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Moto3: Bezzecchi on pole but Martin close behind

Published: 11 August 2018

Updated: 11 August 2018

Despite a crash at Turn 3, Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) secured his maiden Moto3™ pole position at the eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich as the Red Bull Ring dried up at the end of a dramatic qualifying session, setting a 1:38.617 to beat main Championship rival and the truly heroic Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) by 0.078 seconds, with Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) completing the front row.

The session started off in the wet, but as the sun started to creep over the Austrian mountains, it was only a matter of time before the slick tyres would be introduced. And sure enough with 15 minutes to go, Philipp Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing) was the first rider to head out on the slicks, setting off a chain reaction that would see a phenomenal end to the lightweight class qualifying.

Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Oettl were alternating quickest lap times, before magnificent Martin joined in, setting his first provisional pole lap with five minutes of the session to go in what was nothing short of an astonishing effort after breaking a bone in his left wrist eight days prior. The three, along with Bezzecchi, kept leapfrogging each other until it was the Italian who went fastest on his final run – with Martin narrowly missing out at the checkered flag and Canet just pushed off the front row behind Arenas, set to start fourth.

Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) threatened the front row on several occasions, with the Italian going fifth on his last flying lap. Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) crashed towards the beginning of the session but recovered to start P6 for the Austrian GP. Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) will start seventh at the Red Bull Ring, with Oettl having to settle for eighth. Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) starts 9th on board his Honda, with Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing) rounding out the top ten in Austria.

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