Marquez takes third straight MotoGP pole

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez was all but untouchable as he took a third straight pole position in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda rider will share the front row of the grid with the two factory Ducatis as Andrea Dovizioso rose to second in the last moments of qualifying and Jorge Lorenzo took third.

Marquez aborted his first timed lap in order to prevent Andrea Iannone from following him around the Red Bull Ring before laying down a quick 1:23.473s next time around to go comfortably clear.

The Spaniard went faster again during his second run, setting the ultimate pole time of a 1:23.235s.

Dovizioso surprised by running with a medium compound rear tyre, in contrast to the more popular soft option, and closed in on Marquez’s benchmark after the chequered flag to qualify second on the grid.

Lorenzo helped to somewhat vindicate the Ducati Team’s favouritism for the race, which they won last year courtesy of Iannone, by achieving his second front row start for the Italian squad.

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha) will start fourth, alongside Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) and Johann Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha).

Petrucci jumped up the timing screen after the chequered flag, having had to come through Q1.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) qualified seventh, while Dani Pedrosa just survived Q1 to earn eighth on the grid.

The Repsol Honda rider had been in danger of failing to make the cut in the first session of qualifying but Scott Redding couldn’t finish off his final lap.

Lining up with Rossi and Pedrosa on the third row will be Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).

Row 4 is Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar), Karel Abraham (Aspar Ducati), and Loris Baz (Avintia Ducati).

Redding was 15th in the end on his Pramac Ducati.

Jack Miller could only qualify 19th in an extremely uncompetitive weekend so far for both he and Marc VDS Honda team-mate Tito Rabat.

Miller has not finished any session higher than 18th, while Rabat qualified 24th and last.

Sam Lowes, whose dumping from the Gresini Aprilia team at the end of the season was confirmed the day earlier, was 23rd fastest.

Tomorrow night’s grand prix will be 28 laps long, starting at 2200 AEST.

Qualifying: Austrian Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’23.235
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1’23.379 0.144 / 0.144
3 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1’23.621 0.386 / 0.242
4 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’23.754 0.519 / 0.133
5 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 1’23.780 0.545 / 0.026
6 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’23.879 0.644 / 0.099
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’23.982 0.747 / 0.103
8 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1’23.985 0.750 / 0.003
9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 1’24.024 0.789 / 0.039
10 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1’24.185 0.950 / 0.161
11 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’24.220 0.985 / 0.035
12 76 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’24.483 1.248 / 0.263
13 94 Jonas FOLGER GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1’24.015 Q1 / Q1
14 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’24.036 Q1 / 0.021
15 45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati 1’24.037 Q1 / 0.001
16 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’24.101 Q1 / 0.064
17 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 1’24.202 Q1 / 0.101
18 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’24.261 Q1 / 0.059
19 43 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’24.321 Q1 / 0.060
20 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1’24.447 Q1 / 0.126
21 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1’24.448 Q1 / 0.001
22 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1’24.530 Q1 / 0.082
23 22 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1’24.852 Q1 / 0.322
24 53 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1’24.900 Q1 / 0.048

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