The Frenchman’s new all-time lap record means he’s the rider to beat ahead of Saturday’s action; rain effects play in the afternoon
A new all-time lap record in MotoGP™ FP1 at the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich gives Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco top spot on Friday. The Frenchman’s 1:22.827 – faster than teammate Jorge Martin’s Styrian GP pole time from last weekend – is 0.798s quicker than second place Joan Mir’s (Team Suzuki Ecstar) FP1 time, with fellow Suzuki star Alex Rins completing the top three on Day 1.
Dry morning, mixed conditions in the afternoon
Zarco’s unbelievable pace in the morning was simply untouchable. Only three riders got within a second of the Ducati rider – fourth place Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) joining the Suzukis in that department – as Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the top five.
Both the Spaniard and World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) encountered small issues with their machines in the morning, both though inside the top six ahead of Saturday.
In the afternoon, 10 minutes before the end of Moto3™ FP2, the Styrian heavens opened. A mostly wet FP3 prevailed for the premier class in what was an almost carbon copy of seven days ago – a dry line appearing in the latter stages.
Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) was the first rider to head out on slicks with five minutes to go, and the young Spaniard comfortably went 0.8s clear at the summit. Lecuona’s eventual 1:27.520 was 3.3s faster than Zarco’s second place time, but it didn’t affect the combined standings ahead of Saturday’s crucial FP3 session.
The remaining provisional automatic Q2 qualifiers
Behind sixth place Quartararo sits Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) in seventh, the two-time World Champion again showing solid speed at the Red Bull Ring, the number 73 is a spot ahead of Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team). Ninth position belongs to Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) as three Hondas place inside the top 10 on the opening day, Styrian GP winner Martin occupies 10th place.
Make sure you tune into FP3 tomorrow morning at 09:50 local time (GMT+2) to see who is going straight into Q2.
Top 10 combined:
1. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) – 1:22.827
2. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.798
3. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.903
4. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 0.963
5. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 1.014
6. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 1.038
7. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) + 1.054
8. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 1.076
9. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 1.140
10. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 1.217