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Positive start to Austrian GP weekend for Ducati Team at Zeltweg: Dovizioso first, Iannone second after first day of free practice, with Pirro ninth inside the Top 10

Ducati Team_081216

The Ducati Team riders have put in a great performance on the first day of free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Zeltweg.

Andrea Dovizioso was the quickest rider of the day, with a best time of 1’23.617, finishing ahead of his team-mate Andrea Iannone, second in 1’23.855. The two factory Ducati men were the only riders to get under the 1 minute 24 second mark today and they inflicted quite a gap on their closest rivals in the timesheets. Wild-card rider Michele Pirro on the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team, also had a good run, finishing the day in ninth place with exactly the same time (1’24.988) as Jorge Lorenzo.

All the riders improved their times during the afternoon’s FP2 session, which as in the morning was held on a dry track, but air (15°) and track (18°) temperatures remained rather cold throughout the day.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’23.617 (1st)
“I am very pleased with the way my weekend has begun, even though we found the tyres, and above all the weather conditions, completely different to those during the test in July. Despite this we were able to confirm our good form and everything is going well, but it’s not enough because we still have to improve some aspects in view of the race. What is certain however is that, with the speed we have, we can use tomorrow’s two sessions to search for the best race pace.”

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’23.855 (2nd)
“It was quite a positive day for me, even though I had a big pain in my ribs because of a training crash I had a few days ago on a motocross bike. We have the speed and this is very important in view of the race, but we have to try and reduce the sliding with the rear tyre in the long fast corners, because this could become a problem over the distance. In any case we are working well and we must continue on this path. I have to thank Dr. Zasa of the Clinica Mobile, who helped me a lot today and thanks to painkillers I was able to do the first part of the session without suffering too much: luckily at this circuit there aren’t too many changes in direction, so I’m not suffering that much.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 1’24.988 (9th)
“Today I tried to improve my feeling with the track, seeing as I didn’t do many laps in the tests, and the fact that this morning it was really cold didn’t help things at all. In the afternoon however we went better, even though I still have to find a perfect feeling with my bike, because there are a couple of points where I’m losing too much time under braking. But apart from this I am feeling confident because the Desmosedici GP is working really well and I think we can make a further step forward tomorrow.”