MotoGP: Zarco Fastest, Top 20 Covered By A Second In FP2 At Red Bull Ring

MotoGP: Zarco Fastest, Top 20 Covered By A Second In FP2 At Red Bull Ring

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MotoGP FP2




More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Ducati chased by Quartararo on Friday

Just 0.040 covers Zarco, Miller, Martin and Quartararo as action opens in Austria

Friday, 19 August 2022

On paper, it’s Ducati domination so far at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich as Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) made it a 1-2-3 for the Bologna brand on Friday, but they’ve got company. By the end of Day 1, Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was within just 0.040 of the top, and just ahead of key rival Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team).

After a mixed FP1 led by Miller and by a margin, the big stories of the day in terms of combined timesheets came in FP2, with conditions much improved and allowing some solid dry track time, as well as time to attack for a provisional place in Q2.

The majority of the field improved their FP1 times from the get-go as a busy opening to the second session of the weekend played out, with the threat of rain and automatic places in Q2 places on the minds of the teams. Initially, Bagnaia climbed to the top of the table and was shadowed by Quartararo, before Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) then went fastest. The times were going to continue to drop, however.

By 20 minutes to go, Quartararo was the pacesetter from Rins and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), with the top 10 covered by less than half a second. But clouds were drawing in and with 10 minutes left on the clock, there was a big rush in pitlane to head out on fresh soft rubber as light rain began to fall. And that spelled bad news for second in the title race Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), as the Spaniard sat outside the top 10 in P11.

The number 41’s first effort placed him in P6 while Martin and Zarco shot up to P1 and P2, with Miller improving but staying P3. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) then crashed unhurt between the penultimate and final corner, as Martin, Miller and Zarco exchanged P1 in quick succession.

Ducati had locked out the top six with four minutes to go as Bagnaia, Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) climbed up the table, but Bastianini’s lap time was then chalked off. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) were then well inside the top 10, before Quartararo leapt up from P11 to P4 to spoil the party. Bastianini found time again to pounce into the top 10, and that pushed Aleix Espargaro out – leaving the Championship challenger with some work to do on Saturday.

Provisional Q2 places

Zarco, Miller, Martin, Quartararo and Bagnaia is quite a top five, and the Ducati invasion keeps coming with Marini, Bezzecchi and Bastianini all up next.

There’s more Italian machinery in ninth but this time in the hands of Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) as the number 12 keeps his form rolling to take a provisional place in the top ten. That top ten is rounded out by 2021 winner Brad Binder flying the home flag for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in P10.

That leaves Aleix Espargaro a notable name outside the top ten, as well as the likes of Mir and Rins. With the weather seemingly still changeable too, FP3 could be pivotal in the mission to move through to Q2. Watch that at 9:55 (GMT +2), before qualifying decides the grid from 14:10!

Chantra heads Ogura by just 0.055 on Day 1

The Idemitsu Honda Team Asia riders lock out the top ahead of Fernandez

It’s an Idemitsu Honda Team Asia 1-2 heading into qualifying day at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich as Somkiat Chantra beat teammate Ai Ogura by 0.055s in FP2 to top the Moto2™ timesheets on Day 1. World Championship leader Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was 0.311s off the pace in third, with former points leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) down in P15.

On his sixth flying lap of FP2, Ogura bettered Jake Dixon’s (Zinia GASGAS Aspar Team) FP1 time by 0.059s as Chantra and Alonso Lopez (CAG Speed Up) improved their Friday morning efforts inside the top five as the sun shone at the Red Bull Ring.

Chantra, with nine minutes to go, then climbed up to P1 to make it a Honda Team Asia 1-2. And on his next flying lap, the Thai star went 0.588s quicker than Ogura as plenty of improvements were being made across the board. Fernandez cut that advantage down to 0.323s before Ogura was just 0.055s off his teammate’s effort with four minutes left, with fourth place Dixon yet to improve on his 1:35.000 in FP1. From then on, no one would be able to beat Chantra’s time.

Provisional Q2 places

Behind the ATC alumini 1-2 and the Championship leader, Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) grabbed P4 in the closing stages as both the Italian and fifth place Lopez demoted Dixon down to P6. Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) is seventh ahead of FP3 and it joined in the top 10 by Fermin Aldeguer (CAG Speed Up), Filip Salač (Gresini Racing Moto2™) and Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40). The last four riders currently on to move through are Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team), Albert Arenas (Zinia GASGAS Aspar Team), Joe Roberts and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team)… leaving Championship challenger Vietti down in P15 and looking for a way through.

There’s plenty on the line in FP3, so tune in for that from 10:55 (GMT+2) before qualifying from 15:10!

Foggia pips Öncü and McPhee as 0.049 covers the top three on Friday

Honda edge out KTM and Husqvarna in a tight top trio after Day 1 in Austria

Leopard Racing’s Dennis Foggia emerged with the fastest after Moto3™’s first dry-weather session at the new-look Red Bull Ring. The Italian set a 1:41.774 with the chequered flag out in FP2 at the CryptoDATA Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich to top the session and the day, with Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) second with a lap time set just before he was involved in a crash with Lorenzo Fellon (SIC58 Squadra Corse). John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) took third as both AutoSolar GASGAS Aspar Team riders, Izan Guevara and Sergio Garcia, made it into the top 14, which could be particularly important given the threat of rain when FP3 unfolds on the following morning…

With the track having dried out after a wet FP1, it was no surprise that every rider immediately went quicker than their personal-best time from the morning session. Initially, the name at the top changed with every passing lap, before Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) consolidated first position with a 1:42.165 just before the quarter-hour mark, a time which held up until the final five minutes.

By then, Daniel Holgado had not long gone quicker but his 1:41.989 would not stand due to a breach of track limits, meaning Red Bull KTM Ajo team-mate Jaume Masia had the honours of breaking Sasaki’s hold on top spot when he punched out a 1:41.959. Almost as soon as he had done so, Öncü clocked a 1:41.816, but he was on the floor moments later again in an incident with Fellon, who lost the front of his Honda at Turn 1. Stewards reviewed the incident but opted to take no action, while both riders were okay.

With everyone trying to secure a provisional berth in Q2, there was a flurry of red and orange sectors as the chequered flag came out. Foggia elevated himself from fifth to first with a 1:41.774 and Leopard Racing team-mate Tatsuki Suzuki subsequently set a 1:42.035. Suzuki would be classified fourth all-told given Öncü’s earlier lap time and a very late effort from McPhee, who clocked a 1:41.823 as he got a double tow across the finish line.

Provisional Q2 places

Behind Foggia, Öncü, McPhee and Suzuki, Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) claimed fifth on a 1:42.080, ahead of Sasaki on a 1:42.085, then Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team), Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Masia, and David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports), the latter of whom had light contact with Öncü exiting Turn 2b in the early stages of the session. Guevara took 12th on a 1:42.193 and Garcia 13th on a 1:42.251, as they continue to battle each other for World Championship supremacy. Kaito Toba (CIP Green power) pipped returning rookie teammate Joel Kelso by just 0.010 to take the final, provisional place in Q2.

FP3 begins at 9:00 (GMT +2) on Friday, with eyes to the skies as the weather continues to prove unpredictable. Then it’s time for qualifying for the lightweight class from 12:35!

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