LCR Honda IDEMITSU’s Takaaki Nakagami was straight out of the blocks at Spielberg on Friday, claiming the fastest overall MotoGP practice time with a 1’23.805.
Enjoying his progression across the morning’s FP1, the Japanese rider repeatedly challenged towards the top of the standings before setting the fastest lap on his final effort of the 45-minute session.
The incoming rain and then drying track complicated proceedings for the LCR outfit, with Nakagami circulating in 17th for the afternoon, but the slower pace allowed the 29-year-old to retain his dominance overall at the close of play.
“Honestly, I’m happy to see P1 after the long summer break,” Nakagami said from Austria on Friday afternoon.
“I didn’t expect this lap-time straight away in FP1, because it’s quite a good lap time, under ‘24.
“I’m happy about the feeling on the bike, especially at the end of the session. We put new tyres, but was not the soft, was the medium tyre, medium compound. But anyway, even with used tyre we are able to keep consistent lap time.
“Looks like we are in good shape for a Friday. We need to keep continuing, we have to keep working to improve more.
“In FP2 there was mixed conditions, especially the second part of the session - the rain stopped and very quickly [the track] started to come dry. The last 10 minutes I decided to, not slow down but I didn’t push so much, there was no meaning to take any risk in this condition. I prefer a full wet or full dry but of course we try just in case, Sunday looks a high possibility of some rain.
“FP2 was a bit difficult to get good data because the condition was really bad with the mixed conditions, also the feeling on the bike was not really good. So let’s see tomorrow.
“Tomorrow looks okay but anyway, we have to keep pushing to try to get the good qualifying session, try to make a good start for the race, for the grid position. So this is main target for tomorrow.”