Ducati Team riders got off to a good start on the first day of practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, which takes place this weekend at the Red Bull Ring near Zeltweg.
At the end of the day it was Andrea Dovizioso, last year's winner here, who headed the provisional timesheets with an unbeaten lap of 1'24.046…
“I'm very pleased with the way things went today and we couldn't have had a better start to the weekend,” Dovi said. “The Ducati Corse engineers have done a really good job with the new fairing, which on this track is working very well, and we have managed to get close to the effect of last year's winglets, confirming our speed in two different conditions, both this morning and this afternoon, when there wasn't much grip. But now we have to work on some details because it's the tyre wear that will make all the difference in the race rather than sheer speed, just like last year.”
The two Ducati men set their quickest times towards the end of the second FP2 free practice session, when the sun came out once again over the Austrian circuit, but even in FP1 in the morning they were both classified inside the top ten, with Dovizioso second and Lorenzo ninth.
At the end of the day, Lorenzo finished in fifth place, with a best time of 1'24.616.
“Today we weren't able to fully get the best out of the two free practice sessions because in the morning and the afternoon some parts of the track were still damp because of the rain that fell during the day,” Lorenzo said. “For this reason I'm not entirely satisfied, even though in the end we were fifth and our times are not so far from the front guys. With respect to last year, when the Ducatis made all the difference on this track, now our rivals have improved and the lap times are all pretty close, but if we succeed in finding a solution that allows me to brake with more confidence and stability I believe that tomorrow we will be considerably quicker.”