Austrian MotoGP: Zarco tops FP1 with Red Bull Ring lap record

Pramac’s Johann Zarco blitzed the field with a record lap of the Red Bull Ring to top FP1 for the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo hit mechanical troubles.

Austrian MotoGP: Zarco tops FP1 with Red Bull Ring lap record

A week after teammate Jorge Martin took his and the team’s first MotoGP victory in the Styrian GP, Zarco continued Pramac’s purple patch in Austria on Friday morning by going 0.798 seconds clear of the field with a new Red Bull Ring lap record.

The paddock was rocked on Thursday at the news Yamaha had suspended Maverick Vinales for allegedly trying to blow up his M1’s engine in last week’s Styrian GP at the Red Bull Ring.

This has left championship leader Fabio Quartararo as the sole factory Yamaha team representative for the Austrian GP, but it didn’t prove to be much of a distraction as the French rider leaped up to second early on after the opening salvo of flying laps. However, he was forced to pull off track at Turn 9 in the dying stages of FP1 with a mechanical issue.

Alex Marquez set the early benchmark pace on his LCR Honda with a 1m24.185s, before Suzuki’s Joan Mir took over with a 1m23.997s having finished second in last weekend’s Red Bull Ring race.

Just a moment later the second LCR Honda of Takaaki Nakagami moved to the top of the timesheets with a 1m23.810s with just over 37 minutes of the 45-minute session remaining.

This stood as the benchmark up until the closing six minutes when Mir began to light up the timing screens on a fresh soft slick. The Suzuki rider produced a 1m23.625s to go fastest of all, while the likes of Alex Marquez, Alex Rins and Zarco put in fresh tyre time attacks late on.

Zarco found a 1m23.408s on his effort with just under two minutes remaining to demote Mir down to second, while Rins had leaped up to third behind his Suzuki teammate.

On his following lap, Zarco blitzed the field to better the lap record set by teammate Martin in qualifying for the Styrian GP with a 1m22.827s. Zarco would go unchallenged through to the chequered flag, with Mir and Rins trailing him to complete the top three.

Nakagami was top Honda rider in fourth ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, who also looked to have suffered some technical issues during FP1 having been forced to retire from last week’s Styrian GP with an engine problem.

Quartararo was sixth despite his issues, with Alex Marquez leading the first of the factory team Ducati riders Francesco Bagnaia in seventh, while Marc Marquez on the factory Honda and Martin rounded out the top 10.

Few riders opted for a time attack late on in FP1, with the likes of KTM duo Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder and Ducati’s Jack Miller having low-key sessions filling positions 15 to 17.

Valentino Rossi was the next-best Yamaha rider down in 14th on his Petronas SRT M1, with teammate Cal Crutchlow – continuing to deputise for the injured Franco Morbidelli – in 20th and last.

Aprilia has elected to not replace Lorenzo Savadori following his ankle break in a fiery crash in the Styrian GP.

Austrian MotoGP - FP1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 5 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 1'22.827
2 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 1'23.625 0.798
3 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 1'23.730 0.903
4 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 1'23.790 0.963
5 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 1'23.841 1.014
6 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 1'23.865 1.038
7 73 Spain Alex Marquez
Honda 1'23.881 1.054
8 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 1'23.903 1.076
9 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 1'23.967 1.140
10 89 Spain Jorge Martin
Ducati 1'24.044 1.217
11 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
Honda 1'24.097 1.270
12 23 Italy Enea Bastianini
Ducati 1'24.237 1.410
13 10 Italy Luca Marini
Ducati 1'24.330 1.503
14 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 1'24.335 1.508
15 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 1'24.347 1.520
16 33 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM 1'24.492 1.665
17 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 1'24.528 1.701
18 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
KTM 1'24.755 1.928
19 27 Spain Iker Lecuona
KTM 1'24.792 1.965
20 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Yamaha 1'25.295 2.468
shares
comments

Related video

KTM offers MotoGP race winner Petrucci 2022 Dakar deal
Previous article

KTM offers MotoGP race winner Petrucci 2022 Dakar deal

Next article

Why Vinales may never ride a Yamaha in MotoGP again

Why Vinales may never ride a Yamaha in MotoGP again
Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother Prime

Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Motorsport.com – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend.

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Prime

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Prime

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez.

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems Prime

Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character.

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Prime

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Prime

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Prime

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia.

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022