StyrianGP: Who has the pace ahead of 900th Premier Class GP?
At this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix, MotoGP will celebrate their 900th premier class race, but who looks like they have the pace to win in tomorrows Grand Prix?
Last weekend it was Ducati and Andrea Dovizioso who took the spoils, their first of the season and the Bologna manufacturer’s 50th in their MotoGP career, however, this weekend the Bulls are back in town.
Pole sitter Pol Espargaro looked like he has the best pace during the fourth free practice session. The Spanish rider completed 15 laps, seven with a fresh medium front and medium rear tyre and his second stint running an 11 lap old hard front along with the same medium rear tyre. Eight of Pol’s 15 laps (11 flying laps) were in the 1:24s ranging between his fastest, 1:24.523 and his slowest being a 1:24.969 on lap 14. Should Pol Espargaro getaway from pole position, we could be seeing a second KTM MotoGP victory in three races.
Another rider who looks like they have strong race pace was Alex Rins. The Suzuki rider completed 15 laps, seven of which were in the mid 1:24s bracket although he wasn’t as consistent as fellow Spaniard Espargaro.
Aleix Espargaro also surprised in FP4. The Aprilia rider completed four laps in the 1:24s with the rest in the low 25s. Espargaro could be a surprise in tomorrow’s Grand Prix should be transfer his pace into Sunday.
Over at Yamaha, things look slightly different. Fabio Quartararo looks to be the man with pace in the Iwata camp. The Frenchman has recovered from a difficult Friday to find a good feeling with his PETRONAS Yamaha SRT M1. In free practice four Quartararo completed 18 laps, seven in the high 1:24s while the rest were low 1:25s. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP duo of Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi looks to have similar pace, Viñales’ just edging Rossi’s. The Spaniard put in a total of 15 laps in FP4 but failed to record a single 1:24. Viñales’ best efforts were five low 1:25s, matching Quartararo’s slowest laps while Rossi looked more consistent with nine 1:25s, eight of those in the low 25s.
Andrea Dovizioso looks to have Valentino Rossi’s pace. The Italian completed 15 laps in free practice four with times nearly matching his countryman. Jack Miller, who will start from fourth, failed to complete a flying lap due to an injury to his right shoulder, but the Australian’s pace didn’t look too bad on Friday.
Other riders who look to have strong pace include Joan Mir, Takaaki Nakagami, Miguel Oliveira and Franco Morbidelli – meaning the 900th premier class race could be a corker.
For full FP4 break down – click here
Featured images: MotoGP.com