2020 Styrian MotoGP - Free Practice Results (2)

Pol Espargaro rewarded his homegrown KTM team the overnight advantage heading into Saturday’s all-important FP3 and Qualifying sessions for the Styrian MotoGP, the Spaniard outclassing his rivals all afternoon around the Austrian venue.

Eager to bounce back from last weekend’s high promise-low outcome result on Sunday when he collided with KTM counterpart Miguel Oliveira, Espargaro is nonetheless framing himself as a rider capable of loosening the Ducati stronghold at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday.

Indeed, after moving to the head of the FP2 timesheets early on, Espargaro simply chipped away at his benchmark to end the day with a 1m 23.638secs, which in turn improved upon Jack Miller’s FP1 target.

Moreover, the time means he ends the day two tenths quicker than the aforementioned Miller, a notable gap when you consider only a second covered all 21 riders in FP1.

Miller and Andrea Dovizioso spent the afternoon focusing on their race pace safe in the knowledge their FP1 efforts were enough to ensure a provisionally safe passage into Q2, while Tech 3 KTM rider Oliveira’s morning time was also worthy for a strong end to the day in fourth.

Once more it was Takaaki Nakagami flying the flag for Honda on the 2019-spec machine, setting the second fastest time in FP2 to place himself fifth overall – compared with team-mate Cal Crutchlow in 18th - ahead of the Suzuki pair of Joan Mir and Alex Rins in sixth and seventh combined.

 

 

Maverick Vinales led a muted Yamaha challenge in eighth place, with Franco Morbidelli putting the dramas of the past few days firmly behind him with a confident run to ninth. Rounding out the provisional ‘straight to Q2’ top ten is Brad Binder, fending off Iker Lecuona, Aleix Espargaro and Valentino Rossi.

Also missing from the sharp end is championship leader Fabio Quartararo, whose erratic week at the Red Bull Ring showed no sign of abating as he ran off at Turn 1 on his first time attack, before then running way off at Turn 4 on his second attempt. It means he is only 14th on the overnight timesheets, but with FP3 tomorrow morning to make some amends.

 

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