Marquez Sees off Ducati Challenge in Austria


The top three qualifiers in Austria (Photo Credit: MotoGP.com)

Marc Marquez stunned the factory Ducatis on Saturday to claim pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg. The reigning champion took Honda to the top of the timesheets on a circuit expected to completely favour Ducati with Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo forced to settle for second and third respectively.

The early stages of Q2 saw Marquez preoccupied with other riders attempting to use his Honda for a helpful slipstream. First, Loris Baz latched onto the back of the no.93 before Andrea Iannone positioned his Suzuki for a tow, a tactic which appeared to irritate Marquez. While he searched for some clear track, Maverick Vinales clocked a 1:24.208 to go fastest.

Once Marquez had got his head down, pole position only looked to be heading one way with Marc setting a 1:23.473 on his first representative lap, opening up a comfortable advantage over the rest. It soon became apparent that Ducati were the only team capable of mounting a challenge and Lorenzo gave the Bologna squad hope, closing to within 0.148s two minutes from the end.

Marquez still had pace in hand though, improving to a 1:23.235 on his final effort and that improvement proved crucial with Dovizioso snatching second late on with a time that would’ve stolen pole had Marc not gone out again. Lorenzo slipped to third with Vinales heading the second row while Danilo Petrucci and Johann Zarco completed the top six.

Valentino Rossi could only manage seventh with Dani Pedrosa taking eighth despite having to negotiate his way through Q1 while Cal Crutchlow and 2016 winner Andrea Iannone rounded out the top ten.

 

2017 NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich: Qualifying

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
193. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:23.235Q2
24. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:23.379Q2
399. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team1:23.621Q2
425. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:23.754Q2
59. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing1:23.780Q2
65. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:23.879Q2
746. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:23.982Q2
826. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:23.985Q2
935. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda1:24.024Q2
1029. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:24.185Q2
1117. Karel AbrahamDucatiPull&Bear Aspar Team1:24.220Q2
1276. Loris BazDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:24.483Q2
1394. Jonas FolgerYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:24.015Q1
148. Hector BarberaDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:24.036Q1
1545. Scott ReddingDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing1:24.037Q1
1644. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:24.101Q1
1719. Alvaro BautistaDucatiPull&Bear Aspar Team1:24.202Q1
1836. Mika KallioKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:24.261Q1
1943. Jack MillerHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:24.321Q1
2041. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:24.447Q1
2142. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:24.448Q1
2238. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:24.530Q1
2322. Sam LowesApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:24.852Q1
2453. Tito RabatHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:24.900Q1