Binder tops Moto3 Friday practice at Spielberg for second consecutive week

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Darryn Binder and John McPhee first and ninth in AustrianGP opening day

The opening day of the AustrianGP came to a slightly early conclusion for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing, as heavy rain and hail started to fall in FP2. Darryn Binder ended Friday’s running at the top of the times for the second consecutive week, while John McPhee was ninth.

Binder proved to be the rider to beat in the morning’s FP1 session, holding station at the top of the times for the majority of the 40 minutes. His 1min 36.215secs lap saw him claim first, 0.105secs ahead of the rest. The South African was quick to set the fastest lap of FP2 – 1min 36.752secs – before the rain fell. Although he was not able to improve upon his morning time, Darryn ends the day first in the combined times.

McPhee also had a strong start to the day, staying at the sharp end throughout FP1 and momentarily topping the times. At the end of the session, the Scot had posted the ninth fastest lap – 1min 36.606secs. John also started FP2 with a quick time – 1min 36.811secs – that put him third on the timing screens. With the poor weather conditions, he was also unable to improve upon his FP1 lap and ended the day ninth overall.

Binder and McPhee will be back out on track tomorrow at 9am local time (3pm MYT) for Free Practice 3, ahead of the two Moto3 Qualifying sessions that get underway at 12.35pm local time (6.35pm MYT).

“I’m really happy with how things went today. I was first this morning in FP1 and then I managed to finish first again in FP2, despite the interruption of rain at the end. It was really important for me to go out and be fast immediately today, as you never know what the weather is going to be like here. I had a really good Friday and hopefully, if the weather is good tomorrow, we can see what happens. We haven’t really made any big changes coming into this weekend, today was more about getting the laps in.– Darryn Binder, 1st (1’36.215)

“It’s been a fairly successful day and we actually tested quite a few things – that’s the beauty of having back-to-back races at the same circuit. We used it as a bit of a test day and we were on the pace straightaway; ninth in FP1 and then third in FP2. We’ve been really consistent with our lap times, so I’m looking forward to just fine-tuning it tomorrow and hopefully it continues to be strong. I have speed with my bike, but then have struggled to pass people in the race, so we’ve been working to improve this and it seems quite successful so far. Although the track felt different today; it seemed dirty last week but was a lot better today. It was nice to ride and the rain didn’t seem to affect the grip levels too much.” – John McPhee, 9th (1’36.606)

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