Andrea Iannone won a tense shoot-out for pole position, beating Valentino Rossi at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday while Marc Marquez bounced back from a dislocated shoulder to qualify P5.
As MotoGP returned to Austria for the first qualifying session in 19 years, all eyes were on Marquez, who was taken to hospital earlier in the morning having dislocated his left shoulder and knocked his head in a FP3 crash, as well as the weekend's pace-setters, Ducati.
Andrea Dovizioso set the early pace before handing over to his team-mate Iannone. Dovizioso responded with a 1:23.598 as the Ducati's held down the 1-2 ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Maverick Vinales.
Marquez was P5 as the riders returned to the track for a second run and a second shot at pole position.
Lorenzo was the first to show his hand as the reigning World Champion went P1. Moments later he lost that to Dovizioso, who in turn was dethroned by Rossi.
The battle was by no means over as Iannone retaliated with a 1:23.142. That put him 0.147s up on Rossi with Dovizioso a further 0.009s down.
Lorenzo will line up in fourth place on the grid ahead of Marquez and Vinales.
Aspar's Eugene Laverty progressed to Q2 for the first time in his MotoGP career, joined by Cal Crutchlow.
The LRC Honda rider came through despite a nervous moment when his fastest time was disallowed. Crutchlow shook it off and responded with an even faster 1:23.970 to progress to Q2.
Crutchlow will line up seventh on the Austrian grid while Laverty finished the day in 11th place.
1 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team 1'23.142
2 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1'23.289 +0.147
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1'23.298 0.156
4 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1'23.361 0.219
5 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1'23.475 0.333
6 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1'23.584 0.442
7 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda 1'23.597 0.455
8 Scott REDDING OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1'23.777 0.635
9 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1'23.813 0.671
10 Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing 1'23.822 0.680
11 Eugene LAVERTY Pull & Bear Aspar Team 1'24.218 1.076
12 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1'24.263 1.121
13 Danilo PETRUCCI OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1'24.123
14 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'24.126
15 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'24.265
16 Yonny HERNANDEZ Pull & Bear Aspar Team 1'24.472
17 Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 1'24.593
18 Tito RABAT Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1'24.665
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1'24.673
20 Jack MILLER Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1'24.852
21 Stefan BRADL Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1'24.895
22 Loris BAZ Avintia Racing 1'25.192