Spielberg, Austria

2021 Austria MotoGP FP4 Result: Zarco Leads Close Field

With riders being as familiar as they can get with the Red Bull Ring after experiencing it in pretty much all conditions over the past 10 days, FP4 was a tight-knit affair on the timesheets. The much warmer conditions saw a lot of hard front rubber on trial and the quickest man on it was the quickest man throughout practice, Johann Zarco. However, the Frenchman was only one tenth ahead of rookie Enea Bastianini, who almost matched his excellent pace.

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Official: Petronas Ends Sponsorship Of SRT Team, New Structure To Be Created

Petronas are to end their sponsorship of the Sepang Racing Team at the end of 2021. The news had been reported for a couple of days, but this morning, an official press release came from the Sepang International Circuit announcing the news officially.

Petronas had been title sponsor to the team since 2018, when they only had teams in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes. The next year, they increased the  budget to allow them to expand into MotoGP. Three seasons later, they are pulling out of sponsorship once again.

The consequences of this have yet to be announced. The team is set to make an official announcement at Silverstone, in two weeks time. But the team is expected to be reducing their presence in the MotoGP paddock to just the MotoGP team, closing their Moto2 and Moto3 teams.

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2021 Austria Moto2 FP3 Result: Gardner Grabs Lap Record

The intermediate class fully embraced their final opportunity to pick up places directly to Q2 and riders were quick to improve on Friday’s benchmark. It was the usual contenders battling for practice supremacy, with Marco Bezzecchi leading for most of the session until Raul Fernandez improved the all-time lap record in the final handful of minutes. The Spaniard did not get to keep the record for long, as teammate Remy Gardner robbed him again in the closing stages, dropping Fernandez to second on the timesheets.

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2021 Austria MotoGP FP3 Result: Bagnaia Picks Up The Pace

After the unexpected washout of FP2, the premier class took no chances on Saturday morning and attacked the timesheets quite early. The Frenchmen traded top spot early on, with Fabio Quartararo spending the most time up there but with Johann Zarco’s FP1 lap record still standing. Although Pecco Bagnaia eventually demoted Quartararo from the lead of FP3, the Yamaha man showed impressive pace, while Zarco remained the fastest man of the weekend and third in the session.

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2021 Austria Moto3 FP3 Result: Guevara Shows Off

Nice and dry asphalt greeted the lightweight class for their final practice session at the Red Bull Ring but that just invited to a dawdling domino for the final time attack. After Darryn Binder and Deniz Öncü shared the limelight early on, the shootout for the top 14 started early by Moto3 standards, in the final seven or so minutes. Rookie Izan Guevara was quick to take control of proceedings as the fastest man of the weekend so far, six hundredths of a second ahead of Öncü.

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2021 Austria MotoE FP3 Result: Aldeguer Makes His Move

MotoE opened the show on day 2 at the Red Bull Ring and Fermín Aldeguer led the way as the fastest man over all three practice sessions. Matteo Ferrari in second position was over three tenths of a second slower, with Lukas Tulovic taking third. Dominique Aegerter dropped to fourth ahead of reigning cup victor Jordi Torres and Xavi Cardelus. Eric Granado spent some time at the top of the timing screens but eventually dropped to seventh position, with Kevin Zannoni, Alessandro Zaccone and Miquel Pons rounding out the top 10 positions.

Results:

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Austria MotoGP Friday Round Up: Rain Wrecks Plans, Riding Wet And Dry, Helping Marquez' Shoulder, And The Binder Brothers

We know that the weather in the mountains is changeable, but Friday at the Red Bull Ring took the cake. A bright, sunny morning, with ideal conditions for riding – so ideal that Johann Zarco sliced another tenth of a second off the outright lap record in FP1 – and in the last ten minutes or so of FP2 for the Moto3 class, a few drops of rain, and then lightning, and a hailstorm in 30°C heat. The MotoGP riders went out on a soaking track, but by the time the session finished, it was almost dry.

Iker Lecuona seized his opportunity. The Tech3 KTM rider had been quick enough on wets, but at the end of FP2, he swapped to slicks, and banged in a time nearly 3.4 seconds faster than anyone else had managed. Jack Miller was the only other rider to stick a set of slicks in at the end, though he was not chasing a time, but trying to understand how the medium slicks would work on a track which was still quite wet.

"I just went out on the mediums to understand how they work in quite a lot of water on the track," Miller explained. "Because it's quite stop-start here, you're putting a lot of weight on both the front and the rear tyre, and the medium definitely feels better. So I just wanted to understand how quickly I could get them up to temperature and working, and they worked pretty good."

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2021 Austria MotoE FP2 Result: Aegerter Demotes Aldeguer

The final practice session of the day got off to a slow start but the MotoE class quickly got up to speed and went quicker than the morning session. Fermín Aldeguer spent quite a bit of time at the top of the timing screens, until Dominique Aegerter demoted him by one hundredth of a second for the final couple of minutes. FP1 leader Eric Granado climbed into third, two tenths off the lead and narrowly ahead of Matteo Ferrari, while Lukas Tulovic completed the top five.

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