Red Bull Ring MotoGP: Miller tops wet/dry first practice

Ducati’s Jack Miller topped a wet-to-dry first practice session for the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix as the revised Red Bull Ring layout made its debut.

Red Bull Ring MotoGP: Miller tops wet/dry first practice
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Early morning rain left the Red Bull Ring, which has been revamped for 2022, damp with forecasts remaining sketchy for the entire weekend.

Following the horrific accident involving Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli in the 2020 Austrian GP, a new chicane at Turn 2 has been added to the Red Bull Ring to slow down the riders through that section of the circuit.

In the early stages of the damp FP1, numerous riders ran through the chicane as they got to grips with their braking points for the new section.

For much of the session, lap times were set on wet tyres, with a number of riders taking turns leading the timings.

With 15 minutes of the 45-minute session remaining, the fastest wet lap was Johann Zarco’s with a 1m36.916s as Ducati stablemate Marco Bezzecchi on the VR46 GP21 took to the track on slicks.

KTM’s Miguel Oliveira took over from Zarco five minutes later with a 1m36.5s on slicks before Ducati’s Jack Miller went top with a 1m36.236s.

Bezzecchi dipped under the 1m36s with a 1m35.922s seconds later, with that trio of Bezzecchi, Oliveira and Miller trading top spot again over the next few minutes.

Miller, famed for his speed in drying conditions, moved the goalposts significantly over the closing stages as he dropped his pace to a 1m31.586s, before improving to a 1m31.139s on his following lap.

The Australian strengthened his position at the top of the timesheets with a 1m30.756s on his final lap to end FP1 0.618 seconds clear of the field.

Pramac’s Zarco was his nearest challenger in second ahead of the Suzuki of Joan Mir, who said on Thursday at the Red Bull Ring that he was “very close” to securing his 2023 MotoGP deal with Honda.

Jorge Martin – last year’s Styrian GP winner – was fourth on the second Pramac Ducati ahead of championship leader Fabio Quartararo on the Yamaha.

Alex Rins completed the top six on the second Suzuki with last year’s Austrian GP winner Brad Binder on the KTM, LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini and RNF Racing’s Andrea Dovizioso rounding out the top 10.

Maverick Vinales was 0.067s outside of the top 10 in 11th on the leading Aprilia, as teammate Aleix Espargaro was a low-key 17th behind Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.

Bezzecchi faded to 12th after his early stint at the top of the timesheets ahead of KTM’s Miguel Oliveira.

Despite the conditions, only Tech 3 KTM rookie Remy Gardner crashed in FP1 – the Australian coming off his RC16 unhurt at Turn 4.

FP2 for the 2022 MotoGP Austrian GP will get underway at 2:10pm local time.

Austrian GP - FP1 results:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'30.756  
2 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'31.374 0.618
3 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'31.576 0.820
4 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'31.616 0.860
5 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'31.773 1.017
6 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'31.875 1.119
7 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'31.913 1.157
8 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'31.941 1.185
9 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'31.976 1.220
10 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1'32.007 1.251
11 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'32.074 1.318
12 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1'32.321 1.565
13 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'32.422 1.666
14 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 1'32.437 1.681
15 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'32.488 1.732
16 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'32.513 1.757
17 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'32.557 1.801
18 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 1'32.748 1.992
19 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 1'32.775 2.019
20 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 1'32.905 2.149
21 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'32.963 2.207
22 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'32.998 2.242
23 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 1'33.796 3.040
24 South Africa Darryn Binder Yamaha 1'35.072 4.316
25 Australia Remy Gardner KTM 1'35.092 4.336
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