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Practice report

MotoGP Austrian GP: Zarco edges Quartararo to top first practice

Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco topped first practice for the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix, snatching first late on from Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

As has been the case since the British GP, the opening 45-minute session of the weekend does not count towards the qualifying groups for Saturday.

Run under dry conditions, Zarco fired in a 1m29.838s after switching to a fresh medium rear tyre to end first practice 0.399 seconds clear of the field.

He bested 2021 world champion Quartararo and the Aprilia of Maverick Vinales.

Vinales set the early pace on his RS-GP with a 1m31.751s before Ducati’s Enea Bastianini edged ahead with a 1m30.852s inside the first six minutes of the session.

A subsequent 1m30.270s re-established Vinales at the top of the order, which stood as the benchmark for around the next eight minutes.

Continuing to run the new aerodynamic package he raced at the British GP, Yamaha’s Quartararo deposed his former team-mate with a 1m30.237s as the clock ticked into the final half an hour.

Quartararo, who has topped just two warm-up sessions across 2023 so far, looked on course to end FP1 fastest of all as the chequered flag neared.

But a final flyer for Zarco on his Pramac-run Ducati ensured he saw out opening practice on top.

Behind the top three came Gresini’s Alex Marquez on a 1m30.286s. He was forced to park up early on in the session due to an apparent front fork issue, which led to smoke bellowing out of his bike every time he touched the front brake.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marco Bezzecchi completed the top five on his VR46 Ducati from Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio, while Takaaki Nakagami was the leading Honda runner in seventh on his LCR-run bike.

Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia holds a 41-point advantage coming to Austria and was eighth at the end of FP1 on his factory Ducati from British GP winner Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and 2021 Red Bull Ring race victor Jorge Martin (Pramac).

Bastianini, who was on pole in Austria last year, was 11th ahead of the factory Honda of Joan Mir – who also tested a new aero package - and Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli, while Brad Binder was the leading KTM in 14th.

Marc Marquez crashed in the closing stages after running off into the gravel down at the Turn 4 right-hander – the Honda rider losing his balance as he tried to steer out of the stones.

He was 18th at the chequered flag ahead of Tech3 rookie Augusto Fernandez, who was the only other faller in that session at the Turn 2 chicane.

MotoGP Austrian GP - FP1 results

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 France J. Zarco Johann Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 20 1'29.838   173.352 311
2 France F. Quartararo Fabio Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 24 +0.399 0.399 172.585 307
3 Spain M. Viñales Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 21 +0.411 0.012 172.562 309
4 Spain A. Marquez Alex Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 20 +0.448 0.037 172.491 313
5 Italy M. Bezzecchi Marco Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 21 +0.467 0.019 172.455 314
6 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 18 +0.469 0.002 172.451 309
7 Japan T. Nakagami Takaaki Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 22 +0.500 0.031 172.392 309
8 Italy F. Bagnaia Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 21 +0.529 0.029 172.337 311
9 Spain A. Espargaro Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 18 +0.538 0.009 172.320 309
10 Spain J. Martin Jorge Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 21 +0.591 0.053 172.219 311
11 Italy E. Bastianini Enea Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 20 +0.621 0.030 172.161 313
12 Spain J. Mir Joan Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 19 +0.622 0.001 172.160 309
13 Italy F. Morbidelli Franco Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 22 +0.804 0.182 171.814 306
14 South Africa B. Binder Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 24 +0.908 0.104 171.617 310
15 Italy L. Marini Luca Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 20 +0.940 0.032 171.556 309
16 Spain P. Espargaro Pol Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 19 +0.959 0.019 171.521 311
17 Portugal M. Oliveira Miguel Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 20 +0.983 0.024 171.475 307
18 Spain M. Marquez Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 21 +1.018 0.035 171.409 309
19 Spain A. Fernandez Augusto Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 23 +1.182 0.164 171.100 309
20 Spain R. Fernández Raúl Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 19 +1.394 0.212 170.703 309
21 Italy L. Savadori Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Team 32 Aprilia 17 +1.445 0.051 170.607 307
22 Australia J. Miller Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 21 +1.528 0.083 170.452 307
23 Spain I. Lecuona Iker Lecuona Team LCR 27 Honda 22 +2.047 0.519 169.490 309

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