Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso blitzed the field in a mixed second practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, the Italian rider going two tenths clear of Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales in second.
Dovizioso had been on course to set the pace in this morning’s first 45-minute session, but had his best lap scrubbed for exceeding track limits, dropping him to second and promoting Hector Barbera on the Avintia Ducati to top spot.
A sharp shower just prior to second practice getting underway led the 23-strong field to take the opening moments cautiously, with only a handful of riders exploring track conditions.
Loris Baz was one of the first onto slick tyres and set the early pace, the Frenchman leading the way with a 1m26.785s after 10 minutes of running.
A flurry of fast laps came in soon after as the track improved, with Scott Redding, Marc Marquez and Alvaro Bautista debating top spot – championship leader Marquez winning that contest with a 1m24.649s.
The Honda rider’s time stood for 15 minutes before Tech3’s Johann Zarco went 0.030 seconds quicker with four minutes to go.
The French rider improved to a 1m24.522s on his next two laps, though he was eventually knocked back to fourth as Dani Pedrosa, Maverick Vinales and finally Dovizioso posted quicker times.
Dovizioso posted a 1m24.046s on his final attempt, a mistake for Yamaha’s Vinales denying the Spaniard top spot at the conclusion of Friday’s running at the Red Bull Ring. Pedrosa completed the top three.
Jorge Lorenzo had been on for a session-best time on his final tour, but dropped time in the final two sectors and had to settle for fifth with a 1m24.616s ahead of Marquez, who spent the closing stages working on used rubber after his earlier time attack run.
Cal Crutchlow slotted into seventh on the second practice timesheets ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding. Alvaro Bautista completed the top 10, though his 1m24.780s put him 11th on the combined times.
Pol Espargaro once again impressed in 11th, while Valentino Rossi will be hoping Saturday’s third practice is dry after ending the day 13th overall.
First practice fastest man Barbera was only 17th this afternoon, but his time from this morning still secures him a potential Q2 slot in sixth on the combined times.