Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez scored his fifth pole position of the year (and third successive), extending his record of most pole positions in Grand Prix history across all classes to an amazing tally of 70, at only 24 years of age.
Dovizioso and Lorenzo of Ducati will start in P2 and P3 respectively.
Marc has been happy with his RC213V’s behaviour since Friday morning and improved his feeling with the bike over the weekend by continuing the good work with his crew and engineers. Today he set the fastest times in FP3, FP4, and QP2, showing a good race pace and dazzling speed. Dani Pedrosa finished in P8.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team barrelled their way into the Q2 session in this morning’s FP3 and followed it up with a hard fight in the afternoon for front row at the Nero Giardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Ostrich. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were serious contenders for a top-3 finish until the times dropped at the end of the session, and they secured fourth and seventh place respectively.
The afternoon in Austria presented good weather conditions today for a high octane shoot-out at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg circuit. Viñales was the third to last rider to exit pit lane in a dry qualifying, waiting for the majority of the pack to go out. Despite a small mistake on his first hot lap, he set a 1’25.067s to take second in the provisional standings. With his next attempt he temporarily took over the top spot, but was pushed back to fourth place when the pace quickened. His fourth lap shot him back up to third before he entered the pits with more than six minutes remaining.
The youngster was quickly back on track to have another crack at challenging the competition. Now in fourth place again, he put his head down and jumped to third in the charts, with a 1’23.754s. He was unable to improve on his last lap, but his best time was fast enough to secure fourth place on the grid, on the second row, 0.519s from first.
Rossi took his time to leave the pits for the qualifying session. He got straight down to business, scoring a temporary pole position on his first flying lap with a 1’24.558s, before being pushed back one place. The next minutes saw various riders claim the top spot in the rankings. The Doctor responded by improving his time on his second and third attempt, but was in fourth position when he entered the pits with seven minutes on the clock.
The Italian rushed back out a little more than a minute later, and found himself in seventh place. He broke into the 1’23’s with a 1’23.982s to move up to fifth. There was time for one more attack, but he didn‘t improve on his best lap. He was pushed back by a late charge from a rival after the chequered flag went out, leaving him seventh in the results, 0.747s from the front.
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.”
eom/Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha press releases