Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati demonstrated their strength around the Red Bull Ring by dominating the dry running on day one in Austria. The Bologna squad have won both races held in Spielberg since MotoGP’s return to the venue and look heavy favourites to do so again, with Dovizioso leading team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci on Friday.
The opening day of running saw two heavily contrasting sessions with FP1 taking place in dry conditions, allowing Dovizioso to lap inside the race lap record, clocking a 1:23.830 with his final lap of the morning to edge out Lorenzo. The Spaniard had looked set to snatch the top spot away from the long-time leader but ultimately had to settle for second, three tenths clear of Petrucci in third.
A torrential downpour at the conclusion of Moto3 FP2 caused a delay to the afternoon session, with very limited running taking place in the early stages once the track had opened. Marc Marquez, who was the fastest non-Ducati runner in the dry, moved to the top of the timesheets in the wet, pipping Scott Redding by half a second after the Aprilia rider had led for much of the afternoon.
The downpour may yet prove bad news for Valentino Rossi with the Yamaha rider stranded outside the top ten after a technical problem early in FP1 limited his running. The final Q2 spots are provisionally held by 2016 winner Andrea Iannone, Honda pair Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, as well as Tito Rabat, Johann Zarco and Maverick Vinales with the weather forecast for Free Practice 3 likely to play a pivotal role.
2018 eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich: (Friday Practice)
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