MotoGP Austria: Maverick Vinales outpaces Ducatis in first practice

Suzuki's Maverick Vinales beat the heavily-fancied Ducatis into top spot in opening practice for MotoGP's Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring

MotoGP Austria: Maverick Vinales outpaces Ducatis in first practice

Ducati riders dominated the pre-event test in July, ahead of the first motorcycle grand prix in Austria since 1997, but conditions on Friday morning were significantly cooler.

The air temperature was 9C at the start of the session, and track temperatures were down on the two days of July running by 20-25C.

Riders also had to come to terms with a reprofiled final corner and new rear tyres from Michelin, and worked their way into proceedings.

As a result, Vinales' benchmark of 1m25.866s was 2.626 seconds slower than Andrea Iannone's fastest time of the test.

While Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci shared time at the top of the order early with Marc VDS Honda's Jack Miller and then Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, it was more than half an hour before a factory Ducati was setting the pace, when Iannone recorded a 1m26.332s to go fastest.

Yonny Hernandez then moved to the top with a 1m26.306s, as his Aspar Ducati team-mate Eugene Laverty crashed at the Turn 8 right-hander exiting the infield section.

Moments later and with 12 minutes remaining, the session was red-flagged, five minutes after Dani Pedrosa crashed at the penultimate corner.

The front wheel of the Spaniard's Honda locked under braking, and while he slid along the run-off area, his bike damaged the air fence and subsequently landed atop the tyre barrier behind it.

When running resumed, Vinales moved to the top five with five minutes remaining, backing up his fastest time with a 1m25.880s that would have also been good enough to lead the session.

Factory Ducatis occupied second and third, with Andrea Dovizioso and Iannone 0.079s and 0.211s slower than Vinales.

Rossi moved to fourth on his final lap, a 1m26.232s, while his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was quiet in the cool conditions but improved from 13th to seventh at the end of the session.

Hernandez was fifth, ahead of Honda's championship leader Marc Marquez, who missed the test and led the way briefly.

Marquez's team-mate Pedrosa was unhurt in his crash but did not rejoin the session, finishing 22nd and last.

Miller, Petrucci and Ducati test rider Michele Pirro - running as a wildcard on an entry originally offered to Casey Stoner - rounded out the top 10 covered by 0.754s.

Aprilia's Stefan Bradl was 18th fastest but the first rider to crash, losing control of his RS-GP exiting Turn 3, the second of the slow right-handers in the first half of the lap.

FP1 TIMES

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap Laps
1 Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki 1m25.866s 19
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 0.079s 16
3 Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati 0.211s 22
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 0.366s 22
5 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati Ducati 0.440s 24
6 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 0.471s 25
7 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha 0.509s 21
8 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda Honda 0.572s 21
9 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 0.627s 25
10 Michele Pirro Ducati Ducati 0.754s 20
11 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 0.868s 24
12 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati Ducati 0.994s 21
13 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1.014s 25
14 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1.129s 23
15 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 1.201s 17
16 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati Ducati 2.131s 23
17 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Aprilia 2.363s 21
18 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Ducati 2.626s 22
19 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda Honda 2.865s 25
20 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Aprilia 2.895s 18
21 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati Ducati 4.340s 7
22 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 5.427s 9


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