Marquez storms to third straight MotoGP pole

Honda’s Marc Marquez snatched his third consecutive pole position at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Sunday’s Austria MotoGP.

The Spaniard finished just ahead of Ducati teammates Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo, who finished second and third respectively.

Despite concern about the weather, there was no rain on Saturday, which gave the riders plenty of clear track time ahead of Sunday’s race.

Coming in behind the top three were Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales; in fifth spot Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Racing); Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi in the seventh spot.

The three riders closing out the top 10 qualifying times were – Danni Pedrosa (Honda); Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone.

In an interview after qualifying, Marquez said: “Last year we struggled a lot. We’ve prepared really well for this weekend. At the test at Brno, we tried a lot of settings.

“We started with a different pace. We have a good rhythm. It’ll be really important to choose the correct rear tyre.”

Dovizioso, who was second quickest, said, “Well it was a crazy decision [to run medium rear]. We ran the soft but it didn’t work and we struggled to do the lap time. We thought maybe it could be better.

“We tried on the first run. It felt good so I used it on the second. It wasn’t the perfect lap but I’m happy because we did the perfect strategy.”

Top 12 Qualifying 2 results:

1. Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team 1’23.235
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team 1’23.379
3. Jorge LORENZO – Ducati Team 1’23.621
4. Maverick VIÑALES – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’23.754
5. Danilo PETRUCCI – OCTO Pramac Racing 1’23.780
6. Johann ZARCO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’23.879
7. Valentino ROSSI – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’23.982
8. Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team 1’23.985
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda 1’24.024
10. Andrea IANNONE – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’24.185
11. Karel ABRAHAM – Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1’24.220
12. Loris BAZ – Reale Avintia Racing 1’24.483