Marc Marquez has blitzed his MotoGP opposition to take pole position for this year’s Austrian Grand Prix, rolling out a stunning lap to take the top spot from the Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo by 0.144.
The Spaniard was the fastest man all day at the Red Bull Ring, impressing with a blitzing lap in free practice three only minutes after a crash, to set the tone for the rest of his dominant day despite the Austrian circuit traditionally being marked down as a Ducati track.
“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.”
Maverick Viñales heads the second row for Yamaha, head of a surprise performance from Danilo Petrucci after a slow start to the weekend for the Italian, with Johann Zarco sixth. Valentino Rossi heads the third row in seventh, leading Dani Pedrosa and the first of the Brits, Cal Crutchlow.