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FP2 at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas saw the MotoGP™ riders go into time attack mode knowing rain is on the way for FP3 on Saturday morning.
Rain, of course, means the riders won’t be able to improve their times so Q1 and automatic Q2 places will be decided on their FP2 efforts – and some big-name riders missed the cut.
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MotoGP™ FP2 in Austin: who will top Free Practice Friday?
2nd in the Championship Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) didn’t master the Circuit of the Americas on Friday as he could only manage P11, the Italian being bumped out of the top 10 in the final few seconds by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins. Fellow Mission Winnow Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci also missed out on a top 10 in 13th, meaning both factory Desmosedici riders look set to battle it out in Q1 if they want to have a shot at pole in Austin.
But it certainly won’t be easy for them to secure the top two slots in Q1 if rain falls for FP3. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) is the man splitting the Ducati duo, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) just 0.047 slower than Petrucci in P14. 15th fastest Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) has a 100% Q2 record so far in 2019, so the Japanese rider poses a real threat if the times stay the same after FP3. Five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) is another big name to find himself down the timesheets, so it’ll be a titanic Q1 session as things stand.
A nervy wait to see what the weather brings for FP3 has begun for said riders, with others like Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) aiming to improve too. Q1 looks set to be a tasty affair in Austin, tune in at 14:10 local time (GMT-5) to watch it unfold.
List of riders currently outside top 10:
11. Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) + 0.857
12. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.994
13. Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) + 1.049
14. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 1.096
15. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 1.163
16. Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) + 1.312
17. Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 1.634
18. Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 2.098
19. Karel Abraham (Reale Avintia Racing) + 2.305
20. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) + 2.347
21. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 2.419
22. Hafizh Syahrin (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 2.993
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