MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez smashed the two-wheeled lap record to take pole position by 0.434 seconds ahead of Fabio Quartararo at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
After topping the combined free practice sessions, the World Champion came into qualifying favourite to take the pole position. After a banker lap, the Spaniard soon lowered the pace, going 0.269 seconds clear through the first run of laps.
Fresh with a new rear soft tyre, the field came back, however nobody had the pace to match Marquez. Despite not needing to go even faster, Marquez did what Marquez does and went out on a fresh tyre of his own and went on to smash the lap record, posting the fastest ever two-wheeled lap around the Austrian circuit, a 1:23.027 which was enough to take the pole position by 0.434.
Fabio Quartararo’s last lap saw him snatch second place on the grid from Andrea Dovizioso by 0.054 seconds, despite the Yamaha lagging behind in the speed traps. Dovizioso won’t be too unhappy with a front row start, as the Ducati man hopes to stay with Marquez tomorrow.
Maverick Vinales was the biggest loser from Quartararo’s late lap, with the Spaniard dropping to the second row on the grid, where he will be joined by Pecco Bagnaia and Taka Nakagami who qualified in fifth and sixth places respectively.
Alex Rins will start from seventh place on his factory Suzuki GSX-RR ahead of Jack Miller with the Aussie failing to put a lap together, only managing eighth place. Cal Crutchlow came through Q1 with Bagnaia, but the Brit could only manage ninth place on his LCR Honda.
Valentino Rossi will head the fourth row of the grid, with Pol Espargaro putting his RC-16 KTM in the middle of the fourth row at it’s home race, with Danilo Petrucci struggling to twelfth after a crash at turn four. The factory Ducati man walked away, however his work will be cut out in Sundays race.