By Bruce Allen
Round 11 of the 2017 MotoGP world championship will be remembered for the duel between Ducati #1 Andrea Dovizioso and Repsol Honda icon Marc Marquez on the race’s last lap. By then, a lead group of six or seven riders had shrunk to just the two top riders in this year’s series. At a track seemingly designed for the Ducati, Dovi held off the best rider on Earth by a fraction of a second in a race people will be talking about for years.
Practice and Qualifying
All three of the meaningful practice sessions leading up to Q1 were dry or mostly dry. Dovizioso owned Friday, at/near the top of both sheets, and, feeling confident, took some time off early in FP3 to visit a cute little used book store not far from the track, ending the session in 16th place. The Octo Pramac team could only be described as “cheesed off” after FP3. Redding, who will be riding an Aprilia next season, missed passing through to Q2 by 6/1000ths of a second. Teammate Danilo Petrucci was another full 6/1000ths behind Redding.
As expected, the Ducatis were loving themselves some Austria. In addition to Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo passed through to Q2 in an encouraging 4th place, while Loris Baz and Karel Abraham (having a better year than I expected) flogged their GP15s to a couple of fast laps and into the front four rows of the grid, regardless of what might happen in FP4 or, for that matter, qualifying itself. For these two riders, rapidly approaching “journeyman” status, this is a win. Punking Redding and Petrucci, both on newer bikes, had to feel pretty good, too.
Along with Marc Marquez, who led the way into Q2, most of the …read more
Source:: MotoGP Red Bull Ring Results 2017