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Mir edges improved Quartararo in Styrian MotoGP practice

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Spielberg (Austria) (AFP)

Spanish rider Joan Mir of Suzuki set the benchmark in Saturday's penultimate Styrian MotoGP practice session, with championship leader Fabio Quartararo second fastest after two frustrating run-outs 24 hours earlier.

Japan's Takaaki Nakagami was third quickest on his Honda alongside last week's Austrian MotoGP winner Andrea Dovizioso who clocked an identical lap time.

Frenchman Johann Zarco, penalised Friday for his role in a crash with Franco Morbidelli last weekend, was cleared to ride in the third practice session but could only manage 12th place.

Quartararo has finished seventh and eighth since winning the opening two races of the coronavirus-hit campaign, and holds an 11-point lead over Dovizioso in the championship standings.

He ensured direct entry into Q2 by comfortably posting a top-10 time on Saturday, having struggled with his brakes and then focusing more on his Yamaha's race pace in the opening two sessions at Spielberg.

Qualifying for Sunday's race at the Red Bull Ring begins at 1210 GMT, shortly after the conclusion of the final practice session.

Combined Styrian MotoGP practice times:

1. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki): 1.23:456, 2. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) at 0.151sec, 3. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN/Honda-LCR) 0.154, 4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.154, 5. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 0.161, 6. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM) 0.182, 7. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM-Tech3) 0.269, 8. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 0.271, 9. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 0.298, 10. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) 0.339

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