Marquez beats Dovizioso for pole in Austria

Marquez charges to pole
Marquez charges to pole

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) blasted out the blocks to pole position at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich, carrying forward his earlier pace on Saturday to stake a claim on victory at the Red Bull Ring. Expected key frontrunners Ducati were in close company, however, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) taking second on his final lap and teammate Jorge Lorenzo completing the front row as Spielberg once again proved a happy hunting ground for the Borgo Panigale factory.

Despite fears about the weather, there was no rain on Saturday and good conditions for heading round the track with the highest average speed of the year and some of the most beautiful scenery – meaning there was plenty of track time to make use of throughout the day as the grid get ready for 28 laps on Sunday.

Staring down those 28 laps from the head of the second row is Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), as he hopes to take an important podium finish for the Championship fight. The rider from Roses lines up ahead of a late charge from Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) to take fifth after the Italian moved through from Q1, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completing the second row as the French rookie looks to get back in the fight at the front.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) moved back up the order after a tough Friday to take seventh, just 0.003 ahead of Q1 graduate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) on a high-profile Row 3. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), after having a fast lap disallowed for exceeding track limits, completes that third row.

Team Suzuki Ecstar's Andrea Iannone, winner of his first ever premier class race at the Red Bull Ring last season, is P10 on the grid after finding some pace on Saturday morning and bouncing back from a mechanical problem – with Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) completing the top twelve after Q2.

Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) is thirteenth on the grid after just missing out on graduation to Q2, ahead of Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), who locks out the fastest fifteen.

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was impressive once again for KTM, taking P16 at their first ever home race and only a few tenths off moving through to Q2 as the Bulls continue their charge.

Sunday is race day, and after Warm Up in the morning, the engines fire up at 14:00 (GMT +2) for the Austrian GP.

Marc Marquez

Marquez talks to his engineer
Marquez talks to his engineer

Pole Position 1'23.235

I'm very, very happy with his pole because here it's very important for the first corner, and because so far we've done much better than last year. We've really taken a good step forward with the bike; we already had a good engine, but we were struggling with some wheelying. We worked a lot on this aspect and now I feel much more comfortable with my bike. We also prepared very well for this race. During the Monday post-race test in Brno, we tried many different configurations focused on this track, and that allowed us to start with a good base even on Friday morning. So at the moment it looks like our pace is very good, but as always, it's the race that counts. We'll try to give everything again, but it will be very important to choose the right rear tyre. Today we worked with the soft and hard rears, so we'll probably try the medium in tomorrow's warm-up and then make our choice.

Qualifying Results

Pos No. Rider Nat Team Bike Ses Time Behind Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA Q2 1'23.235 0.000 0.000
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team DUCATI Q2 1'23.379 0.144 0.144
3 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team DUCATI Q2 1'23.621 0.386 0.242
4 25 Maverick VINALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA Q2 1'23.754 0.519 0.133
5 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing DUCATI Q2 1'23.780 0.545 0.026
6 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA Q2 1'23.879 0.644 0.099
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA Q2 1'23.982 0.747 0.103
8 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA Q2 1'23.985 0.750 0.003
9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda HONDA Q2 1'24.024 0.789 0.039
10 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR SUZUKI Q2 1'24.185 0.950 0.161
11 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team DUCATI Q2 1'24.220 0.985 0.035
12 76 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing DUCATI Q2 1'24.483 1.248 0.263
13 94 Jonas FOLGER GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA Q1 1'24.015 (*) 0.261
14 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing DUCATI Q1 1'24.036 (*) 0.282 0.021
15 45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing DUCATI Q1 1'24.037 (*) 0.283 0.001
16 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM Q1 1'24.101 (*) 0.347 0.064
17 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team DUCATI Q1 1'24.202 (*) 0.448 0.101
18 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM Q1 1'24.261 (*) 0.507 0.059
19 43 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS HONDA Q1 1'24.321 (*) 0.567 0.060
20 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA Q1 1'24.447 (*) 0.693 0.126
21 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR SUZUKI Q1 1'24.448 (*) 0.694 0.001
22 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM Q1 1'24.530 (*) 0.776 0.082
23 22 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA Q1 1'24.852 (*) 1.098 0.322
24 53 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS HONDA Q1 1'24.900 (*) 1.146 0.048

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