Red Bull Ring MotoGP: Marquez surpasses Doohan with 59th pole
Honda rider Marc Marquez secured a dominant pole position for MotoGP's Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, breaking Mick Doohan’s record for most premier-class poles.
Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales took the unusual step of doing his first run with the medium rear tyre, and led after the opening series of flyers, improving by three tenths on his second attempt to end up on 1m23.628s.
Yet Marquez overtook Vinales almost right away with a 1m23.359s, retaining a quarter-second lead as the 15-minute Q2 session passed its halfway point.
By that point Vinales had switched to a soft rear, and after a few attempts he whittled Marquez’s lead down to 0.164s. However, the championship leader responded immediately once more, setting a new track record with a 1m23.027s.
Marquez was unable to improve on his two final laps, but his pole came under no threat, with nearest rival Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) coming up 0.434s short at the chequered flag.
Quartararo’s late improvement relegated Andrea Dovizioso into third, the Ducati rider having surpassed Vinales by just 0.008s for what turned out to be the final place on the front row.
Petrucci crashed at Turn 4 and completed a Q2 order split by just 0.937s.
Q1: Oliveira just misses out
Tech 3 KTM rider Miguel Oliveira sat at the top of the Q1 timesheets when the chequered flag flew in the opening segments, but last-gasp improvements from Crutchlow and Bagnaia denied him a spot in the pole shoot-out.
Behind Oliveira, Petronas rider Franco Morbidelli was the sole Yamaha out of Q2 in 14th, while Tito Rabat came close to his best qualifying result of the year by taking 15th, 0.003s up on the second works KTM of Johann Zarco.
Former lap record holder Iannone will be the top Aprilia rider on the grid in 18th, having beaten teammate Aleix Espargaro in qualifying for the first time this season.
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Red Bull Ring MotoGP qualifying as it happened
Gallery: All of Marc Marquez's 59 pole positions