Dovizioso, Ducati sets early Brno MotoGP pace

Ducati title contender Andrea Dovizioso sets the early pace at Brno for the Czech Republic MotoGP from Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Corse


The second-half of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship is officially underway with Andrea Dovizioso leading the opening practice session for the Czech Republic MotoGP at Brno for Ducati.

After a three-week hiatus, MotoGP powered back into action at the sweeping Czech venue with Dovizioso leaving it late to snatch the top spot from championship leader Marc Marquez, the Italian – who comes into this weekend 58 points adrift of his Repsol Honda rival – turning in a 1m 56.919secs effort.

It was good enough to unseat Marquez by 0.030secs, with Yamaha’s in-form Maverick Vinales making it three manufacturers inside the top three as he picked up where he left off ahead of the summer break haaboard the best of the M1 contingent.

Tech 3 KTM emerged as surprise frontrunners with Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin ending FP1 in a lofty fourth and seventh respectively, albeit largely down to them being amongst the few to bolt on the soft tyres.

Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli was another to do so and was rewarded with a fine fifth quickest, with Jack Miller up in sixth aboard the Pramac Ducati. Franco Morbidelli in eighth, Alex Rins in ninth and Valentino Rossi in tenth rounding out the top ten positions.

Fabio Quartararo – so often top performer in free practice – was down in 18th position, just behind Takaaki Nakagami, who says he almost back to full fitness after injuring his ankle in a tangle with Rossi at Assen in June.