Viñales on pole in Austria, Miller second-fastest

Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales has qualified on pole for the Austrian MotoGP while Jack Miller claimed second on the grid right at the end of proceedings.

Miller bettered the Monster Energy Yamaha rider by 0.025s to the third sector on his final flyer around the Red Bull Ring but came up 0.068s short of the 1:23.450s benchmark at the finish line.

The Pramac Ducati pilot will therefore start from between Viñales and championship leader Fabio Quartararo with the latter having clocked a best of 1:23.537s on his Petronas SRT Yamaha.

Quartararo was quickest through the first flyers in Qualifying 2 but it was Viñales on top once everyone returned to the pits with a 1:23.694s on his #12 M1.

The factory Yamaha rider moved the marker to a 1:23.643s at the start of his second run before SRT’s Franco Morbidelli jumped from 10th to third, bumping Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir off a provisional front row with a 1:23.810s.

Andrea Dovizioso, whose exit from the Ducati Team at season’s end has now been confirmed, then took over the lead with a 1:23.618s on #04.

Viñales improved again on his second flyer of the run in putting in that 1:23.450s shortly after, before Quartararo reclaimed second spot with a 1:23.537s.

With the chequered flag almost about to be flown, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro moved into third on a 1:23.612s only for Dovizioso to take the place back moments later by getting down to a 1:23.606s.

Pol Espargaro and Miller were both bringing up fast sector splits on their last flyers and while the former lost pace over the course of the lap, the latter achieved a 1:23.518s.

Miller’s effort put factory Ducati counterpart Dovizioso onto the second row, next to Pol Espargaro and Mir.

Morbidelli was seventh all told with a best of 1:23.719s and is due to start alongside Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and last weekend’s pole-sitter, Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Ducati), who came from Qualifying 1.

Idemtisu LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami was first Honda rider in 10th, ahead of Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha), the other man to go the long way through qualifying.

The Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci missed Q2 by 0.024s and was incensed after the first 15-minute hit-out, apparently due to a feeling that he was baulked badly by Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia).

Petrucci is therefore set to start 13th, one position ahead of Espargaro, with Cal Crutchlow (Castrol LCR Honda) also on the fifth row.

Last-start winner Brad Binder qualified 17th on his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing entry, just ahead of Repsol Honda pair Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl.

Sunday’s 28-lap race is set for a start at 22:00 AEST.

Qualifying: Austrian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/Prev
1 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:23.450  
2 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati 1:23.518 0.068 / 0.068
3 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:23.537 0.087 / 0.019
4 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:23.606 0.156 / 0.069
5 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:23.612 0.162 / 0.006
6 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:23.673 0.223 / 0.061
7 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:23.719 0.269 / 0.046
8 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:23.731 0.281 / 0.012
9 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Esponsorama Racing Ducati 1:23.828 0.378 / 0.097
10 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:23.872 0.422 / 0.044
11 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:23.939 0.489 / 0.067
12 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:23.995 0.545 / 0.056
13 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:23.915 Q1 / Q1
14 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:24.151 Q1 / 0.236
15 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:24.228 Q1 / 0.077
16 27 Iker LECUONA ESP Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:24.405 Q1 / 0.177
17 33 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:24.485 Q1 / 0.080
18 73 Alex MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:24.490 Q1 / 0.005
19 6 Stefan BRADL GER Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:24.662 Q1 / 0.172
20 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:24.831 Q1 / 0.169
21 53 Tito RABAT ESP Esponsorama Racing Ducati 1:25.287 Q1 / 0.456
22 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:25.431 Q1 / 0.144

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