Espargaro claims first pole for KTM in Spielberg

Spanish MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro claimed a first MotoGP pole position for KTM at the Styrian Grand Prix in Spielberg on Saturday.

Espargaro will be starting at the front of the grid for the first time in the premier class after producing a blistering lap of one minute 23.580 seconds at the Red Bull Ring.

KTM have already impressed with their pace this season as they claimed their first-ever MotoGP victory, courtesy of rookie Brad Binder in Brno earlier this month.

LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami put Espargaro’s lap under serious threat on his final run but his effort was chalked off for exceeding track limits as he settled for a career-best second spot.

Avintia Ducati’s Johann Zarco was third-fastest but will start Sunday’s race from the pitlane after he was penalized for his role in a crash with Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli at Austrian Grand Prix last week.

Seven-times MotoGP champion Rossi qualified only 15th on his factory Yamaha after crashing at turn nine on his final effort, which was set to earn him a Q2 place.

Styrian Grand Prix Lineup

1 Pol Espargaro SPA Red Bull KTM (RC16) 1’23.580s
2 Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) +0.022s
3 Johann Zarco FRA Reale Avintia (GP19)** +0.052s
4 Joan Mir SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) +0.098s
5 Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (GP20) +0.120s
6 Maverick ViƱales SPA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) +0.198s
7 Alex Rins SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) +0.202s
8 Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16) +0.217s
9 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP20) +0.269s
10 Fabio Quartararo FRA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1) +0.286s
11 Franco Morbidelli ITA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1) +0.441s
12 Danilo Petrucci ITA Ducati Team (GP20) +0.594s
Qualifying 1:
13 Iker Lecuona SPA Red Bull KTM Tech3 (RC16)* 1’23.928s
14 Brad Binder RSA Red Bull KTM (RC16)* 1’23.932s
15 Valentino Rossi ITA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) 1’24.127s
16 Michele Pirro ITA Pramac Ducati (GP20) 1’24.273s
17 Alex Marquez SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V)* 1’24.37s
18 Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1’24.401s
19 Bradley Smith GBR Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1’24.416s
20 Aleix Espargaro SPA Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1’24.429s
21 Stefan Bradl GER Repsol Honda (RC213V) 1’24.667s
22 Tito Rabat SPA Reale Avintia (GP19) 1’24.916s

** Pit lane start.
* Rookie.


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