the second day.”



More, from a press release issued by Reale Aaintia Racing:

Rabat fast in the dry, Simeon fast in the wet

MotoGP GP of Austria – Spielberg

In the first free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix, Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat surprised once again and is, for the time being, classified for the Q2 top qualifying session. In dry conditions, the Spaniard clocked a lap time of 1’24.676 which put him in eighth position in the combined standings for the day, since the second session in the afternoon took place in the wet. Rabat was 14th in the FP2, and his feeling with the Ducati Desmosedici keeps improving every time he goes out in the rain.

Team-mate Xavier Simeon also had a good opening day at Spielberg. The Belgian rider of Reale Avintia was 22nd in the morning and achieved competitive lap times. In the wet afternoon session, he didn’t ride very much, but six laps were enough for him to clock the 12th fastest time in the wet. Simeon was very surprised about the high level of grip in these conditions.

The FP3 will start at 9.55 h on Saturday, the FP4 at 13.30 h, followed by the qualification heats at 14.05 h

Tito Rabat | 1'24.676 | P8

“It was a very positive day. We knew that it was going to rain in the afternoon, so we pushed in the FP1 and for the moment, we are in the Q2, which is our goal. It was a good strategy because there is a good chance that it will still be wet in FP3. I am happy with my rhythm this morning because we were able to continue in the same line as in Brno, where we were fast. In the afternoon we preferred to wait for a long time before going out in the wet, but then I did five good laps and I was surprised how fast I found my rhythm and how fast I got the right feeling. In the past, I have always been struggling in the wet, but with this motorcycle, my feeling in the wet improves from time to time. We are ready for whatever conditions we will face, but I hope it won’t rain tomorrow and for the rest of the weekend”.

Xavier Simeon | 1'25.752 | P22

“This morning, I found my rhythm immediately and things went much better than I expected. I felt very comfortable on the bike and I had a lot of confidence. But in the end, when I grabbed a new rear tyre, I was once again unable to get the maximum performance out of it and I couldn’t come up with the last bit of speed to break into the Top 15. But all in all, things went much better. In the afternoon, it was a nice surprise to discover how much grip this track has in the wet. Last year in Moto2, the track was really dangerous, but today it was fantastic. I only rode a few laps, but I enjoyed riding the bike in these conditions.”



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Day of two halves:

Ducati vs Marquez dominates Day 1

Dovizioso leads Lorenzo leads Petrucci as the three head Marquez overall - but the 93 hit back in the wet...

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was the fastest man on Friday at the eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich and the only rider into the 1:23 bracket in FP1, moving two tenths clear of teammate Jorge Lorenzo. And just behind the two at the top, the Ducati attack continued – with top Independent Team rider Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) locking out the top three on the combined timesheets and pipping reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to the honour.

FP1 saw some big time attacks as doubts about the weather forecast continued, and they were proved right as the dry and pleasant conditions of FP1 were a distant memory come FP2. A downpour delayed the session and conditions remained very wet when action continued, with Scott Redding (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) looking like he was going to end FP2 on top. But Marquez struck back and the Brit was relegated to second…ahead of the familiar trio of Petrucci, Lorenzo and Dovizioso, who also showed great pace in the wet.

Overall, however, it’s Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) who completes the top five from his FP1 time, ahead of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol). Tito Rabat (Real Avintia Racing) took P8 on yet another Borgo Panigale machine as Ducati dominated the top ten – with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) the top Yamaha in P9.

It was a more difficult morning for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, although Maverick Viñales ended the day in P10 and Valentino Rossi in P11. For Viñales the day began much further down the timesheets, but for Rossi it began almost off them. An early technical problem for the ‘Doctor’ saw him forced to pull over and then head out on his second bike, costing him some time. Right at the end of FP1 Viñales pipped him to provisional graduation to Q2, leaving Rossi at risk of not making it through if the rain pays another visit to Spielberg in FP3...

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was P12 overall and fastest Aprilia in the dry, ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and KTM’s lone home team representative Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who was P6 in the wet to impress, too.

Make sure to come back for qualifying from the stunning Red Bull Ring from 14:10 (GMT +2) on Saturday.


Bagnaia top overall, Odendaal and Roberts lead wet FP2

The South African set the quickest time in the wet conditions but Bagnaia’s dry FP1 time ensures he’s Friday’s fastest rider

With the rain falling heavily in FP2, Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) ended the opening day at the eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österriech at the summit after going quickest in the dry FP1 session, finishing 10th in monsoon-like conditions in FP2. The Italian’s 1:30.441 in the morning was enough to beat Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) by 0.063, who finished down in P20 in FP2, with Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) third on the combined times – 0.081 behind Bagnaia and P16 in the afternoon.

It was a great afternoon for NTS RW Racing GP as Steven Odendaal and teammate Joe Roberts were P1 and P2 in the wet conditions, the South African heading the American by 0.233 seconds to give the team a great boost heading into Saturday. Both riders will be doing their rain dances ahead of qualifying.

Meanwhile, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) remains fourth quickest on the overall times after finishing fourth in FP1, 0.127 off the top, with the Spaniard 17th fastest in the wet conditions. Fifth fastest on Friday was Fabio Quartararo (+ Ego – Speed Up Racing), setting an identical time to Marquez in the dry and finishing seventh in FP2.

Gunning for his third consecutive podium is Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), who looks quick in both the dry and the wet conditions. The Italian is sixth on the combined time sheets and ended FP2 in third, 0.239 back from Odendaal’s benchmark. Italtrans Racing Team’s Andrea Locatelli is seventh on the combined times, one place above his wet weather pace, which saw him finish eighth in FP2.

Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) sits eighth overall, with the British rider crashing at the penultimate corner in FP2 after looking like he would set the quickest time in wet conditions, eventually finishing 12th – rider ok. Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) heads into Saturday at the Red Bull Ring ninth on the overall times, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) rounding out the top ten on the opening day – the Italian, though, didn't set a time in FP2.

Championship leader Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) ends the day 16th fastest overall, 0.479 off his main title rival in the dry, while finishing a damp FP2 down in 30th.

Isaac Viñales (Forward Racing Team), Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Tetsuta Nagashima (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) – who spectacularly surfed on top of his bike – crashed in the wet, riders ok, with Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) stopping out on track with a mechanical issue.

With the weather set to play a big part on qualifying day, who will start the intermediate class race on pole at the Austrian GP? Make sure you tune in to what promises to be a fantastic session at 15:05 local time (GMT +2).


Masia leads Bezzecchi and McPhee on Friday

Spaniard’s FP1 time was enough to keep him top after the opening two sessions in Austria

FP1’s quickest man Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) ends day one at the eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich on top of the time sheets in a rain affected FP2 session, with Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) remaining second quickest overall as neither of the top two improved on their times from the morning.

One rider who did improve before the heavy rain came down right at the end of the session was John McPhee (CIP – Green Power), who topped FP2 with a 1:37.329 to put himself third on the combined timesheets. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) was third in the morning but finished the day in fourth after McPhee’s time bumped the Italian down a place, but Dalla Porta the only Honda rider in the top six.

Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) improved his time in FP2 to finish the afternoon session in third and fifth quickest overall, as Philipp Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing) finished Friday in Austria as the sixth fastest rider – the German dropping two places from his fourth place in FP1. He also announced he'll be moving into the intermediate class next year with Tech 3, partnering current Moto3™ Championship leader Bezzecchi.

Seventh quickest after the opening two Free Practice sessions was Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing), improving his time in FP2 by 0.049 seconds, with Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) eighth on the combined timesheets – the Japanese rider was 22nd after FP1 and improved his time by over a second in the afternoon.

Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) also improved his time in the afternoon to finish the day ninth quickest, with Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) rounding out the top 10.

The Italian highsided at the end of the session on the exit of Turn 1 as the rain started to fall, with Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) also going down after being collected by Bulega’s KTM - both riders headed to the Medical Centre for check ups. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) also crashed at Turn 1 just behind – rider ok.

Will the Moto3™ field get another dry session in FP3 ahead of qualifying? Find out when they head back out on the Red Bull Ring at 09:00 local time (GMT +2) on Saturday morning.



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