Binder Heads Both Sessions On FridayThe South African remains fast as action re-opens at the Red Bull Ring, with Fenati and Acosta completing the top three

Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) is the man to beat after Day 1 of the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, ending both sessions fastest and with a tenth in hand over Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) by the end of play. Championship leader and Styrian GP winner Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) locked out the top three, just 0.013 in further arrears.

FP1
Binder started the weekend on top, backing up a solid Styrian GP where he took sixth on slicks. Fenati, fresh from the podium, was second and they’d remain the top two by the end of play too. Acosta was close in third though, with his sparring partner from last weekend, Sergio Garcia (Santander Consumer Bank GASGAS Aspar Team), down in eighth.

There were no incidents in the morning bar a late run off for Acosta, the Spaniard suffering a bit of a snap at Turn 4 and running on and wide but no harm done.

FP2
Some sudden and late rain put paid to a final charge up the timesheets, but Binder was fastest once again throughout the dry part of the session. And once again, Acosta was close. The Spaniard was 0.057 off in the afternoon, pipping John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) by only 0.002.

Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) moved up a few places into fourth in FP2, finding some better form and the last rider within a tenth of the top. Sergio Garcia was ninth in the afternoon.

There were no incidents in FP2, but the rain stopped play and put paid to the customary final charge up the timesheets on Friday.

There was some drama after FP2, however, as Sergio Garcia was called to the FIM MotoGP™ Stewards. For using a machine with a rear tyre fitted that was not part of his assigned allocation in FP2, he was disqualified from the session and had one unused tyre of the same specification removed from his remaining tyre allocation. That said, his fastest lap of the day was set in FP1…

Combined Timesheets
The top 14 were all up there on the combined timesheets from their FP1 best so Binder, Fenati and Acosta lead the way, with Styrian GP polesitter Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) fourth overall by the end of play.

Izan Guevara (Santander Consumer Bank GASGAS Aspar Team) completed the top five, with Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) sixth after a good day’s work – just 0.003 off the Spanish rookie ahead of him. Foggia was only 0.013 further back in seventh.

Garcia and McPhee take P8 and P9, with Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) completing the top ten with some more good speed at the Red Bull Ring as he returns from injury.

Currently, Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia), Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3), Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) are the riders who stand to move through to Q2, and with rain forecast for some of Saturday… will they stay that way?

We’ll find out from 9:00 (GMT +2) in FP3 before qualifying from 12:35.

Moto3™ Friday top five:
1 Darryn Binder – Petronas Sprinta Racing – Honda – 1:36.215
2 Romano Fenati – Sterilgarda Max Racing Team – Husqvarna – +0.105
3 Pedro Acosta – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM – +0.118
4 Deniz Öncü – Red Bull KTM Tech3 – KTM – +0.184
5 Izan Guevara – Santander Consumer Bank GASGAS Aspar – GASGAS – +0.198

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