Red Bull Ring MotoGP: KTM's Espargaro tops FP1

Lewis Duncan
·3-min read

With an unpredictable weather forecast for later today, the latter stages of FP1 featured riders trying to secure provisional Q2 places.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo set the early pace in the opening 45-minute session with a 1m26.282s, though this was quickly beaten by Espargaro on the KTM.

 

He improved on his second effort to a 1m24.858s, bettering this further to a 1m24.685s with 21 minutes remaining.

Due to the extreme heat build-up in the tyres at the hard-acceleration Red Bull Ring, Michelin has once again brought a special construction tyre to cope.

Ducati, and particularly Andrea Dovizioso, has struggled to get to grips with Michelin’s new construction tyre in use in 2020 – though Dovizioso on Thursday noted that the alternate tyre for the Austrian double-header could work in his favour.

Briefly hitting top spot with a 1m24.772s around 10 minutes into the session, Dovizioso would end the session just 0.044 seconds adrift of Espargaro.

 

Joan Mir got the Suzuki up to third, 0.129s off the pace, but had his best lap cancelled for improving his laptime through a yellow flag sector for a crash for Aprilia’s Bradley Smith at Turn 4, which dropped him down to ninth.

That promoted Nakagami to third, with Alex Rins the lead Suzuki ahead of Petronas’ Franco Morbidelli leading the Yamaha charge on the ‘A-spec’ M1.

Fellow Brno podium-finisher Johann Zarco (Avintia) was sixth on the Ducati which won last year’s race in the hands of Dovizioso, with Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira seventh on the KTM ahead of Pramac’s Jack Miller and Mir.

Quartararo completed the top 10, bumping his future factory Yamaha teammate and nearest title rival Maverick Vinales down to 11th late on in a frustrating session for both.

Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) headed Valentino Rossi on the other works team Yamaha, with Brno race winner Binder 0.812s off the pace down in 16th as he gets to grips with the Red Bull Ring on a MotoGP bike for the first time.

He was 17th at the end of FP1 ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and Alex Marquez on the works Honda.

:

1

44

Spain

Pol Espargaro

KTM RC16

KTM

1'24.193

2

4

Italy

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'24.237

0.044

3

30

Japan

Takaaki Nakagami

Honda RC213V

Honda

1'24.378

0.185

4

42

Spain

Alex Rins

Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

1'24.573

0.380

5

21

Italy

Franco Morbidelli

Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'24.588

0.395

6

5

France

Johann Zarco

Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

1'24.655

0.462

7

88

Portugal

Miguel Oliveira

KTM RC16

KTM

1'24.718

0.525

8

43

Australia

Jack Miller

Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'24.724

0.531

9

36

Spain

Joan Mir

Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

1'24.743

0.550

10

20

France

Fabio Quartararo

Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'24.753

0.560

11

12

Spain

Maverick Viñales

Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'24.779

0.586

12

9

Italy

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'24.837

0.644

13

46

Italy

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'24.879

0.686

14

35

United Kingdom

Cal Crutchlow

Honda RC213V

Honda

1'24.944

0.751

15

27

Spain

Iker Lecuona

KTM RC16

KTM

1'24.991

0.798

16

33

South Africa

Brad Binder

KTM RC16

KTM

1'25.005

0.812

17

51

Italy

Michele Pirro

Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'25.152

0.959

18

41

Spain

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

1'25.165

0.972

19

73

Spain

Alex Marquez

Honda RC213V

Honda

1'25.249

1.056

20

38

United Kingdom

Bradley Smith

Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

1'25.297

1.104

21

6

Germany

Stefan Bradl

Honda RC213V

Honda

1'25.371

1.178

22

53

Spain

Tito Rabat

Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

1'25.729

1.536

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