MotoGP: Marc Marquez On Top, Entire Field Separated By 1.3 Seconds In FP2 In Austria (Updated)

MotoGP: Marc Marquez On Top, Entire Field Separated By 1.3 Seconds In FP2 In Austria (Updated)

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MotoGP Race Lap Record: Andrea Dovizioso, 1:24.277, 2018

MotoGP All Time Lap Record: Andrea Iannone, 1:23.142, 2016

2019 FIM MotoGP World Championship

Red Bull Ring

Spielberg, Austria

August 9, 2019

Free Practice Two Results (all on Michelin tires):

1. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:23.916

2. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:23.982

3. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:24.071

4. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), 1:24.153

5. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:24.308

6. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), 1:24.326

7. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:24.330

8. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:24.336

9. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:24.411

10. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:24.418

11. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:24.532

12. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:24.540

13. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), 1:24.598

14. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), 1:24.630

15. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda), 1:24.755

16. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:24.865

17. Johann Zarco, France (KTM), 1:24.948

18. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Aprilia), 1:25.003

19. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1:25.139

20. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), 1:25.233

21. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM), 1:25.269

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Oliveira powers to seventh on opening day in Austria – Syahrin improves

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s MotoGP rookie Miguel Oliveira delivered a stunning performance on Friday at Red Bull’s and KTM’s home track. The Portuguese initiated the first day of the Austrian GP as tenth fastest of the highly-competitive MotoGP field and even topped this result with a perfect 1:24.326 to grab P7 overall on Friday and with it, a provisional Q2 entry and the best KTM spot, missing out on the top by just 0.410 seconds.

Meanwhile Hafizh Syahrin showed some great potential as well this morning, but had to conclude FP1 early with a crash. Luckily, the Malaysian could return to the Red Bull Ring for the second Free Practice and did some clear steps into the right direction. The Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider went half a second faster in the afternoon, to conclude the first day just 0.943 seconds behind his teammate.

Miguel Oliveira

Position: 7th

Time: 1:24.326

Laps: 44

“Overall, it has been a quite positive day. We managed to do a really good FP2 with a strong pace and finally on the last run with a very fast lap to get us inside the provisional Q2, which is a first time for us on a Friday. We still have tomorrow to improve, which I hope we do. Getting this nice result for the team, I think is a huge boost for everyone.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 21st

Time: 1:25.269

Laps: 35

“At the end of the day, it was quite decent. Our gap to the top is just at 1.3 seconds, so it’s really good, although the position doesn’t reflect this. This morning I had a very big crash and I’m still in pain, I’m still not feeling 100 percent comfortable on the bike, but at least we showed our speed is there. Tomorrow we try to find a something to stop the machine a little bit better, as on this track we have many stop-and-go sections, so I hope on Saturday we can improve and for sure we will try to do well.”

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

#AustrianGP FP. Solid start for Pramac Racing: Jack 6th and Pecco 13th after first day of practice action at Red Bull Ring

FP1 (Practice Conditions: Dry. Air 21°, Ground 32°)

P4 Jack Miller (1’24.360, +0.327 from P1)

Jack is really fast right from the start. In the last run the Australian rider tests the hard tyre and finishes just 3 tenths of a second from the fastest time of Dovizioso (set with the soft rear tyre).

P13 Francesco Bagnaia (1’24.996, +0.072 from Top 10, +0.963 from P1)

A convincing start for Pecco, who first becomes familiar with the circuit and then begins to push. The Italian finishes just one-tenth of a second from the hypothetical third row, going very fast, especially in T1 and T3.

FP2 (Practice Conditions: Dry. Air 29th, Ground 49th)

P5 Jack Miller (1’24.308, +0.392 from P1)

Jack’s race pace with the medium tyre is very interesting. In the time attack, however, the Australian can not find the right feeling with the front tire to be in a hypothetical front row. Miller ends the first day of activity with a solid P5 (P6 in the combined standings).

P13 Francesco Bagnaia (1’24.598, +0.180 from Top 10, +0.682 from P1)

Pecco is also strong on the race pace with used tyres. Like his team mate, however, the Italian can not take full advantage of the soft front tire in the time attack finishing however very close to the Top 10.

P13 – Pecco Bagnaia

“I am satisfied with this first day. Unfortunately we made the wrong choice of front tyre for the time attack and I wasn’t able to be in the Top 10 but I think that tomorrow in FP3 we will have all the credentials to qualify directly for Q2. The race pace is very positive. I have confidence”.

P6 – Jack Miller

“We got off to a very good start. We have worked a lot on the tyres trying all the solutions and the results have been very good. The race pace is strong and this is a good starting point. We’ll have to fix some details on the electronics to limit the wheelie but the sensations are very positive”.


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

LOTS OF RACE PREPARATION WORK STRAIGHT AWAY FOR ALEIX AND ANDREA ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT THE RED BULL RING

Both free practice sessions on Friday at the Red Bull Ring were intense and extremely busy for both of the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders in anticipation of the Austrian Grand Prix that will be held on Sunday.

After finishing the morning practice sessions just 44 thousandths of a second outside the top 10, Aleix Espargaró closed out the combined standings in seventeenth place with a time of 1’24.865, slightly improving in the afternoon session, but without managing to gain provisional access to Q2. The Spanish rider had good sensations in terms of race pace and tomorrow he will continue working on his RS-GP in order to be incisive over the long distance as he prepares for a race that promises to be a demanding one for the tyres.

Andrea Iannone, who is celebrating his thirtieth birthday today, finished the first day of practice with a time of 1’25.003, not far from Aleix, in eighteenth place.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’

“All told, our pace is not bad. Right now, we are unable to be fast on the single lap because we lose ground in acceleration and we can’t make it all up in braking. The temperatures were very high this afternoon, but the track conditions can change quickly. Tomorrow we will keep working to prepare for the race, assessing the best options in terms of tyres as well, with the goal of being competitive over the long distance.”

ANDREA IANNONE

“I won’t deny that we are encountering some difficulties. Besides the gap, we struggle to maintain a good pace. Since we are at the limit, we need to force a lot and that does not pay off over race distance. In any case, we need to stay focused. The conditions could change and we need to keep improving.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Relentless Marquez controls Friday in Austria

A productive first day at the Red Bull Ring for the Repsol Honda Team saw Marc Marquez lead the way with Bradl less than a second behind.

After just a few days rest from the double point-scoring finish at the Czech GP, the Repsol Honda Team were back to work at Round 11 of the MotoGP World Championship. Both Marc Marquez and Stefan Bradl eagerly returned to track, looking to build on what they achieved respectively in Brno.

Marquez started the Austrian GP with devilish consistency, using just a single set of tyres during Free Practice 1 and sitting at the top of the time sheets until the final moments when other riders fitted new tyres. A relentless start to Free Practice 2 saw Marquez set multiple 1’23s in a row with fresh rubber on his Repsol Honda Team RC213V. The MotoGP World Championship leader finished the day fastest by 0.066s with a 1’23.916, 0.8s from the outright lap record.

Having not ridden at the Red Bull Ring since 2016, Stefan Bradl was able to quickly get up to speed as he continues to deputise the injured Jorge Lorenzo. Bradl diligently worked through his weekend schedule and improved his best lap time by almost a second as he pushed for a Q2 spot. 0.839s away from his day-leading teammate, the German rider missed a spot in the top ten by a little over 0.3s and is ready to battle for a top ten spot tomorrow.

Takaaki Nakagami had a notable performance on the LCR Honda and finished Friday in third overall.

Bradl and the rest of the MotoGP grid will fight it out for a top ten spot and direct passage to Q2 during Free Practice 3 tomorrow, Friday August 09, at 09:55 local time.

Marc Marquez

1ST 1’23.916

“Today like every Friday we worked a lot towards Sunday, focusing on race distance and understanding how the tyres and the setup will behave. Like in Brno and in the Sachsenring we were also working with two different frames – both were good. At a first look we are far ahead, but Dovizioso also has strong pace and Viñales and Quartararo are also quite close to us. We need to understand how the grip will change tomorrow and see what happens.”

Stefan Bradl

15TH 1’24.755

“We had a busy day today, we had a lot of things to try. An intense day with all that we had to do but I am satisfied with the lap time. Obviously our position is not ideal but the gap to the guy in front is very small. On one side I’m happy and on another I could be happier but tomorrow we will be able to focus more on the race and improve our setup to go faster. Let’s hope the weather is OK and we will see what we can do!”

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

Positive start in Spielberg for Quartararo and Morbidelli

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli happy with a solid beginning to their Austrian Grand Prix weekend

Austrian GP – 09 August 2019

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli have completed a positive first day of action for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix, bettering their expectations to come home fifth and 14th respectively after the opening two practice sessions at the Spielberg circuit.

Quartararo admitted that it had taken hard work from him and his crew to ensure fifth place and a provisional route to Q2 tomorrow, but was able to better his expectations of a top ten place on the first day. Still with work to do to improve his Yamaha YZR-M1, Quartararo is confident that they can close the gap to their rivals when action resumes tomorrow.

Morbidelli was similarly pleased with his work despite not being higher up the time sheets, concentrating instead on race pace and coming away happy with the team’s progress. Able to sue some of the new settings he trialled at Monday’s test in Brno to improve his consistency, he will now focus on one-lap pace in the morning ahead of qualifying.

Action continues tomorrow at 0955 local time (1755 Malaysian time), with qualifying at 1410 local time (2010 Malaysian time) and Sunday’s 28-lap race at 1400 local time (2000 Malaysian time).

Franco Morbidelli

14th (+0.714)

“My pace today has been good, and I’m happy with that. We need to improve our performance over one single lap and we’ve already learned some things that should help us to be a little faster – and that should help us with our consistency as well. It’s important to start the weekend ahead at this track because it can be hard to overtake, so that will be key tomorrow. Compared to the other Yamahas I need to improve a little bit in acceleration.”

Fabio Quartararo

5th (+0.237)

“It’s been a really tough, but we expected that this would be difficult track for us. I’ve been trying to push hard and to be on the limit, and I’m feeling good on the bike. We’re struggling a little bit in the first two sectors and will need to work hard on that, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what will be possible tomorrow. This track is mainly three straights but that means there’s three big braking points as well, and we’re working to get the best out of the bike at those points and on cornering.”

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

TERRIFIC START FOR TAKA IN AUSTRIA

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami made a superb start as free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix got underway, finishing the day in third position. With Ducati having been expected to dominate in Spielberg, it was instead Honda who led the way on Friday as Nakagami joined day one pacesetter Marc Marquez in the top three.

In dry and sunny conditions, the Japanese star was on the pace throughout as he posted the ninth fastest time in FP1. He then improved by around eight tenths in FP2 to climb towards the top of the timesheets and was naturally delighted with his position heading into Saturday qualifying.

Takaaki Nakagami – 3rd

(1’24.071 – lap 21 of 23)

“It was a little bit of a surprise for me and the team because we expected more of a struggle. Here it’s very stop and go and you need a lot of engine power, but from FP1 I felt quite comfortable on the bike. We’re not losing too much on the straight and for day one the lap time is not too bad, we’re still a few tenths of the lap record. The team did a really great job today and I’m pretty happy about have me progressed between FP1 and FP2. Tomorrow and also Sunday the forecast has a possibility of rain, so I’m happy to finish in a good position today.”

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

SOLID START FOR CRUTCHLOW IN SPIELBERG

LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow secured a place in the top 10 on the opening day of free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix. The Briton ended up in eighth place overall in Spielberg, but feels there is plenty of room for improvement ahead of Saturday’s qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.

Under fine, sunny skies, Crutchlow had to settle for 11th position the morning’s FP1 session. But, with an unsettled forecast predicted for Saturday, he improved in FP2 to break into the top 10 and ensure he is well-placed to progress to Q2 tomorrow.

Cal Crutchlow – 8th

(1’24.336 – lap 21 of 21)

“Today was not a bad day, but I think we can improve in a lot of areas, I look forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow. I was struggling to stop the bike in turn one and turn four and hopefully we can improve that overnight with some settings changes. I had to cut one of my runs short as I didn’t get the correct feeling with one of the settings, so hopefully that will help me in that area. I’ll work closely with the team and Honda tonight to understand the situation and also to work out the best tyre to use for qualifying and the race.”

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

RINS ON THE EDGE OF THE TOP 10 IN AUSTRIA

Alex Rins: 12th – 1:24.540 (+ 0.624)

• Alex Rins makes solid start to Austrian weekend.

•Team looking ahead to Saturday’s qualifying.

Just five days after the Czech GP, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR are back into ‘race mode’ at the Red Bull Ring in Austria for Round 11.

Alex Rins took to the track alone after his team-mate, Joan Mir, was ruled out pre-event due to an accident sustained at Monday’s Brno test. The morning’s FP1 session went well as Alex got settled into Spielberg’s sweeping circuit; the Spaniard placed 3rd with one-minute left on the clock but got bumped to 7th place as the flag came out. However, he was just half a second from the top.

The track reached a scorching 50°c for FP2, and Rins once again looked solid as he tried different tyre combinations and continued to work on set-up for the unique Austrian track. He spent the majority of the session in the Top 5 and completed FP2 in 12th place. Rins is ready to push in tomorrow’s FP3 to try and secure a place in the all-important Q2.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Alex had to work hard today; we had to try some different settings and discover the best direction to take. We still need to do a bit more work to fine tune the settings and to confirm a tyre selection. Tomorrow we hope to stay in the Top 10 and be in Q2, we’ll see what we can do. Overall it’s been quite a good opening day.”

Alex Rins:

“Today went well. I tried all the different tyre combinations on the front and rear, and we know more or less which way we want to go. I was hoping to take a provisional place in Q2 during FP2, but in the end it wasn’t quite possible because I was 12th, and that was a bit disappointing for me. I’m struggling a little in the second sector, but apart from that I feel pretty good here. Today I didn’t really push for a fast lap, we preferred to focus on feel and settings.”

More, from another press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP TAKE STEPS IN SPIELBERG FIRST FP SESSIONS

Spielberg (Austria), 9th August 2019

GRAND PRIX OF AUSTRIA

FREE PRACTICE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi kicked off the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich weekend. Whilst the team-mates both enjoyed strong results in the morning, only Viñales was able to improve on his time in the afternoon, securing second place in the FP2 and combined rankings. Rossi just missed out on a top 10 result and ended the day in 11th position.

2nd MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’23.982 (FP2) / 23 + 23 LAPS

11th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’24.469 (FP1) / 23 + 25 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi used the first free practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track to the fullest to prepare for an intense weekend. They both showed great form in the morning, but in the hotter afternoon only Viñales was able to successfully defend his provisional place for Q2. The team-mates finished 2nd and 11th respectively in FP2 and combined free practice rankings.

Viñales felt motivated by a positive test in Brno last Monday and it showed in this morning’s FP1. He was quick to ride his YZR-M1 to a place in the top 3 and kept hold of the position for the first half of the 45-minute session. As the pace heated up towards the final stages, the Spaniard responded. Eager to keep his spot at the front, he set two personal best times on his final run and ended in third place, with a best time of 1‘24.280s and a 0.247s gap to first.

The number-12 rider raised his game even further in the afternoon. He took a little time to adjust to the hot temperatures and then again set a fast lap to feature at the front. He tried various tyre specs until the usual mini time attack at the very end of the session. With five minutes to go, Viñales started his last run and delivered, wrapping up the first day in Spielberg with a best time of 1‘23.982s for second place in the FP2 and combined free practice timesheets, just 0.066s from P1.

Rossi built gradual progress in the morning session, moving to sixth place after 16 minutes. Knowing the importance of braking stability and acceleration, he concentrated on getting his bike set-up just right, until the very end of FP1. Keen to show the progress he made, he put his head down on his final run to take fifth position in the results, with a 1‘24.469s best lap, 0.436s from first.

In the afternoon, the Doctor picked up work where he left off in the morning. He mainly focused on his bike‘s set-up and tyre selection until the final ten minutes when all riders made a dash to secure a provisional Q2 position. He put in some solid laps on his last stint but found himself just outside the top 10, in 11th place, with a best time of 1‘24.532s, 0.616s from first. His faster morning time also put him in P11 in the combined standings, 0.553s from the top.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

“We started the Austrian GP weekend well this morning. We are in a better place than we were last year at this round. Having learned from that experience, we knew what we had to focus on. Maverick‘s second place today is really a good result for us because, like we have pointed out before, this is not considered a ’Yamaha-track‘. It‘s a shame that, after a positive FP1, Vale was unable to better his morning time in the afternoon and just missed out on a top 10 result. Getting into Q2 is always crucial, so that‘s the goal for both riders. We will have to keep pushing, but we‘ve seen some positive signs on this first day, so our motivation is high. We’ve been able to test all the tyre options and have a good indication for Sunday’s race choice.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“The feeling has been quite positive. We‘ve been working a lot on the bike, trying to understand in which direction we should go. I think we might have found something good to better my rhythm, but we still have to improve. We just missed out on first place, but I‘m feeling positive. Being second in FP2 here is really good for us, this is a track where we suffer a lot. This year it seems to be going better, so we are in a good way and will try to keep improving things tomorrow. We‘re going to try to be on the first row and then we‘ll see. Today we tried the tyres and we have more or less some ideas for tomorrow, so we‘re going to be working very hard.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“This morning was not so bad and also this afternoon the pace was quite good, but at the end, with the soft, I didn’t ride very well. I was stuck in the traffic and I wasn’t able to improve. As always, there are a lot of riders that are very fast, but it looks like we are more competitive compared to last year, because our pace is a bit better. I’m not in the top 10 by a small margin. Apart from that, the feeling is not so bad and it looks like the forecast is good for tomorrow morning, so I think we will fight for Q2 in FP3.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Dovizioso and Petrucci wrap up the opening day of practice for the Austrian Grand Prix in third and eighth place respectively

The first two free practice sessions for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring close to Zeltweg concluded this afternoon with the two Ducati Team riders – Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci – in third and eighth place respectively.

Dovizioso, who topped the timesheets in the morning’s FP1 session with a quickest lap of 1’24.003, was unable to improve in FP2 thanks also to an innocuous slow-speed crash at Turn 3 at the end of the session, while Petrucci finished the day in eighth place with a best time of 1’24.330 which he set in FP2.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1’24.003 (3rd)

“We began the day in a really positive way. In the afternoon we tried a different set-up that worked better under braking and this is important, especially because my pace is very good and I’m not far behind Marquez. We’re working well and I think there is still room to improve. Unfortunately, I made a small mistake at Turn 3 and was not able to improve my FP2 time, but as I said before we’re fast and I’m really pleased about that.”

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1’24.330 (8th)

“In the afternoon we were able to improve on our morning performance and so I’m satisfied with that. This is a bit of a tough track for me because, like Brno with its long straights, I tend to lose a bit of aerodynamic efficiency, because of the way I’m built. As a result, we’re trying to improve under braking, where we can make up a bit of the time we’re losing on the straight. My squad is working well and I’m pleased with the way I lapped with the used tyres. Of course tomorrow we will have to try and do a bit better and also make the best of the new tyres so we can start Sunday’s race from the front of the grid.”

The Ducati riders will be back on the track tomorrow, Saturday 10 August, at 09.55 CET for the third free practice session, while the qualifying sessions will be held after FP4, starting from 14.10.

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Viñales runs Marquez close at the Red Bull Ring

Yamaha rider takes the fight to the reigning Champion, with Dovizioso completing the top three

Friday, 09 August 2019

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended Day 1 of the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich in P1 overall, but the reigning Champion was run close. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) got within just 0.066 of the number 93, with FP1’s fastest man, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), ending the day third overall. The Italian failed to improve his laptime due to a late tip off, but his FP1 fastest keeps him in P3 at the venue where he won in 2017.

Marquez came out the blocks all guns blazing at the start of FP2 as he sported a soft rear tyre, and immediately the number 93 was able to better his time from the morning session and went to the top of the combined standings, pushing FP1 pacesetter Dovizioso down to P2. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) was also going well in the opening stages of FP2 too, after the Italian had a quiet FP1 and lingered down in P14 ahead of the afternoon’s running.

As so often happens, however, it all came down to a frantic last 10 minutes. The day was sunny, hot and, potentially, quite different to what may greet the grid on Saturday – meaning it was weapons free in a bid to take a provisional place in Q2. Dovizioso was the first who looked under threat as he uncharacteristically crashed at Turn 3 just after setting a red first sector. Would he keep the place or could his rivals leap up the timesheets?

One of the big improvers was Takaaki Nakagami, the LCR Honda Idemitsu rider having finished FP1 in ninth and finding time in the afternoon. First Nakagami went to P5 overall but on the next lap, the Honda man shot to P3 on the combined times, second in FP2. Viñales, third fastest in FP1, was also ramping his pace up and sure enough, the Yamaha man went second quickest – just 0.066 behind Marquez’ early session time. Marquez, Viñales and Nakagami would remain the quickest of the session, with ‘DesmoDovi’ slotting into third overall.

Behind Nakagami was a familiar face at the front: Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). The Frenchman was within a tenth of the Japanese rider ahead of him and finished the day in an impressive fifth overall, just ahead of a key rival: Jack Miller (Pramac Racing). The Australian flipped his formbook at the venue to complete the top six.

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), meanwhile, had a stunning Friday. The Portuguese rookie built on his 10th place in FP1 to move up to seventh on the combined standings, fastest KTM on the Austrian factory’s home turf – just 0.018 off Miller and 0.004 ahead of Petrucci by the end of play. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was equally close in an incredibly tight gaggle of riders, 0.006 off Oliveira, and he moved up into ninth overall on his last flying lap despite finishing outside the top 10 in FP1.

The man who completed those who’ll be heading through to Q2 should the rain come down was Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who made it two KTMs in the top ten on home turf. And the Austrian factory achieved that at the expense of some key contenders: Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was P11 by mere thousandths and will be hoping for a dry FP3 on Saturday to improve his time, and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was just behind the ‘Doctor’ looking for the same. Will the two be heading head to head in Q1?

See what Saturday brings, how the skies dawn and how the grid shuffles in FP3 at 9:55 (GMT+2), before qualifying then begins at 14:10 to decide the grid.

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