Takaaki Nakagami topped his first free practice session of the 2021 MotoGP season at the Red Bull Ring, while Miguel Oliveira suffered a big highside at turn three.
Joan Mir was the early pace setter as he led a Monster Energy Yamaha 2-3 of Maverick VInales and Fabio Quartararo.
The order remained largely the same throughout the second runs, except when Marc Marquez jumped from tenth to second on used medium tyres.
Fellow Honda rider Nakagami was next to significantly improve as he went fastest with 14 minutes remaining, however, the Japanese rider’s time was deleted for exceeding track limits.
But with just a few minutes left, Nakagami improved again – this time kept his lap – which eventually saw him pip Mir with his final lap.
Behind Espargaro was Alex Rins in fourth, while Pol Espargaro jumped up the order to fifth with his final attempt – one spot ahead of team-mate Marquez.
Vinales and Quartararo were two riders not to set a time attack and instead focused on used tyre performance. The pair finished seventh and eighth respectively.
The top Ducati was Johann Zarco who finished ninth just ahead of factory rider Jack Miller.
Iker Lecuona suffered an early crash at turn three in what’s expected to be the Spaniard’s last season in MotoGP.
Dani Pedrosa enjoyed an impressive return to competitive action as he finished 11th quickest – top KTM.
Pedrosa’s first session back wasn’t without issues though, as the 35 year-old pulled off the Spielberg circuit with an apparent mechanical problem with 18 minutes to go.
More drama followed for the home manufacturer as one of the pre-weekend favorites Oliveira suffered a big highside on the exit of turn three moments later. Worryingly, the Portuguese rider seemed dazed after hitting his head and right shoulder.
Oliveira returned to pit lane on the back of a scooter, but did not reappear for the final few minutes.
STYRIAN MOTOGP, AUSTRIA – FREE PRACTICE (1) RESULTS
|1||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||1’23.805s||22/22||312k|
|2||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.076s||21/22||310k|
|3||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)||+0.378s||20/22||309k|
|4||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.416s||22/23||308k|
|5||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.449s||22/22||316k|
|6||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.670s||14/24||314k|
|7||Maverick Vinales||SPA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+0.687s||19/25||310k|
|8||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+0.775s||7/26||308k|
|9||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP21)||+0.775s||22/22||315k|
|10||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Team (GP21)||+1.022s||21/21||316k|
|11||Dani Pedrosa||SPA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.045s||20/21||308k|
|12||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Team (GP21)||+1.110s||20/26||313k|
|13||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+1.154s||8/23||313k|
|14||Luca Marini||ITA||Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*||+1.402s||20/22||309k|
|15||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.433s||12/14||311k|
|16||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+1.459s||15/22||308k|
|17||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP21)*||+1.511s||22/22||316k|
|18||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.512s||13/22||313k|
|19||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)||+1.604s||8/20||304k|
|20||Iker Lecuona||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)||+1.694s||19/20||309k|
|21||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Avintia Ducati (GP19)*||+1.780s||9/21||313k|
|22||Lorenzo Salvadori||ITA||Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)*||+1.988s||18/21||306k|
|23||Cal Crutchlow||GBR||Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+2.285s||12/20||307k|