Rins and Mir up front as Austrian action begins
Alex Rins: 4th – 1’24.573 (+ 0.395)
Joan Mir: 9th – 1’24.743 (+ 0.550)
Friday morning welcomed the beginning of the middle round in a triple-header. Austria’s Red Bull Ring saw thunder storms and rain rolling round the mountains, making for a more intense start to the weekend than usual. For the teams and riders this meant trying to set a time inside the Top 10 in the FP1 session in case of rain.
Alex Rins started proceedings with impressive lap times, despite still experiencing pain in his injured shoulder. He went second early on in FP1 and maintained a good rhythm within the Top five for the remainder of the session. His best lap was a 1’24.573, just +0.380 from the top spot.
Joan Mir had his first taste of the circuit on a MotoGP bike after missing last year’s Austrian GP, he was also keen to get a strong lap laid down and earn a provisional place in Q2 early on. He managed this and was solidly between the Top 5 and Top 10 for the entire session, finishing ninth on the timesheets.
A heavy rain shower curtailed the afternoon’s FP2 session, with many riders choosing to simply do a couple of laps at the end. Rins and Mir finished fourth and sixth respectively in FP2. On the combined standings both riders are in the Top 10, something which could prove to be vital if FP3 is wet tomorrow.
“This morning I had a lap cancelled, but it doesn’t really affect anything because I felt super good on the bike. I didn’t expect to be fast straight away like this, but I’m happy about it. I really like this track, especially with the MotoGP bike which I haven’t ridden here before. I feel good with my GSX-RR and I’m ready for tomorrow.”
“I feel good on the bike, the pain has changed a bit since last week. It still hurts but I can manage it better. This morning we worked on setup and did good work. Then this afternoon was tricky because some of the corners were very wet, so we chose not to go out until the very end. Let’s see how conditions are tomorrow, I’m satisfied with my pace today so I’ll be hoping for a strong qualifying.”