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It looks like the Red Bull Ring could be heading for another showdown of the Ducatis vs Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), and on Day 1 it was the Borgo Panigale machinery quickest straight out the box. But Marquez worked for the race in a dry FP1 and finished fourth behind Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), his teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) and despite some doubts, his foray into the wet in FP2 saw him go fastest.
Dovi in the dry, Marquez in the wet at the Red Bull Ring
Marquez says he stayed on plan to work on race pace in the morning, too: “This morning, we knew there was a chance to have a rainy session in FP2 but we kept the tyres to try to work for the race and the three ducatis were 1st 2nd and 3rd. They will be very fast here, especially Dovizioso, but we were not far. We are there. Maybe we can fight but it will be very equal…”
He certainly fought last season, and in the wet in FP2 he didn’t just fight, he won – topping the session. In those conditions, the advantage may be flipped.
“This afternoon we had some doubts whether to go out or stay in the box because it looks like it will be dry tomorrow afternoon and on Sunday,” explains the reigning Champion, “but we did it just to try a few laps. Immediately I felt really good, I felt confident and it was just to check the electronics, check the setup and I felt good. But the important thing is this morning I also felt good…”
Will it be a fight? Saturday will tell us more, with practice for the premier class from 9:55 (GMT +2) and qualifying from 14:10.
What do the riders think of Austrian GP so far?