Marquez quickest in practice, Dovizioso suffers rare crash

By Sports Desk August 09, 2019

Marc Marquez set the pace on day one of practice for the Austrian MotoGP and Andrea Dovizioso suffered a rare crash pushing for quick time late in FP2.

Dovizioso went quickest in the opening session at the Red Bull Ring on Friday, but the championship leader hit back to top the timesheets.

Italian Dovizioso pipped the Spaniard in FP1 before the Repsol Honda rider turned the tables on his nearest rival with a lap of one minute and 23.916 seconds.

That gave Marquez an advantage of 0.066 over compatriot Maverick Vinales, with Ducati's Dovizioso 0.117 adrift of the three-time defending champion in in Spielberg.

Dovizioso found himself on the deck as he strived to go top of the timesheets, losing control at Turn 3 in the first red sector.

Takaaki Nakagami moved up from ninth in the first session to fourth ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller.

Miguel Oliveira, Danilo Petrucci, Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro rounded off the top 10.

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    Petrucci started the 2019 season brightly, including recording a victory at the Italian Grand Prix, but his form tailed off badly.

    Having retired in two of the final three races in the campaign, the Italian was rumoured to be in danger of losing his Ducati spot to Miller, despite finishing ahead of him in the final standings.

    The Australian had impressed with Pramac Racing, recording podium finishes at Phillip Island and also the season-ending race in Valencia.

    Asked about a potential change in the Ducati line-up following Tuesday's testing session, Ciabatti said: "Can I say something that won't sound very nice - b******t!

    "We never spoke about this; this came out in the paddock, somebody had this idea, but we never had any idea to make any changes to the factory team or the Pramac team."

    There have also been rumours over Johann Zarco joining Avintia Ducati, with Ciabatti confirming he has held discussions with the Frenchman over his future.

    "We had a conversation with Johann yesterday [Monday] to understand his position. He has an option to go back to Moto2 with the Marc VDS team, so I think we will understand more in the next few days," he said, according to

    "I think that to know what's going to happen next year, it's good to make a decision about them pretty soon, so we can take the next steps."

    Zarco has the option of taking up a testing role with Yamaha, as confirmed by their team principal, Lin Jarvis.

    "I spoke to Johann 10 days ago and said to him that if his Honda programme didn't work out, then we're still open to consider him being a test rider for us," Jarvis said.

    "He's expressed an interest to stay racing, so I think the first thing he needs to decide is if he wants to stay racing or, is he interested in testing and that’s really up to him."

    Meanwhile, on the track in Valencia, Fabio Quartararo was fastest in the testing dession, despite a heavy crash. There were also falls for brothers Alex and Marc Marquez, the latter making a mess of his new Honda at Turn 13.

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    Arguably the most famous of all team-mate collisions took place at the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix when legendary duo Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna were battling for the title. Trailing Prost in the standings, Senna attempted a daring move up the inside of his McLaren team-mate. Prost held his line and the two collided. Senna managed to get going again but, despite crossing the line first, was later disqualified for cutting a chicane meaning Prost became world champion.


    Some 10 years later and again it was McLaren under the microscope. With Ferrari great Michael Schumacher having broken his leg in a huge crash at Silverstone, Mika Hakkinen sought about building a lead in the drivers' standings. Leading through the first corner from pole of the Austrian Grand Prix, the Finn's chances of victory were severely dented when David Coulthard clipped his team-mate with a limp attempt to pass. Hakkinen recovered valiantly to third, but Coulthard finished second behind Eddie Irvine.


    Vettel's incident with Leclerc was not a new experience for the German. Nine years ago in Turkey, Mark Webber was aiming for a third straight win but, while in fuel-saving mode, Vettel drew in his Red Bull team-mate only to veer into the Australian following a misjudgement and seeing his race end in a spin. 


    From karting buddies growing up to fierce title rivals at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg engaged in a thrilling tussle during their time as team-mates at the German constructor. A couple of years prior, the pair had made contact in Belgium but round five in Barcelona in 2016 saw the pair involved in a much bigger prang. With Rosberg in the wrong engine mode, Hamilton attempted to pass through a gap the German went to block and both were wiped out of the race.


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