After a six week summer break, MotoGP returns to the Styrian mountains this weekend, and it’s Taka Nakagami who has topped FP1 of the Styrian GP.
Friday morning at the Red Bull Ring brought sunny conditions for the riders, with two big names making their return to the grid this weekend.
Dani Pedrosa will contest the Styrian GP as a wildcard for KTM, whilst Cal Crutchlow steps into the SRT squad for the next three rounds as Franco Morbidelli recovers from surgery.
It was the KTM bikes who seemed to have quite a rough FP1, as Iker Lecuona crashed at Turn 3 just ten minutes in, with Miguel Oliveira doing the same with 15 minutes to go.
Pedrosa’s bike also had an issue with 15 minutes remaining, meaning the Austrian manufacturer will be hoping for a more straightforward weekend from now on.
Nakagami’s late lap time of 1m23.805s put him on top of the leaderboard, 0.076s faster than Joan Mir.
Aleix Espargaro split the two Suzuki’s in third, with Alex Rins behind the Spaniard in fourth.
It was a positive start to the weekend for Honda, with their riders Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez ending fifth and sixth.
Maverick Vinales got the better of teammate Fabio Quartararo in FP1, the Yamaha pair finished seventh and eighth.
Johann Zarco and Jack Miller rounded out the top-ten.
Pedrosa ended as the fastest KTM rider in 11th ahead of Pecco Bagnaia, Alex Marquez and Luca Marini.
After a heavy high-side early on in FP1, Oliveira put his KTM machine in 15th, with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Martin behind in 16th and 17th.
Brad Binder ended 18th on the leaderboard, ahead of the two Tech3’s, Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona.
Enea Bastianini finished 21st, with Lorenzo Savadori 22nd and Crutchlow in 23rd on the timesheets.