The weather had threatened to interfere in proceedings from the first time we glanced at a forecast for Spielberg and that threat became reality ten minutes into the first session of the afternoon. Spots of rain in the first sector saw Moto3 riders halt play after only four laps on the board but we still got some action in the final twenty minutes, once the light shower eased and the track got busy once again.
Philipp Oettl was one of the first men to go out and the German posted a good run of laps to eek his way into the lead soon enough, demoting Gabriel Rodrigo, the temporary leader after the first handful of laps. Once Oettl proved there was still time to be found on the drying track, his rivals joined the fun – on and off track, with plenty of cancelled lap times due to track limit infractions.
The very last minutes of the session looked more like a race than practice but a small group made of John McPhee, Marco Bezzecchi and Gabriel Rodrigo avoided any trouble and ran together to the top of the timesheets, the CIP rider ahead of the championship leader and the early leader of the session. Enea Bastianini was best of the rest, under three tenths down on the leader, with Oettl also keeping up with the top men from fifth position.
Kaito Toba made the best of the tricky conditions and climbed into sixth, while Albert Arenas was the final rider within half a second of McPhee. Tony Arbolino and Niccolo Antonelli narrowly missed out on that minor achievement but the SIC58 rider’s session ended in the runoff to turn one, where he fell as he was avoiding an incident with Nicolo Bulega and Nakarin Atiraphuvapat, just as heavy rain hit the track.
FP1 leader Jaume Masia completed the top ten ahead of familiar wildcard Ai Ogura and Aron Canet, the Estrella Galicia rider wobbling his way into 12th place. The likes of Jakub Kornfeil and Fabio Di Giannantonio followed the Spaniard on the timesheets, over seven tenths of a second down on the leader and with the top 19 covered by one second. Jorge Martin did not risk rejoining on a damp track after the initial bout of laps and dropped down to 24th position with his early flying lap.
|13||21||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO||Honda||1'38.122||0.793||0.078|
|14||48||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||Honda||1'38.130||0.801||0.008|