Mir edges improved Quartararo in Styrian MotoGP practice

By: AFP      Published: 04:51 PM, 22 Aug, 2020
Mir edges improved Quartararo in Styrian MotoGP practice
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was released from Greek police custody Saturday, TV footage showed, pending a hearing on assault charges on the island of Mykonos. Local TV footage showed Maguire leaving a courthouse on neighbouring Syros island, apparently accompanied by members of his legal team, and boarding a dark minivan. His lawyer Constantinos Darivas had earlier told Greek sports website gazzetta.gr that the England centre-back had denied the charges, and was in "fine condition" despite spending two nights in detention since his Thursday night arrest. Greek TV channel Mega said Maguire's father had flown to Greece to be at his son's side. The case is being heard on the island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos. The local prosecutor is expected to set a date for the hearing. The £80 million (88 million euros) defender was arrested late Thursday after what Greek police described as an "altercation" between two groups of British tourists on Mykonos. Mega said Maguire had become enraged after someone in the other group struck his sister. A Greek police statement on Friday said that three men aged 27, 28 and 29 had been arrested in Mykonos. The police said an officer was punched on the scene, and that a second fight had broken out at the local police station where the three men "strenuously resisted (arrest), pushing and striking three officers." One of the suspects then tried to bribe the officers to hush up the incident, the police said. The suspects are accused of assault, resisting arrest, verbally insulting and threatening the arresting officers, and attempted bribery, the police said. Four Mykonos officers sustained slight injuries in the fracas, the authorities said. Mykonos is popular with sports stars and celebrities for its all-night nightlife and beaches. United on Friday said in a brief statement they were "aware of an alleged incident involving Harry Maguire in Mykonos last night." "Contact has been made with Harry, and he is fully co-operating with the Greek authorities. "At this time we will be making no further comment," the club added. United's 2019/20 season ended Sunday in a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League semi-finals. But the club will be back in pre-season training in two weeks and could begin the new Premier League campaign in less than a month. On Monday, Maguire had tweeted after the elimination: "Time to go away, reflect, recover and be ready to come back stronger next season." Team Suzuki ECSTAR Spanish rider Joan Mir rides during the third practice session ahead of the MotoGP Styrian Grand Prix on August 22, 2020 at Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg bei Knittelfeld, 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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