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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Nakagami tops FP1 as Pedrosa, Crutchlow mark their returns

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After the cancellation of July’s Finnish Grand Prix, the second-ever Styrian GP was added to the calendar to type an Austria double-header to kick off the second half of the season.

Reigning world champion Joan Mir set the early tempo on his Suzuki with a 1m25.933s, with the Japanese marque lastly bringing the rear trip top machine it has been lacking to Austria – although neither Mir nor team-mate Alex Rins appeared to make use of it in FP1.

High spot modified fingers in fast succession over the primary 10 minutes, with championship chief Fabio Quartararo taking on from Mir moments later with a 1m25.854s on the Yamaha.

Honda’s Marc Marquez and Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco would additionally take turns main the session early on, although it was Mir who took the longest stint on the high with a 1m24.428s set simply over 10 minutes into FP1.

Mir’s lap time would rise up till the closing moments of the 45-minute session when Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro took over with a 1m24.291s.

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On a recent set of medium tyres, Mir shortly deposed Espargaro with a 1m24.183s – however the Aprilia rider, additionally on recent mediums, responded with an equivalent time.

As a result of Espargaro’s second lap of that run was faster than Mir’s, that netted him high spot, although a 1m23.881s quickly put the Suzuki again on high.

However a last-gasp effort from Nakagami on the LCR-run Honda put the Japanese rider to the highest of the order with a 1m23.805s.

Mir ended the session 0.076 seconds adrift, with Espargaro finishing the highest three forward of the sister Suzuki of Rins.

Pol Espargaro led manufacturing unit Honda team-mate Marc Marquez in fifth, whereas the manufacturing unit Yamaha pair of Maverick Vinales and Quartararo adopted.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Workforce

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The highest 10 was rounded out by Zarco and his manufacturing unit Ducati crew counterpart Jack Miller, whereas the returning Pedrosa was simply over a second off the tempo in eleventh in his first official MotoGP classes since his last grand prix in Valencia on the finish of 2018.

The KTM wildcard’s FP1 wasn’t completely easy, with an obvious mechanical problem with round 20 minutes remaining halting his session briefly.

His fellow KTM riders Miguel Oliveira and Tech3’s Iker Lecuona additionally had tough FP1s, each struggling crashes up at Flip 3 – with a gradual pace highside knocking the wind out of the previous with 16 minutes remaining.

KTM has since confirmed Oliveira has been taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks after his crash.

Having announced his retirement from MotoGP on Thursday, Rossi was sixteenth on the Petronas SRT Yamaha as he started his farewell tour.

Rounding out the 23-rider area in FP1 was Rossi’s momentary SRT team-mate Crutchlow, who’s changing the injured Franco Morbidelli for the following three races.

Using a MotoGP bike for the primary time since a Yamaha take a look at in April, the Briton was 2.2s off the tempo as he takes to the Crimson Bull Ring on two-year-old ‘A-spec’ M1.

MotoGP Styrian Grand Prix – FP1 outcomes

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