Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) left it late to seal top spot in MotoGP™ FP1 at the Michelin® Grand Prix of Styria, with the Japanese rider’s 1:23.805 enough to move ahead of World Champion Joan Mir on the timesheets. The Suzuki rider sits second, just seven hundredths off the pace, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completing the top three.
Mir led for the majority of the session and having exchanged blows with Espargaro towards the tail end of the session, looked to have done enough to top the timesheets. However, with time up on the clock, Nakagami posted his best lap of the day to get his Grand Prix weekend off to the perfect start.
Alex Rins ensured it was a good session for Team Suzuki Ecstar, taking fourth ahead of Repsol Hondas Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez. Both factory Yamahas sit outside the top 6 which comes as little surprise given the M1 tends to struggle at the Red Bull Ring, with Maverick Viñales one place ahead of Championship leader Fabio Quartararo in P7. Perhaps surprisingly, P9 was the best the Ducatis could muster, with Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) over seven-tenths off, while factory counterpart Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) completes the top 10 for the session.
FP1 also saw the return of some familiar faces, with Cal Crutchlow making his comeback with Petronas Yamaha SRT. Dani Pedrosa is also back on track for a Grand Prix weekend for the first time since 2018. A wildcard entry for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, the man from Sabadell put in a respectable performance for P11, but was forced back to pitlane due to some mechanical issues with his RC16. Moments later, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) then suffered a nasty highside which took the wind out of the Portuguese rider's sails and compounded a miserable few minutes for KTM. He managed to make his way back to his garage but has been taken to the medical centre for a check-up.
The premier class will be back on track at 2.10pm (CET).
1. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) – 1:23.805
2. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.076
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 0.378
4. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.416
5. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.449
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.670
7. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.687
8. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.775
9. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.775
10. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 1.022