The first day of action at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian GP ended early this afternoon for the Ducati Team with Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci respectively second and twelfth overall after the first two free practice sessions.
After FP1 held in dry conditions, the rain fell during the morning at the Austrian race venue, stopping only shortly before the start of FP2 in the afternoon. With the mixed conditions of the asphalt and some sectors completely dry and others still wet, the Ducati Team riders preferred to take to the track in the final minutes of the afternoon session, completing only a couple of laps before the time ran out.
As the combined classification remained unchanged, the rider from Forlì closed with the second-best time of the day, just 0.044 seconds behind Pol Espargaro in first position, thanks to the fastest lap in 1:24.237 that he put in this morning in FP1.
Danilo Petrucci, who is satisfied with the sensations he felt today onboard his Desmosedici GP bike, ended the day with the twelfth time overall, just over half of a second from the top of the timesheets.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:24.237 (2nd)
"I'm happy with this first day because we were able to be fast right away. Today I felt much more comfortable riding the bike, and I was able to improve especially in braking and in exiting the corners. Of course, there is still work to be done and, unlike the other years, many riders will be competitive on this track. We only finished one session today, but we are also among the first riders, so we are confident for tomorrow. We hope that the weather will hold up and allow us to do tomorrow's sessions in the dry."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:24.837 (12th)
"Unfortunately today we only had a dry session to be able to work, but in general it doesn't look bad, although we still have to improve on some aspects. I am confident for tomorrow because we have some ideas that I think will allow us to make a good qualification. As usual, the session tomorrow morning will be decisive, and my goal will be to get into the top ten. I'm optimistic, and now I hope the weather improves for tomorrow."
Tomorrow, Saturday, 15th August, the Ducati Team riders will take to the track again at 9:55 AM local time for the third free practice session, while qualifying will be held starting from 2:10 PM local time after the end of FP4.