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Red Bull Ring MotoGP: Marquez surpasses Doohan with 59th pole

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.

Marquez’s 59th MotoGP pole also came with a new lap record, as he surpassed Andrea Iannone’s previous benchmark from 2016.

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.

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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.

Two riders on year-old machinery – Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami – made up the top six, both recording their best-ever qualifying results in MotoGP.

Bagnaia had come through Q1 alongside LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who will line up ninth, joining Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Bagnaia’s Pramac teammate Jack Miller on the third row.

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Like Vinales, Valentino Rossi ran the medium tyre early in Q2, but the Italian ended up only 10th, ahead of KTM’s Pol Espargaro and Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.

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.

Honda test rider Stefan Bradl, standing in for the injured Jorge Lorenzo at the Repsol outfit this weekend, will make up the order in 21st.

Starting grid

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap km/h
1 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 1'23.027 187.572
2 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 1'23.461 0.434 186.597
3 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 1'23.515 0.488 186.476
4 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 1'23.523 0.496 186.458
5 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 1'23.652 0.625 186.171
6 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 1'23.669 0.642 186.133
7 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 1'23.681 0.654 186.106
8 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 1'23.688 0.661 186.091
9 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 1'23.754 0.727 185.944
10 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 1'23.817 0.790 185.804
11 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
KTM 1'23.866 0.839 185.696
12 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 1'23.964 0.937 185.479
13 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 1'24.130 1.103 185.113
14 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 1'24.270 1.243 184.805
15 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 1'24.389 1.362 184.545
16 5 France Johann Zarco
KTM 1'24.392 1.365 184.538
17 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham
Ducati 1'24.423 1.396 184.471
18 29 Italy Andrea Iannone
Aprilia 1'24.526 1.499 184.246
19 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 1'24.749 1.722 183.761
20 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin
KTM 1'24.759 1.732 183.739
21 6 Germany Stefan Bradl
Honda 1'25.020 1.993 183.175
Red Bull Ring MotoGP qualifying as it happened

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Gallery: All of Marc Marquez's 59 pole positions

Gallery: All of Marc Marquez's 59 pole positions
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About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Austrian GP
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy