Reigning MotoGP World Champion finished Friday practice at the Red Bull Ring at the top of the timesheets but was chased hard by Monster Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, just 0.066s behind, with Andrea Dovizioso securing third overall despite a crash.
Marquez, who is using a new aero package this weekend, put in a hard/soft Michelin combination early doors to set a 1’23.916 and that time was enough to keep the Repsol Honda man on top. Vinales opted for medium/soft mix for a 1’23.982 while Dovizioso’s time of 1’24.033 set this morning kept him in the fight.
Taka Nakagami was the next best Honda in fourth place, finishing just 0.155s behind the works RC213V, while Fabio Quartararo on the satellite Petronas M1 finished in fifth place, putting a medium/soft combination to good use. Nakagami mirrored Marquez’ tyre choice for his best lap.
Jack Miller bagged sixth place on the Pramac Ducati with a 1’24.308 but it was rookie Tech3 KTM man Miguel Oliveira who provided the biggest shock, leaping into seventh place with a lap only four-tenths behind Marquez.
Danilo Petrucci was towed around by Marquez early in the session to record his best of 1’24.330 which was enough for eighth while Cal Crutchlow scraped into ninth. Pol Espargaro completes the top ten and the automatic qualifying two runners should the predicted rain appear for FP3.
Valentino Rossi was once again outside the top ten, finishing half a second off the pace in 11th. Alex Rins, Pecco Bagnaia, Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco complete the top 15.