More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
KTM take the Red Bull Ring by the horns on Day 1
Pol Espargaro tops a Friday of two halves, ahead of a back-on-form Dovizioso and impressive Nakagami
Friday, 14 August 2020
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the fastest man on Friday in the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, the KTM rider bouncing back from the disappointment of his Czech GP to take P1 by a small but apt 0.044. Second place went to an Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) on a mission as the Italian shot back up the timseheets after a difficult weekend in Brno, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) completing a top three split by less than two tenths. FP1 was dry and FP2 rain affected, with the weather so far in Styria proving a key protagonist.
Pol Espargaro’s best lap was his fastest effort from the morning, with the Spaniard exchanging P1 with Dovizioso in the final five minutes but coming out on top. Nakagami also propelled himself into the top echelons in the closing exchanges, taking third in another ultra-competitive MotoGP™ session that saw five manufacturers in the top five.
Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) continued to impress as he took fourth despite still being on the road back from a dislocated/fractured shoulder, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) following up his first premier class podium in Brno as the top Yamaha in FP1. Then, from Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) in sixth to Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in tenth there was only a tenth in it – with seventh, eighth and ninth taken by Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) respectively.
Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was the sole crasher of the session despite many pushing to set a banker lap due to the weather forecast, with the Brit going down at Turn 4. He headed to the Medical Centre for a check up and was given the all clear to continue.
After rain began during Moto3™ FP2, conditions were far from ideal by the time the premier class headed out in the afternoon and it wasn’t until the final few minutes that a flurry of riders went for it on slicks. First it was left to Miguel Oliveira and Aleix Espargaro to set laps, although Joan Mir was the true guinea pig as he headed out in the conditions first.
Once it started to dry out, the last dash rush saw most of the field try their hand at improving, but the gap to Pol Espargaro’s fastest lap in FP1 remained over two seconds. Jack Miller was the closest and he topped the afternoon session, ahead of an impressive showing from rookie Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) in second and another top performance from Oliveira as the Portuguese rider took third. Rins and Zarco were up there once again, this time in fourth and fifth respectively.
The two Red Bull KTM Tech 3 machines were out with Pol Espargaro on track at the end of the session, which made for an impressive visual armada at their home race.
No one crashed in FP2 and all in all, the weather putting paid to any improvements in the afternoon means it’s FP1 times that all count towards Q2 graduation as it stands: KTM end Friday fastest with Espargaro, ahead of Dovizioso, Nakagami, Rins, Morbidelli, Zarco, Oliveira, Miller, Mir and Quartararo – leaving a good few famous faces praying for better weather in FP3…
Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) is the first looking to the skies to hold clear on Saturday as he took P11, as well as Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who were 12th and 13th respectively. Brno winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) is also currently set to miss out on Q2 as the South African ended Friday in P16, but it’s his first MotoGP™ race weekend in Spielberg, so panic in the number 33’s box is unlikely – and he didn’t even head out in FP2.
That’s it from Friday, come back for more on Saturday morning as the field fight it out in FP3 at 9:55 (GMT +2). What will the skies bring? The likes of Monster Energy Yamaha, Petrucci and Brad Binder especially will be hoping the hills are alive with the warmth of sunshine.
Lowes heads Martin by just 0.010 on Friday
The Brit and the Spaniard duel it out in the last few minutes of FP2, with Bezzecchi third overall
Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) ended Friday at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich as the fastest man in Moto2™, but the Brit had to work for it as he duelled Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) for the honour late in an FP2 characterised by improving conditions. In the end it’s just 0.010 that separates the two, with Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) another tenth and a half back in P3 overall.
It was Lowes who took the first spoils of the weekend, the Brit ending FP1 at the top – but even then, it was by only 0.016. Bezzecchi was the man just behind him in the morning after a late lunge up the timesheets, with Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing a top three split by just 0.044.
Jorge Martin and Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) completed the top five in FP1, ahead of Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team), rookie Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team), Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) and Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), who locked out the top ten in a session that saw most of the field pushing early doors, spooked by the threat of rain later in the day.
Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) had a technical problem in the session, and the sole faller was Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team).
After a sunny morning, it looked like the rain could ruin everyone’s chances of improving but that didn’t quite hold true for Moto2™. After the MotoGP™ field did a solid job of drying up the track just before, the conditions were good enough for riders to really push towards the end, with Lowes going even faster than his own benchmark from the morning. Martin made him work for it though and lost out by an infinitesimal few thousandths as the two traded fast laps at the end.
Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was third in FP2 as the Brit impressed to end the session just two tenths off his compatriot Lowes, with Augusto Fernandez taking fourth and up at the sharp end once again. Brno podium finisher Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) completed the top five with a lap that proves valuable on the combined timesheets as he’d finished FP1 outside the top 14 – and therefore outside the Q2 graduation zone.
Kasma Daniel (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) crashed twice in FP2, and Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) had a run off.
After a day of changeable weather then, it’s Lowes in the driving seat on the combined timesheets ahead of Martin, both with laps from FP2. Bezzecchi takes third ahead of Fernandez, their laps set in the morning, with Jake Dixon’s afternoon heroics meaning the Brit completes the top five overall on Friday. Navarro, Gardner, Canet and Nagashima slot in from sixth to ninth courtesy of their FP1 laptimes, with Roberts’ FP2 best meaning he completes the top ten overall on Day1.
Baldassarri, Marini, Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) are the final four heading straight through to Q2 as it stands, and that leaves one unexpected name out of the graduation zone: Andalucia and Brno winner Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), who was P16 overall…
Can the ‘Beast’ bounce back on Saturday? And will the weather afford him the chance? FP3 is the last opportunity for the field to get an automatic place in Q2, before qualifying from 15:10 (GMT +2).
Arbolino on top in Austria
The Italian ends the day three tenths clear of the field as rain interrupts play in FP2
Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) topped the overall Moto3™ timesheets on Day 1 at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, his FP1 time enough to keep him ahead of the game after rain interrupted action mid-way through FP2. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) ends the day second overall although three tenths down, with Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) taking P3, just a few hundredths off the Scot.
Arbolino took the baton in FP1, the Italian ending the session three tenths clear and looking dominant, although his best lap was also set behind Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) as he tucked into the Argentinean’s slipstream. McPhee was second, pipping Masia as it tightened up.
A few of the key contenders had laps interrupted after Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez tucked the front at Turn 3 in the closing stages, causing some to have their final laps of the session cancelled as is now automatic under a Yellow Flag. In the end, Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) completed a top five split by half a second, although Fernandez, his teammate Kaito Toba, Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Championship leader Alberto Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team) made sure fourth to tenth was split by less than a tenth.
Rodrigo joined Fernandez as a crasher in the session, with BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy’s Riccardo Rossi also taking a tumble. There was also an incident for Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PruestelGP) as he was passed by Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Moto3) before the latter had a moment, leaving the Swiss rider nowhere to go as he tagged the back of him and went down in a stroke of early bad luck in Austria.
As the skies and forecasts had been threatening, the afternoon saw the rain come down. Although it was lightly enough at first for the lightweight class, the flag flew to warn the riders just after half way through the session. McPhee was fastest at the time and remained so, but half a second down on Arbolino’s quickest lap from FP1.
Behind McPhee came Rodrigo, and he was one of the few to improve as he knocked half a second off his FP1 best early in the session. Masia was up there once again, with Czech GP winner Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) in fourth; another to improve in FP2. The fastest man in the morning, Arbolino, locked out the top five.
Despite the sketchy conditions, no one came off in FP2, with the lighter rain and then localised downpour on part of the track putting paid to any risk-taking.
Heading into Saturday morning with a provisional place in Q2 are therefore Arbolino, McPhee, Masia, Vietti, Antonelli, Fernandez, Toba and Ogura from their FP1 times, with Rodrigo next up in P9 overall courtesy of his afternoon best. Migno, Arenas and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) are tenth, 11th and 12th respectively, with Foggia slotting into 13th with his FP2 lap. Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) completes the provisional Q2 graduates.
What will Saturday bring? Will FP3 shakes things up again or see the field face more rain? Moto3™ head back out at 9:00 (GMT +2), before qualifying decides the grid from 12:35.
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:
Decent opening day at Red Bull Ring for Oliveira and Lecuona
Day one of the proceedings for the Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich was filled with sensations for Red Bull KTM Tech3. Both, Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona did a great job to kick off the first of two home Grand Prix’ for the team’s manufacturer KTM and title sponsor Red Bull in a strong way.
Oliveira concluded day one overall in seventh position, missing out on the top by only 0.525 seconds, while premier class rookie Lecuona landed just 0.273 seconds behind his teammate. In FP2, which was determined by mixed track conditions, Lecuona even managed to get into a fantastic second position, followed by Oliveira in P3.
“After all, this has been a positive day. With the weather conditions being so unstable, for sure we wanted to be inside the top 10 for both sessions and finally we managed to do it in the morning. I felt like I could have been a little bit faster in the first session, despite a minor issue on the brakes, but finally, it was ok. I’m looking forward to tomorrow a lot, targeting to do a good result.”
“About today I’m really happy, first because in FP1 I finished very close to the top riders in 15th position. It’s my first time here in the MotoGP class and I truly like the way we are working inside the garage and also outside of it. Finishing second in FP2 gives me a huge boost of confidence, although I already was very confident for this weekend before! I hope we can continue like that.”
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini:
THE WEATHER SHORTENS THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE IN AUSTRIA
The true protagonist of the first day of practice in Austria was the weather which, with rainfall in the afternoon, made the second free practice session not so indicative. In fact, many of the riders, including the Aprilia standard bearers, chose to go out on the track for just a few laps, testing out the asphalt conditions.
The first session on the fast Red Bull Ring, on the other hand, took place on a dry track and almost in qualifying conditions. Given the risk of rain, there were plenty of time attacks as the riders tried to nail down a good time in the combined standings. What resulted was an extremely heated session where, in the end, 18 riders were separated by less than one second and all the bikes on the grid were within no more than a second and a half of one another.
Aleix, after spending a good part of the session in the top 10, was unable to exploit his RS-GP when it came time to squeeze the best performance from it. In any case, the Spanish rider was able to keep the gap within less than one second.
For Bradley, on the other hand, a crash kept him from putting his best time on the sheets just as he was doing some rather interesting intermediate times. His session ended with an abrasion to his elbow which, however, is not enough to keep him from carrying on for the weekend.
“The position in the combined standings stems from the fact that I was unable to do a flying lap, first because of traffic and then due to a yellow flag. That aside, I am pleased. I confirmed that the RS-GP works decidedly well here too. Even though we still have room for improvement in acceleration, I am confident that I’ll be able to battle consistently in the top ten. As already happened in Brno, here in Austria we did not have the problems we remember from last year, and that is positive. Hopefully, we’ll be able to work on a dry track tomorrow and demonstrate our level.”
“We knew we would need to take full advantage of the dry session this morning, given the forecast. That’s why I decided to use two soft tyres, and I was demonstrating good potential with the second one. Unfortunately, I pushed a bit too hard on turn 4 and went down. It’s a pity because it would have been a good lap. The afternoon, on the other hand, was frustrating, with the track in mixed conditions that didn’t let us improve. Tomorrow we’ll work primarily on managing the power coming out of the slower turns and on downhill braking – the situation in which I crashed. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and let us move forward with our programme.”
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP’S TOP-10 HOPES DAMPENED ON MIXED SPIELBERG FRIDAY
Spielberg (Austria), 14th August 2020
GRAND PRIX OF AUSTRIA
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were unable to better their morning times in the FP2 session due to mixed conditions. They ended the day in 11th and 13th position respectively.
11th MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’24.779 (FP1) / 22 + 5 LAPS
13th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’24.879 / 24 + 5 LAPS
Following a dry FP1, the weather at the Spielberg track took a turn for the worse with a downpour right before FP2. With some parts of the track wet and others dry, the 45-minute afternoon session became a waiting game for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. Thus Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi finished in 11th and 13th place respectively in the combined times.
Viñales was keen to have a second go at securing a place in the top 10, but the weather conditions precluded any possibilities of making strides. In the final minutes, he hopped aboard his YZR-M1 to set multiple red sectors. He put in a 1‘27.941s on lap 5/5, taking eighth. However, his morning time set in the dry was faster. The 1‘24.779s earned him 11th in the combined free practice times, 0.586s from the top.
Rossi waited patiently for the circuit to become sufficiently dry to start the last-minute time attack. Once the action got underway, with the majority of the MotoGP riders en route to put in a fast lap, he featured in the top 4. But with the track conditions improving, his best effort of a 1‘27.967s, set on lap 5/5, put him in ninth place. His 1‘24.879s FP1 time kept him in 13th place in today‘s combined rankings, 0.686s from the top.
This was not quite the productive day we had hoped for. The weather played a big role in how the Friday panned out. We aimed to be in the top 10 in the dry FP1, but Maverick and Vale both missed out by not much, just 0.026s and 0.126s respectively. This is a pity, especially because the track conditions were mixed in the afternoon. We didn‘t want our riders to take unnecessary risks, so we waited for the end of the session before sending them out. Because of the rain before FP2, Maverick and Vale weren‘t able to improve their combined free practice classification. We have to hope for a dry FP3, because we are confident that with our latest modifications that we prepared for tomorrow morning we should be able to get into Q2. We will be taking a good look at the dry-track data this evening, but the weather is very unpredictable here, so we need to be prepared for all circumstances. If FP3 is fully wet, we will try to optimise the usefulness of this session in order to prepare a wet set-up.
Basically, I think we’re having the same struggles as we had in Brno. We’re missing something overall to make the tyres work, and we and Michelin are working very hard to try to understand what we need to do to improve the bike and the feeling with the tyres. So, tomorrow we are going to try something new on the bike to see if we can do better. If it’s wet in FP3 tomorrow, we’ll go into wet mode and try to understand which are the best tyres for the wet, because also for the wet tyre allocation we have a soft and medium option. At this track you have hard braking, so that plays a role in the decision making. If it’s dry tomorrow morning, we’ll do a time attack to try to get into Q2.
This morning’s FP1 was a fully dry session and we were able to work. This track is very particular, and it’s particularly important to be strong in braking, so you need to balance the bike especially for that. But what I saw this morning was that this year everybody is very strong. We have to improve, especially in sector 3. We had planned to try something different this afternoon, but unfortunately it was very difficult to get any work done because of the mixed conditions. So, in conclusion, the FP2 session wasn’t very helpful for our understanding. Tomorrow we need to do a good FP3, because it will be crucial to be in the top 10. I don’t think that will be easy, because everybody is there. At the moment the forecast for tomorrow afternoon predicts rain, not a lot, similar to what we had today. For sure, if that’s the case, anything is possible.
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Limited laps for the Repsol Honda Team at weather-hit Austrian GP
Localized rain kept everyone inside for Free Practice 2 after a promising first session for Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl at the Red Bull Ring.
The infamously unpredictable Spielberg mountain weather around the Red Bull Ring was out in full force on Friday for round five of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship. Forecasts had predicted heavy rain throughout the entire weekend, but this rain would fall only during Free Practice 2 and initially only around Turn 3.
MotoGP rookie Alex Marquez quickly started to get to grips with the 4.3-kilometre-long Red Bull Ring, sitting in the top ten early in Free Practice 1. Unfortunately, Alex was unable to improve his time late in Free Practice 1 as the yellow flag came out for a faller ahead on track. Free Practice 2 only granted a couple of minutes of running as a rain shower kept the majority of the field inside. Alex completed an exploratory lap early, before heading out for the final five minutes as conditions improved slightly. Alex ended the day 19th overall, 1.056s from the fastest time.
Stefan Bradl returned to the Red Bull Ring after racing with the Repsol Honda Team there in 2019. The German again closed the gap to the front in Free Practice 1, ending within 1.2 seconds of the fastest rider. With little knowledge to gain, Bradl spent the majority of FP2 inside but a late lap moved him to tenth in the session.
It was an impressive day yet again for Takaaki Nakagami on the LCR Honda who finished FP1, and the day overall, in P3. He was just 0.185s behind Pol Espargaro and is aiming for a strong grid position tomorrow.
Both Alex and Stefan will return to the track for Free Practice 3 at 09:55 Local Time tomorrow, Saturday August 14. Rain is again predicted, but today proved the forecasts can be deceptive.
“In the morning I was feeling quite good and I was able to learn the braking points and lines of the MotoGP bikes here quite quickly. But when I put in a new tyre at the end, there was a yellow flag and with the new rules you can’t improve your time. Hopefully it will be dry for FP3, because I think the position doesn’t show our true potential. I was hoping that it would either be fully wet or fully dry this afternoon, but we were left in half and half. I only did a couple of laps early to see the track, later it was drier, so I tried to push more if these are the conditions for tomorrow.”
“The gaps are really, really close this weekend, I checked my times from FP1 and compared to last year where I had been riding the bike more, I was 0.3s faster today. So, I am happy because we’re starting in a good position and another small step can gain you a lot of positions. It’s a shame that FP2 had the strange conditions where we couldn’t do more than a few laps because we were looking to try something and the more laps I can do, the better it is for everyone. Everything feels more comfortable this weekend compared to Brno. The plan is to work on a good setting tomorrow and keep reducing the gap to the front.”
More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:
Disrupted Austrian GP opening day for Morbidelli and Quartararo
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT’s Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo finish day fifth and tenth after rain hampers afternoon running
It was a day of two halves for Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, as the two MotoGP Free Practices took place in very different conditions. The afternoon saw the riders stay in the garage for the majority of FP2 due a deluge of rainfall at the Austrian circuit. The times in the dry morning session saw Morbidelli end the day fifth, with team-mate Fabio tenth.
The MotoGP FP1 session at Red Bull Ring – Spielberg took place under grey skies, with the occasional burst of sun, and saw track temperatures slightly lower than those experienced last weekend at Brno. Quartararo and Morbidelli spent the early part of the session exploring where the limits were aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1 machines; both riders had lap times removed and Fabio made a trip across the Turn 4 gravel trap. However, in the closing stages when the field entered into a mini-qualifying session, both riders were able to finish within the top-ten. Franco’s best time of 1min 24.588secs saw him end the session fifth, while Fabio’s 1min 24.753secs lap placed him tenth.
The afternoon session started with a very quiet circuit, as riders opted to stay in the garage knowing that improvements on the morning’s time could not be made in the wet. As the session started to draw to a close both Morbidelli and Quartararo went out to get a handful of laps in on a circuit that had started to dry. However, times did not improve; Franco’s best time in FP2 was a 1min 29.597secs and placed him 13th, while Fabio’s 1min 29.264secs lap saw him end the session just ahead in 12th. In the combined practice times the pair’s best laps from the morning saw them finish fifth and tenth respectively.
The MotoGP FP3 session will get underway tomorrow at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) ahead of the afternoon’s two qualifying sessions, the first of which will begin at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).
It was a good Friday for us. We didn’t ride as many laps as we wanted to because of the tricky conditions on track this afternoon. This morning I struggled a little in the beginning with the medium tyre; I found it difficult to get the pace, but then it started getting better and better. Then when we put the soft tyre on the gap to the front was smaller and we could finish fifth, which I’m happy about. Hopefully the weather tomorrow will be a bit kinder to us and we’ll try to do a good job then as well.
We struggled a little bit in FP1 but looking back after FP2 it seems like we have found some good things for tomorrow and for our race pace in general. We had some ideas after Brno and they seem to work. One lap pace is important but race pace is even more so, that’s why we are focusing so much on that. I’m hoping FP3 and qualifying are dry, because we think we have a good setting for dry conditions. Let’s see what tomorrow is like but I’m really looking forward to it because I think it’s going to be good and that we can do well.
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR UP FRONT AS AUSTRIAN ACTION BEGINS
Combined practice times:
Alex Rins: 4th – 1’24.573 (+ 0.395)
Joan Mir: 9th – 1’24.743 (+ 0.550)
Friday morning welcomed the beginning of the middle round in a triple-header. Austria’s Red Bull Ring saw thunder storms and rain rolling round the mountains, making for a more intense start to the weekend than usual. For the teams and riders this meant trying to set a time inside the Top 10 in the FP1 session in case of rain.
Alex Rins started proceedings with impressive lap times, despite still experiencing pain in his injured shoulder. He went second early on in FP1 and maintained a good rhythm within the Top five for the remainder of the session. His best lap was a 1’24.573, just +0.380 from the top spot.
Joan Mir had his first taste of the circuit on a MotoGP bike after missing last year’s Austrian GP, he was also keen to get a strong lap laid down and earn a provisional place in Q2 early on. He managed this and was solidly between the Top 5 and Top 10 for the entire session, finishing ninth on the timesheets.
A heavy rain shower curtailed the afternoon’s FP2 session, with many riders choosing to simply do a couple of laps at the end. Rins and Mir finished fourth and sixth respectively in FP2. On the combined standings both riders are in the Top 10, something which could prove to be vital if FP3 is wet tomorrow.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We were happy this morning because we felt we had a good package, and although it was only FP1 both riders felt comfortable and had good pace during the whole session, and we were pleased to see that. We were able to keep both riders in the Top 10 which was helpful because the afternoon session was mixed wet and dry. We have to expect these unpredictable conditions all weekend, but we feel good.”
“This morning I had a lap cancelled, but it doesn’t really affect anything because I felt super good on the bike. I didn’t expect to be fast straight away like this, but I’m happy about it. I really like this track, especially with the MotoGP bike which I haven’t ridden here before. I feel good with my GSX-RR and I’m ready for tomorrow.”
“I feel good on the bike, the pain has changed a bit since last week. It still hurts but I can manage it better. This morning we worked on setup and did good work. Then this afternoon was tricky because some of the corners were very wet, so we chose not to go out until the very end. Let’s see how conditions are tomorrow, I’m satisfied with my pace today so I’ll be hoping for a strong qualifying.”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Positive first day for Andrea Dovizioso, second at the end of Friday’s free practices at the Austrian GP. Twelfth time for Danilo Petrucci
The first day of action at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian GP ended early this afternoon for the Ducati Team with Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci respectively second and twelfth overall after the first two free practice sessions.
After FP1 held in dry conditions, the rain fell during the morning at the Austrian race venue, stopping only shortly before the start of FP2 in the afternoon. With the mixed conditions of the asphalt and some sectors completely dry and others still wet, the Ducati Team riders preferred to take to the track in the final minutes of the afternoon session, completing only a couple of laps before the time ran out.
As the combined classification remained unchanged, the rider from Forlì closed with the second-best time of the day, just 0.044 seconds behind Pol Espargaro in first position, thanks to the fastest lap in 1:24.237 that he put in this morning in FP1.
Danilo Petrucci, who is satisfied with the sensations he felt today onboard his Desmosedici GP bike, ended the day with the twelfth time overall, just over half of a second from the top of the timesheets.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:24.237 (2nd)
“I’m happy with this first day because we were able to be fast right away. Today I felt much more comfortable riding the bike, and I was able to improve especially in braking and in exiting the corners. Of course, there is still work to be done and, unlike the other years, many riders will be competitive on this track. We only finished one session today, but we are also among the first riders, so we are confident for tomorrow. We hope that the weather will hold up and allow us to do tomorrow’s sessions in the dry.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:24.837 (12th)
“Unfortunately today we only had a dry session to be able to work, but in general it doesn’t look bad, although we still have to improve on some aspects. I am confident for tomorrow because we have some ideas that I think will allow us to make a good qualification. As usual, the session tomorrow morning will be decisive, and my goal will be to get into the top ten. I’m optimistic, and now I hope the weather improves for tomorrow.”
Tomorrow, Saturday, 15th August, the Ducati Team riders will take to the track again at 9:55 AM local time for the third free practice session, while qualifying will be held starting from 2:10 PM local time after the end of FP4.
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
Austrian GP – Jack Miller P1 in FP2, positive start for Michele Pirro
The first day of Free Practice at the Red Bull Ring is ended in a good way for Pramac Racing. The Team will attend the Austrian GP with Jack Miller and Michele Pirro who will replace Pecco Bagnaia,who was injured last week in Brno. In the combinate standing, Jack Miller and Michele Pirro conquered the eighth and seventeenth position. A good start for Jack Miller, who finished the FP1 in P8. Due to the rain during the FP2, Jack was able to get back on track only 7 min from the end of the session, but the Australian rider pushed very fast and he took the leadership in the FP2. Michele Pirro – who had been missing on this track for 4 years – during the FP1 tried to get more confident with the bike. The Italian rider had a good feeling since the beginning, unfortunately, the weather conditions during the FP2 did not allow Michele to maximize the session this afternoon.
During the FP1 I tried to get more confident with the track and the bike, we understood the weak points and tomorrow we will try to make another step. The first impact was definitely positive, the bad weather didn’t allow us to use like we wanted the FP2. I would like to thank the Pramac Racing Team for all the support and this will help me a lot to improve in these days.
I am happy with the bike, this morning immediately the feeling was good, we have some changes to make but we are on the right direction. During the FP1 I ended up in the middle of the yellow flag, and I didn’t have the chance to improve my lap time, but we are still in the Top Ten and this is very important. I feel confident for tomorrow.
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:
CRUTCHLOW LOOKING TO IMPROVE AFTER RAIN HITS RED BULL RING
14 August 2020 | Austrian GP Practice
Mixed weather conditions complicated matters for the MotoGP class as free practice got underway for the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday. LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow finished the day in 14th position on the timesheets as the expected bad weather in Spielberg ensured a restricted FP2 session took place on a drying track at the Red Bull Ring.
The Briton was looking to rediscover the kind of rhythm that saw him claim fourth place in Austria back in 2018. Having posted the 14th quickest time in a dry morning session, Crutchlow’s hopes of improving and testing a new part in the afternoon were washed away by the rain, as he finished down in 15th in FP2 having only ventured out briefly on the damp circuit.
Cal Crutchlow – 14th
“Obviously it seemed a difficult day again today. Riding the bike at this circuit I had a great result in 2018 and I was looking to try and find that feeling again. We worked in a good way this morning I felt as we needed to improve the speed and we had something to try in the afternoon that obviously we couldn’t because of the situation with the track conditions being half-wet and half-dry. In those conditions we didn’t really learn too much, so let’s look forward to tomorrow and hopefully get in the top 10 in FP3 and have a good qualifying for Sunday’s race.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
STRONG START FOR NAKAGAMI IN SPIELBERG
14 August 2020 | Austrian GP Practice
Takaaki Nakagami continued his impressive recent form as he ended the opening day of free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix in third position. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider was fastest in FP1 last weekend on his way to another top-10 finish in Brno and was amongst the pacesetters again at the Red Bull Ring as mixed weather ensured a stop-start day in Spielberg.
Nakagami was quick to demonstrate his ever-improving speed during a dry FP1 session with Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso the only riders to eclipse his time. Heavy rainfall meant the riders spent much of FP2 in their garages, with Taka posting the 16th fastest time when he did emerge on to the drying track. But the Japanese star was delighted with his efforts and now has his eyes on a spot towards the front of the grid in qualifying.
Takaaki Nakagami – 3rd
“I’m pretty happy about today because my feeling on the bike was really good. Lap-by-lap and with each outing we were improving the lap-time. It’s really important for this weekend because the weather forecast is changing all the time and we have to prepare for any conditions. It looks like we’ve found quite a good path in the dry conditions, but you never know about wet conditions. P3 for today is not bad, I’m happy and now we’ll prepare for tomorrow and we’re ready to fight for a good position.”