Austrian MotoGP - Free Practice Results (1)

Andrea Dovizioso topped first free practice for the Austrian MotoGP at Red Bull Ring after a rapid soft tyre lap in the final seconds dismissed an otherwise composed-looking Marc Marquez from the head of the timesheets.

Marquez looked on course to pick up from where he left of in Brno only five days earlier as his early 1m 24.218secs effort on the medium rubber fended off a flurry of soft-shod laps in the closing stages, only for Dovizioso to squeeze ahead at the flag.

Two tenths quicker than the championship leading Repsol Honda rider with a 1m 24.033s, Dovizioso’s efforts will give Ducati some hope on a crucial weekend for the Italian marque.

Maverick Vinales was third quickest as the highest-placed Yamaha rider, the Spaniard avoiding a dust up with Marquez after the Honda rider ran off at turn four when overtaking his countryman.

With a swirl of publicity surrounding him this weekend in the wake of his revelations that Jorge Lorenzo could be lined up for a shock comeback, Jack Miller put that aside to post the fourth quickest time, unusually wearing the harder compound rear tyre on the Pramac Ducati.

Valentino Rossi lifted himself to fifth in the closing stages, ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins on the sole Suzuki this weekend following the withdrawal of the injured Joan Mir.

A week on from his wet front row start, Johann Zarco was a surprise eighth quickest on the updated KTM on the team’s home soil, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami and Miguel Oliveira, a strong tenth best on the satellite Tech 3 KTM.

Elsewhere, Aleix Espargaro was top Aprilia rider in 12th, with Danilo Petrucci on the second factory Ducati well down the order in 14th.

Hafizh Syahrin, meanwhile, suffered a heavy tumble at turn nine, which required him to receive some trackside assistance before he was removed.

 

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