Update: No fractures for Miguel Oliveira after medical checks.

A late flying lap by Nakagami puts the LCR Honda rider on top of opening practice for the Styrian MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Reigning world champion Mir had led for the majority of the session. The Suzuki rider is hoping to get the green light to use the factory's long awaited rear ride-height device sometime during the pair of Austrian events, but looked to be without the system on his GSX-RR this morning.

Dani Pedrosa, who retired from MotoGP at the end of 2018, is returning to action this weekend as a wild-card entry for KTM, where he is employed as an official test rider. Pedrosa won 31 races during his premier-class career, spent entirely with Honda.

Pedrosa was forced to park his RC16 (a similar spec to the other KTMs) due to a technical problem halfway through the session, but retained eleventh place as the top KTM rider.

Factory star Miguel Oliveira suffered a highside out of turn 3 moments after Pedrosa's technical issue, leaving the Portuguese in clear discomfort as he sat for several minutes at the side of the track. Although he returned to the pits, Oliveira was sent for medical checks after the session. Lecuona was another KTM faller, without harm.

Cal Crutchlow is also back in MotoGP, for the next three rounds, as a replacement for the injured Franco Morbidelli at Petronas Yamaha. A three time MotoGP race winner, Crutchlow signed up as Yamaha's official test rider after retiring from MotoGP at the end of last season.

Valentino Rossi announced on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the 2021 season.

The back-to-back Austrian events will be the first since the start of the Covid pandemic without special restrictions in place for spectator numbers.

 
Styrian MotoGP, Austria - Free Practice (1) Results
PosRiderNatTeamTime/DiffLapMax
1Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)1'23.805s22/22312k
2Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.076s21/22310k
3Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+0.378s20/22309k
4Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.416s22/23308k
5Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.449s22/22316k
6Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.670s14/24314k
7Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.687s19/25310k
8Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.775s7/26308k
9Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+0.775s22/22315k
10Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+1.022s21/21316k
11Dani PedrosaSPARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.045s20/21308k
12Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+1.110s20/26313k
13Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.154s8/23313k
14Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+1.402s20/22309k
15Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.433s12/14311k
16Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.459s15/22308k
17Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+1.511s22/22316k
18Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.512s13/22313k
19Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+1.604s8/20304k
20Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+1.694s19/20309k
21Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+1.780s9/21313k
22Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*+1.988s18/21306k
23Cal CrutchlowGBRPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+2.285s12/20307k

* Rookie
Official Red Bull Ring MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 23.027s (2019)
Fastest race lap:
Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati 1m 23.827s (2019)

By Peter McLaren