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Ducati surges clear in Austria MotoGP practice

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Ducati put its straight-line speed advantage to good use by surging clear in the opening practice session for this weekend’s MotoGP race in Austria.

MotoGP returns to Austria for the first time since 1998 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, a track chiefly made up of stop-start corners and long straights.

Ducati entered the weekend tipped to end a victory drought dating back to the 2010 Australian Grand Prix given the strengths of the Desmosedici GP16 bike.

Despite seeing Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales top the opening practice session on Friday morning, Ducati struck back in the afternoon as Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone clinched a one-two finish for the Italian marque.

Dovizioso led the way with a fastest lap of 1:23.617, finishing two-tenths clear of Iannone. Vinales finished as the best of the rest in P3, eight-tenths off Dovizioso’s time, with Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi following in fourth place.

“I’m very satisfied with how my weekend has started, although the tires and the weather conditions were very different to during the test in July,” Dovizioso said.

“Despite that, we’ve been able to confirm our good performance and we’re going well – but it’s not enough because we still have room to improve ahead of the race.

“It’s certain though, with this speed, that we can use the two sessions tomorrow to look for the best race pace.”

Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix takes place on Saturday in Spielberg.

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race