Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia took to the track today at the Red Bull Ring in Austria for the first day of free practices of the Grand Prix of Styria, the tenth round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.
Back on the Desmosedici GP after a long five-week summer break, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders were able to take advantage of this morning's entire FP1 session, held in dry conditions, to regain feeling with their bikes. However, in the afternoon, with rain starting to fall shortly before FP2, the premier class riders could not improve on their morning lap times.
The timesheets remained unchanged, with Miller ending his first day in Austria in tenth place. The Australian rider, who has been working on the setup of his Desmosedici GP bike, declared himself satisfied with the behaviour of his bike, both in dry and wet conditions. Bagnaia, fourth this afternoon in the rain, finished in twelfth place overall on Friday, with the fastest time of 1:24.915 set in the morning. With the weather forecasted to be dry tomorrow morning, Miller and Bagnaia aim to improve their best times in FP3 to gain direct access to Q2 in the afternoon.
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 10th (1:24.827)
"I'm pretty satisfied with this first day here in Austria after the summer break. We've been very busy today, trying different things on the bike, and unfortunately, the weather conditions weren't favourable during the afternoon session. Despite this, I felt comfortable with the Desmosedici GP in both dry and wet conditions and the final minutes of FP2, when used slick tyres as a dry line appeared after the rain that fell earlier in the session. Tomorrow, we'll make a few more small changes, but overall I think I'm ready for any weather conditions."
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 12th (1:24.915)
"Despite today's position, it was a pretty positive start for us. We weren't expecting rain this afternoon, and after working on several aspects in the morning session, we wanted to try and improve our time in FP2. Unfortunately, the track conditions didn't allow us to do that, but we could do more tests on the wet asphalt. We know what we need to do to improve and be in the top ten tomorrow morning if FP3 is dry, so I'm positive".
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track tomorrow at 9:55 am for FP3 before heading into qualifying for the Styrian GP scheduled to start at 2:10 pm local time, at the end of FP4.