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Espargaro dominates second Styrian GP practice for KTM

by Matt Beer
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

KTM rider Pol Espargaro set the fastest lap of Friday practice in the second MotoGP session at the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.

Espargaro and Suzuki’s Alex Rins were both outside the top 10 in FP1, having forgone a soft-tyre run, but both broke into the combined classification top 10 early on in second practice.

Espargaro took the early lead with a 1m24.203s, while Rins was just 0.022s slower afterward, with both lapping on the medium rear.

Rins then equipped the soft rear with 20 minutes to go, and jumped ahead of Espargaro by eight-hundredths, only for the KTM man to surpass him with his own first soft-rear flying lap of the weekend with five minutes left on the clock.

The 1m23.764s effort took Espargaro over three and a half tenths clear in the top spot, and he went quicker still a couple of minutes later, a 1m23.638s ensuring he would end Friday as the pace-setter.

Joan Mir had taken second from Suzuki team-mate Rins in the closing minutes, only to be shuffled down to third by LCR Honda’s FP1 pace-setter Takaaki Nakagami after the chequered flag.

The Japanese rider lapped 0.003s quicker than Mir, but a quarter of a second slower than Espargaro.

Maverick Vinales moved up to fifth on the medium rear late on, ahead of Tech3 KTM rider Miguel Oliveira and Petronas Yamaha man Franco Morbidelli.

Morbidelli’s team-mate Fabio Quartararo had a frustrating end to the session, appearing in rage when he failed to get the bike stopped at Turn 1 and then running through the gravel at Turn 4.

He and the second works Yamaha of Valentino Rossi – who finished the session in ninth – are both currently outside of the combined classification top 10 and thus face potentially having to go through Q1 on Saturday.

Andrea Dovizioso and Jack Miller, who made it a Ducati 1-2 in the Austrian Grand Prix, were only 15th and 17th yet are both currently on course to automatically make Q2 by the strength of their FP1 efforts.

As was communicated on Thursday, Johann Zarco has not been passed fit to contest either Friday practice session – but he could still be cleared to participate in the race weekend from Saturday onwards.

Practice 2 Results

Pos Name Team Bike Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Pol Espargaró Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m23.638s
2 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda +0.266s +0.266s 1m23.904s
3 Joan Mir Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki +0.003s +0.269s 1m23.907s
4 Alex Rins Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki +0.102s +0.371s 1m24.009s
5 Maverick Viñales Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +0.051s +0.422s 1m24.06s
6 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +0.058s +0.48s 1m24.118s
7 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.069s +0.549s 1m24.187s
8 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.179s +0.728s 1m24.366s
9 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +0.012s +0.74s 1m24.378s
10 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.049s +0.789s 1m24.427s
11 Iker Lecuona Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +0.002s +0.791s 1m24.429s
12 Alex Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.034s +0.825s 1m24.463s
13 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda +0.097s +0.922s 1m24.56s
14 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.083s +1.005s 1m24.643s
15 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team Ducati +0.131s +1.136s 1m24.774s
16 Michele Pirro Pramac Racing Ducati +0.033s +1.169s 1m24.807s
17 Jack Miller Pramac Racing Ducati +0.118s +1.287s 1m24.925s
18 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Team Ducati +0.06s +1.347s 1m24.985s
19 Bradley Smith Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.04s +1.387s 1m25.025s
20 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.032s +1.419s 1m25.057s
21 Tito Rabat Avintia Racing Ducati +0.164s +1.583s 1m25.221s
22 Johann Zarco Avintia Racing Ducati
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