SPIELBERG, Austria – The Ducati Team dominated the proceedings on Friday during opening MotoGP practice at the Red Bull Ring, taking the top two spots on the overall speed charts.
Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone were first and second on the time sheets, eight tenths of a second clear of the Suzuki of Maverick Vinales in third.
The Ducati squad was also fastest during a recent test at the Red Bull Ring and Friday’s practice sessions showed that was no fluke.
“I am very pleased with the way my weekend has begun, even though we found the tires, and above all the weather conditions, completely different to those during the test in July,” said Dovizioso, whose best lap came in at 1:23.617. “Despite this we were able to confirm our good form and everything is going well, but it’s not enough because we still have to improve some aspects in view of the race. What is certain however is that, with the speed we have, we can use tomorrow’s two sessions to search for the best race pace.”
Valentino Rossi was fourth quickest as the veteran Italian worked on refining his set up further to the earlier private test, with Cal Crutchlow closing out the top-five.
Danilo Petrucci and Hector Barbera continued the Ducati presence in the top ten in sixth and seventh respectively, with wildcard entry Michele Pirro in ninth completing the Borgo Panigale factory’s impressive showing at the Red Bull Ring.
Reigning MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo ended the first day in Austria in eighth as he built on work done in the test to try and move up the timesheets, with championship leader Marc Marquez closing out the day in tenth.
Aleix Espargaro crashed in the afternoon and suffered a small fracture to his left ring finger.
CREDIT: MotoGP Communications