Marquez breaks Doohan’s pole record in Austria

Marc Marquez pic:

Marc Marquez has become the most prolific premier class pole-sitter in history by dominating qualifying for the Austrian MotoGP.

The Repsol Honda rider also broke the all-time lap record around the Red Bull Ring with a 1:23.027s, breaking Andrea Iannone’s three-year-old benchmark.

Fabio Quartararo put his Petronas SRT Yamaha on the middle of the front row despite his best lap being more than four tenths of a second slower than Marquez’s, while Andrea Dovizioso was half a tenth slower again in third.

Marquez was quickest after the first runs with a 1:23.359s before rolling out what would ultimately be the pole lap at the start of his second run.

Having been tied for a week with Mick Doohan, he now moves clear for the largest haul of premier class poles with 59 in his career so far.

Dovizioso moved himself from the second row to the first at the start of his second run, before finding further improvement next time around with a 1:23.515s on his Mission Winnow Ducati.

Quartararo was fourth with the chequered flag out but managed to improve two positions and push factory counterpart Maverick Viñales off the front row.

Viñales, who was second after the first runs on a medium compound rear Michelin tyre, looked like he would go for a two-stopper but instead ran a long second run during which he set a best time of 1:23.523s with a soft rear tyre on his Monster Energy Yamaha.

Pramac Ducati rookie Francesco Bagnaia was fifth after securing passage to Qualifying 2 right at the end of the preceding 15-minute stanza.

Takaaki Nakagami also got a year-old bike, namely the Idemitsu LCR Honda, onto the second row, while the event’s sole Suzuki Ecstar entry of Alex Rins was barely more than a hundredth of a second slower in seventh.

Jack Miller had an uncompetitive outing as he put the GP19 Pramac Ducati eighth on the grid, with Castrol LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow to start alongside the Queenslander after digging himself out of trouble in Qualifying 1.

Row 4 will be Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha), Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), and Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati), the latter of whom crashed at Turn 4 during the session.

Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda’s injury replacement for Jorge Lorenzo, will start from the very rear of the 21-bike field.

Race start is Sunday at 2200 AEST, with 28 laps the scheduled distance.

Qualifying: Austrian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:23.027
2 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:23.461 0.434 / 0.434
3 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:23.515 0.488 / 0.054
4 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:23.523 0.496 / 0.008
5 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:23.652 0.625 / 0.129
6 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:23.669 0.642 / 0.017
7 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:23.681 0.654 / 0.012
8 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati 1:23.688 0.661 / 0.007
9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:23.754 0.727 / 0.066
10 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:23.817 0.790 / 0.063
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:23.866 0.839 / 0.049
12 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:23.964 0.937 / 0.098
13 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:24.130 Q1 / Q1
14 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:24.270 Q1 / 0.140
15 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:24.389 Q1 / 0.119
16 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:24.392 Q1 / 0.003
17 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:24.423 Q1 / 0.031
18 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:24.526 Q1 / 0.103
19 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:24.749 Q1 / 0.223
20 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:24.759 Q1 / 0.010
21 6 Stefan BRADL GER Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:25.020 Q1 / 0.261

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