LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami made a superb start as free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix got underway, finishing the day in third position. With Ducati having been expected to dominate in Spielberg, it was instead Honda who led the way on Friday as Nakagami joined day one pacesetter Marc Marquez in the top three.
In dry and sunny conditions, the Japanese star was on the pace throughout as he posted the ninth fastest time in FP1. He then improved by around eight tenths in FP2 to climb towards the top of the timesheets and was naturally delighted with his position heading into Saturday qualifying.
Takaaki Nakagami: “It was a little bit of a surprise for me and the team because we expected more of a struggle. Here it’s very stop and go and you need a lot of engine power, but from FP1 I felt quite comfortable on the bike. We’re not losing too much on the straight and for day one the lap time is not too bad, we’re still a few tenths of the lap record. The team did a really great job today and I’m pretty happy about have me progressed between FP1 and FP2. Tomorrow and also Sunday the forecast has a possibility of rain, so I’m happy to finish in a good position today.”