2017 Austria MotoGP Friday Practice Results from Red Bull Ring
Just as he did last week during Friday’s free practice at Brno, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso opened up a weekend of GP racing with the fastest times.
After being shut down by Reale Avintia Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera in morning practice at Austria’s Red Bull Ring, the Italian took advantage of the dry track and was quickest in the second free practice.
Dovi’s time of 1:24.046 was quicker last year’s Circuit Record Lap (1:24.561, under race conditions, Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team GP16), but nearly a second slower than last season’s Best Lap (all track sessions, 1:23.142, Iannone).
When Friday’s 2017 Austria MotoGP practice sessions were complete, Dovizioso claimed the provisional pole 0.234 of a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales, and 0.428 ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
“I’m very pleased with the way things went today and we couldn’t have had a better start to the weekend,” Dovizioso says. “The Ducati Corse engineers have done a really good job with the new fairing, which on this track is working very well, and we have managed to get close to the effect of last year’s winglets, confirming our speed in two different conditions, both this morning and this afternoon, when there wasn’t much grip. But now we have to work on some details because it’s the tire wear that will make all the difference in the race rather than sheer speed, just like last year.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco finished fourth, ahead of Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo, who took four tenths off his morning’s best.
Barbera couldn’t gain on his morning time, and had to settle for sixth quickest. He finished ahead of fellow countryman and current points leader who won last week at Brno MotoGP, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.
Rounding out the top 10 were LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro and Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Scott Redding.
As for nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who led Monday’s Brno MotoGP practice, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pilot finished 13th overall, 0.837 of a second off the pace.
Qualifying for 2017 Austria MotoGP gets underway Saturday at 2:10 p.m. local time.
Photo by Luciano Bianchetto
2017 Austria MotoGP Friday Practice Results from Red Bull Ring (combined times):