If there was a Spaniard that could be called upon to challenge the expected Ducati hegemony around the short, fast Red Bull Ring, Maverick Vi?ales probably wouldn't have been the first name to come to mind. Yet the Suzuki rider pipped Andrea Dovizioso to lead a cold FP1 in Austria.

Vi?ales' late run was enough to keep Ducati from placing first around the 2.6-mile track by the narrow margin of 0.079s. Bologna was represented in second and third, with Andrea Iannone 0.132s off his team-mate's best time in a fairly tight, competitive top ten.

While Ducatis occupied each of the top four positions at the close of a recent two-day test here, Michelin's harder rear tyre and colder track conditions blunted the superiority they enjoyed in the unofficial test.

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One second slower than Iannone over those two days, Valentino Rossi was a heartening fourth, with a time that was just over one tenth slower than his fellow Italian. Yonny Hernandez was the third of the Bologna machines here in a surprise fifth after sitting as high as first with less than ten minutes of the session to play.

Despite missing the test, championship leader Marc Marquez was sixth and first of the Hondas, one place ahead of title rival Jorge Lorenzo, who spent much of the 45 minutes outside the top ten. The Repsol Honda was fast over the lap even though he was losing over 5kph to the Ducatis on the uphill run to turn three.

Continuing his strong form from Barcelona, Assen and the Sachsenring, Jack Miller was the second best Honda rider in eighth. Indeed Miller was just a tenth slower than Marquez, and was a third of a second quicker than fellow Honda man Cal Crutchlow (eleventh).


Suffering contrasting emotions to Marquez and Miller, Dani Pedrosa endured a nightmare morning.

The Spaniard was well off the pace when he fell while braking for turn nine. His bike veered into and punctured the airfence, which warranted red flags so race direction could replace the trackside protection. The second Repsol man's fastest time was 5.4s off first.

There were also crashes for Stefan Bradl (20th) on the exit of turn three and Eugene Laverty (21st) through the fast turn eight. Thankfully neither rider was injured.

FP1:
1. Maverick Vi?ales
2. Andrea Dovizioso
3. Andrea Iannone
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Yonny Hernandez
6. Marc Marquez
7. Jorge Lorenzo
8. Jack Miller
9. Danilo Petrucci
10. Michele Pirro
11. Cal Crutchlow
12. Scott Redding
13. Pol Espargaro
14. Bradley Smith
15. Aleix Espargaro
16. Loris Baz
17. Alvaro Bautista
18. Hector Barbera
19. Tito Rabat
20. Stefan Bradl
21. Eugene Laverty
22. Dani Pedrosa

CLICK HERE for full results.