Dominant Marc Marquez breaks MotoGP pole record in Austria
Marc Marquez secured a historic 59th MotoGP pole at the Red Bull Ring to move clear of Mick Doohan as the man with the most premier class pole positions in the history of the championship.
The Repsol Honda rider also broke the outright MotoGP lap record around the 4.5km Austrian circuit to boot with a 1:23.027, beating Andrea Iannone's 2016 benchmark by a tenth of a second.
Marquez came out the blocks quickly as Q2 got underway by pumping in a blistering 1:23.359 to sit 0.269 clear of factory Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo’s satellite M1.
Then on his final flyer as the session wound down Marquez went for it, posting four outright fastest sectors on his way to his record-breaking lap that left him 0.434 ahead of Quartararo, who deposed Vinales on his own final effort.
Andrea Dovizioso also relegated Vinales as he managed to salvage a front row start for Ducati as he looks to continue the Italian marque’s unbroken victory run at the Austrian event.
Vinales will head up the second row in fourth ahead of impressive Qualifying 1 graduate Francesco Bagnaia on his GP18 Ducati, with Takaaki Nakagami again getting the better of LCR team-mate Cal Crutchlow - who also had to come through Q1 - in sixth.
The Brit could only manage ninth after running fifth for most of the Q2 session just behind the sole Suzuki of Alex Rins and Jack Miller on the second of the Pramac bikes.
Q1 saw a close battle between several riders for the final two tickets to the pole shootout, Bagnaia leading the way with just a couple minutes remaining ahead of Crutchlow’s Honda.
Franco Morbidelli relegated the Brit outside of the leading pair after he made a mistake on his penultimate flyer of the session, leaving him with just a sole final effort at the end.
Miguel Oliveria then pushed the Petronas SRT man out as he posted the fastest time, while Crutchlow and Bagnaia started their final laps.
The pair would ultimately improve, Crutchlow banging in his fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:23.829 to secure the sessions quickest time, while Bagnaia snatched second and the final Q2 spot from Oliveria just seconds later.
Oliveria will therefore start 13th ahead of Morbidelli, with Tito Rabat 15th after his own promising lap failed to lift him above the Q2 cut off.
Valentino Rossi rounds out the top 10 of tomorrow’s grid ahead of the final pair of Q2 runners of KTM’s Pol Espargaro and Danilo Petrucci.
Petrucci failed to improve on his final run as he crashed before he could set a time, going down at Turn 4. He was unable to rejoin the circuit and therefore had to watch the remainder of the session from the sidelines.
Austria - Qualifying
|1||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||1:23.027|
|2||Fabio Quartararo||Petronas Yamaha SRT||1:23.461||0.434|
|3||Andrea Dovizioso||Mission Winnow Ducati||1:23.515||0.488|
|4||Maverick Vinales||Monster Energy Yamaha||1:23.523||0.496|
|5||Francesco Bagnaia||Alma Pramac Racing||1:23.652||0.625|
|6||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||1:23.669||0.642|
|7||Alex Rins||Team Suzuki Ecstar||1:23.681||0.654|
|8||Jack Miller||Alma Pramac Racing||1:23.688||0.661|
|9||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||1:23.754||0.727|
|10||Valentino Rossi||Monster Energy Yamaha||1:23.817||0.790|
|11||Pol Espargaro||Red Bull KTM Factory||1:23.866||0.839|
|12||Danilo Petrucci||Mission Winnow Ducati||1:23.964||0.937|
|13||Miguel Oliviera||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||1:24.130|
|14||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha SRT||1:24.270|
|15||Tito Rabat||Reale Avintia Racing||1:24.389|
|16||Johann Zarco||Red Bull KTM Factory||1:24.392|
|17||Karel Abraham||Reale Avintia Racing||1:24.423|
|18||Andrea Iannone||Aprilia Racing Gresini||1:24.526|
|19||Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia Racing Gresini||1:24.749|
|20||Hafizh Syahrin||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||1:24.759|
|21||Stefan Bradl||Team HRC||1:25.020|