News 11 Aug 2019

Record breaking pole position for Marquez at Austrian GP

Pramac Racing's Miller set to start from the third row in P8.

Image: Supplied.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) claimed another stunning pole position at the Austrian GP, and in doing so he surpasses MotoGP legend Mick Doohan’s previous record of 58 premier class pole positions.

Now the undisputed king of qualifying, the number 93 will have Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) alongside him on the front row.

Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was the fastest rider after the first flying laps at the Red Bull Ring, with the Spaniard doing his first stint on the medium tyres and going four-tenths quicker than the field on his second fast lap as teammate Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Quartararo all fought it out for second position and Viñales’ advantage was chopped.

Then, however, Marquez started really taking the the bull by the horns. The reigning Champion has been the man to beat all weekend in Austria and soon enough, Marquez was back at the summit, 0.269s faster than Viñales’ to sit on provisional pole after the first set of flying laps.

Just seven tenths covered the top 12 as the riders came out on fresh rubber for their second stints, with Vinales switching to a soft rear tyre this time. And ‘Top Gun’ went quicker to cut Marquez’ advantage to 0.164s as Dovizioso then ramped up his pace to slot himself onto the provisional front row behind the two Spaniards.

The red sectors, though, were lighting up and that was for one man: Marquez. The Spaniard had Doohan’s premier class pole record well in his sights, and he also had a 1m22s on his radar. When Marquez came round to complete his lap, a 1m23.027s making it the fastest we’ve ever seen around the Red Bull Ring…although not quite in the 1m22s.

The front row wasn’t quite decided there though. Dovizioso was able to improve his time to shoot 0.008s ahead of Vinales and on his final qualifying lap, but rookie sensation Quartararo beat the pair of them to stick his M1 on the front row for the sixth time in 2019. The Frenchman was overjoyed with another quality Saturday display, set to start between Marquez and Dovizioso on Sunday.

That puts Vinales at the head of row two ahead of a stunner from Q1 graduate Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), the reigning Moto2 World Champion, who had a cracking Q2 to claim his best MotoGP grid slot yet. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) continued his solid weekend to set the sixth-fastest time in Q2, and the Japanese rider was just 0.017s off Bagnaia to claim his best Q2 result as well.

On the third row, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins leads Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Q1’s fastest man Crutchlow in seventh, eighth and ninth respectively, with P10 going the way of Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Behind ‘The Doctor’, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro will launch from P11 to try and push for the Austrian team on home soil, while a late crash for Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) at turn four ended a disappointing Q2 for the Italian – meaning it’s P12 for ‘Petrux’.

Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) picked up a magnificent maiden Moto2 pole position after setting a 1m28.718s in Q2 at the the Red Bull Ring, the Japanese rider beating Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) on KTM’s home turf by just 0.073s.

Thai rider Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) claims a stunning first front-row start in third, becoming the first from Thailand to start from the front in the class since Assen 2010. Australian Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) will start from P9.

VNE Snipers’ Romano Fenati took Moto3 pole position for the first time in nearly two years after taking to the top in Q2, the Italian progressing through from Q1 before pouncing late for P1. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was second quickest, with Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) third and the fastest KTM on the Austrian factory’s home turf.

2008 125cc World Champion Mike Di Meglio has taken FIM Enel MotoE World Cup E-Pole honours after sticking in a 1m35.182s to place his EG 0,0 Marc VDS Energica Ego Corsa just 0.011s ahead of second-placed Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), with the rain staying away to allow the full spectacle of E-Pole to take place.

One Energy Racing’s Bradley Smith completes the front row, a big step forward from a more difficult qualifying for the Brit in round one. Australian Josh Hook (Pramac Racing) was 14th fastest.

Detailed results