MotoGP 2019 – Round 11
Red Bull Ring – Austria – Day One
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.
Marc Marquez – P1
“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.”
As so often happens, however,for the rest of the field 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?
Andrea Dovizioso – P3
“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.”
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.
Takaaki Nakagami – P3
“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.”
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.
Maverick Viñales – P2
“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.”
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.
Fabio Quartararo – P5
“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.”
Jack Miller – P6
“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”.
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.
Miguel Oliveira – P7
“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.”
Danilo Petrucci – P8
“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.”
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.
Cal Crutchlow – P9
“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.”
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. Rossi 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‘m4.532s, 0.616s from first. His faster morning time also put him in P11 in the combined standings, 0.553s from the top.
Valentino Rossi – P11
“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.”
Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was just behind the ‘Doctor’ looking for the same. Will the two be heading head to head in Q1?
Alex Rins – P12
“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.”
MotoGP Day One Combined Times
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder has given Austrian factory KTM Friday honours in the Moto2 class after setting a 1:29.029 in FP2 at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, the South African deposing Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) on his final flying lap. Second in the Championship, Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) completes a top three covered by just 0.118.
The sun was shining as temperatures soared in Spielberg, but that meant improving FP1 times came a little difficult. Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was the early pacesetter in FP2 after the Spaniard had completed the opening Free Practice session down in ninth place, but he wouldn’t stay at the summit for long. Binder, fourth quickest in FP1, soon found himself at the top of the timesheets in FP2, but Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) and Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) were the only riders to go fastest than their FP1 times halfway through the session. Soon enough though, the reigning Moto3 World Champion was second in FP2 behind teammate Binder.
Nagashima and Lüthi were about to move the goalposts, however, as they took over at the top in the session and on the combined times as the first big movers from FP1. Other riders like Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) were improving as personal best overall times started to file in, but Binder was setting overall best sectors. With the chequered flag about to drop, the South African came across the line to go 0.090 faster than Nagashima, but the session did end with MotoGP™-bound Binder pulling off the track at Turn 3 with a mechanical issue.
Behind the top three Navarro ended Friday in fourth place, the Spaniard setting his best time on his penultimate lap to improve by four places from FP1, with Czech GP podium finisher Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) in P5 and the rookie just 0.187 adrift of Binder. Thanks to their FP1 times, Friday morning pacesetter Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP 40) sits sixth ahead of Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM), a crasher in FP1, and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) – a crasher in both the morning and afternoon. Marini improved his time to sit ninth on the combined times.
Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) drastically jumped up the timesheets from P22 in the morning to P10 at the end of Friday, impressively completing the top ten ahead of Martin, Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP40) and Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team).
Championship leader Marquez, meanwhile, couldn’t find improvements in the afternoon as he finished down in P15 on the combined times, slipping from P9 in FP1. The Spaniard will have to find some speed on Saturday morning if he wants to climb into the top 14 to progress straight into Q2 – but it won’t be that simple. Riders like teammate Xavi Vierge, Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) – who both slip outside top 14 places in Q1 – and Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) all currently sit just off the top 14 spots, so Moto2 FP3 looks set to be an intriguing session…and if it’s wet, everything will be on the line in Q1.
Moto2 Day One Combined Times
|24||F.Di Giannantonio||SPEED UP||1m29.999|
Sky Racing Team VR46’s Celestino Vietti laid down the marker on Friday at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, ending the day fastest with his final lap in FP2 – but not by much. The Italian was only 0.031 ahead of Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee, with the Scot, in turn, only 0.022 clear of SIC58 Squadra Corse’s Tatsuki Suzuki. The close timesheets didn’t end there, with 20 riders covered by a second at the end of a Friday that saw riders push hard in the closing stages to make it into the provisional Q2 graduation zone. Why? Adverse forecasts for Saturday’s FP3 session mean Friday could prove crucial…
The day began with Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) going quickest in FP1, and the Czech rider was one of only a handful who didn’t improve. He remains fifth overall, however, with only the top three and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) the only riders able to overhaul him in FP2. VNE Snipers’ Tony Arbolino ended the day sixth, just ahead of Bester Capital Dubai’s Jaume Masia in seventh.
Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), fresh from his stunner of a comeback from pitlane to top five at Brno, was P8 on Day 1, with Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) just behind the Italian as the Japanese rider looks for another impressive top six finish in his rookie season. Filip Salač (Redox PrüstelGP) completed the top ten.
Championship rivals Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) had a more muted first day, but both have a provisional place in Q2. Dalla Porta was 11th fastest and just ahead of teammate Marcos Ramirez, with Canet in P14 behind rookie Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team). The Championship leader didn’t improve in the afternoon and seemed like he could be heading for Q1 before a lap for Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) was cancelled, boosting Canet into 14th.
Moto3 Day One Combined Times
After setting the pace in FP1 at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, FIM Enel MotoE World Cup standings leader Niki Tuuli (Ajo MotoE) went over half a second quicker in the afternoon to sit 0.620 clear of second fastest Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse), with Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) just 0.001 further back in P3.
Smith began the day as Tuuli’s closest challenger in the Championship and remained so as the top two ended FP1 at the top of the standings. However, no one could live with Tuuli’s FP2 pace as the Finn set a 1:35.225 on his third flying lap, his advantage remaining above half a second for most of the 30-minute session.
Casadei finished fourth in FP1 but the Italian was able to find a couple of tenths in the evening sun to jump to second overall, with Smith improving by only just under a tenth and therefore slipping down a spot to third.
“Today went well overall. The most positive thing is that in terms of pace we are in much better shape than we were at Sachsenring. I felt very good from the first run onwards today. In the afternoon we experimented with our setup; We have improved in some areas, but in others we struggled. Luckily we have FP3 tomorrow to get back to the good feeling we had this morning and prepare ourselves for E-Pole in the afternoon. There are other riders who are very fast, but I’m convinced that we have a good enough package for a positive qualifying session.”
Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing) was a big improver in FP2 to leap up to fourth from 10th in FP1, the Spaniard managing to find almost a second to sit 0.038 behind the number 38 on Day 1. Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) closed out the top five in the combined standings – just as he did in FP1.
Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was sixth fastest ahead of Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) and Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team). Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), who was ninth fastest, crashed in FP2 and headed to the medical centre for a checkup – rider ok. Maria Herrera (Openbank Angel Nieto Team) locked out the top ten.
Josh Hook finished the opening day in 16th.
Another headline on Day 1 was an incident ahead of FP2 as a fire broke out, with an investigation currently underway to determine the reasons behind it. The incident involved the bike of standings leader Tuuli, but the fire was immediately and safely extinguished by the fire department. MotoE action did and will continue as scheduled.
MotoE Day One Combined Times