Johann Zarco is well placed to extend his Moto2 championship lead after taking a comfortable pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg. The Frenchman usurped Franco Morbidelli with ten minutes to go and was never challenged from that point onwards, the Marc VDS rider forced to settle for a career-best second on the grid.
As is so often the case, many riders set their fastest times in the early stages of qualifying with Morbidelli peaking on his fifth lap of the afternoon, clocking a 1:29.367. Zarco held second spot before venturing out for his penultimate run but the world champion soon changed that, knocking a tenth of a second off the Italian’s benchmark.
A further improvement of five thousandths on his last lap served to emphasise Zarco’s superiority with Morbidelli nailed in second after failing to beat his own early effort. Thomas Luthi, who tested a KTM MotoGP machine at the Red Bull Ring during the summer break, will start third while Marcel Schrotter produced a stunning last flyer to grab fourth from Alex Marquez.
Axel Pons completes the second row but both of Zarco’s championship rivals can be found on row three. Sam Lowes, another rider to test a MotoGP bike in Austria, will start seventh while Alex Rins is two spots further back in ninth after being demoted by Takaaki Nakagami in the dying seconds.
Moto2 NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich (Qualifying Result)
|1||5. Johann Zarco||Kalex||Ajo Motorsport||1:29.255|
|2||21. Franco Morbidelli||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:29.367|
|3||12. Thomas Luthi||Kalex||Garage Plus Interwetten||1:29.480|
|4||23. Marcel Schrotter||Kalex||AGR Team||1:29.645|
|5||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:29.702|
|6||49. Axel Pons||Kalex||AGR Team||1:29.702|
|7||22. Sam Lowes||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||1:29.714|
|8||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||1:29.728|
|9||40. Alex Rins||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1:29.752|
|10||94. Jonas Folger||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||1:29.844|
|11||77. Dominique Aegerter||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||1:29.861|
|12||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Forward Team||1:29.926|
|13||11. Sandro Cortese||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||1:29.978|
|14||57. Edgar Pons||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||1:30.031|
|15||52. Danny Kent||Kalex||Leopard Racing||1:30.129|
|16||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||1:30.264|
|17||54. Mattia Pasini||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||1:30.305|
|18||44. Miguel Oliveira||Kalex||Leopard Racing||1:30.308|
|19||10. Luca Marini||Kalex||Forward Team||1:30.332|
|20||60. Julian Simon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||1:30.400|
|21||14. Ratthapark Wilairot||Kalex||Idemitsu Honda Team Asia||1:30.438|
|22||24. Simone Corsi||Speed Up||Speed Up||1:30.622|
|23||87. Remy Gardner||Kalex||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||1:30.743|
|24||19. Xavier Simeon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||1:30.762|
|25||32. Isaac Vinales||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||1:30.775|
|26||2. Jesko Raffin||Kalex||sports-millions-EMWE-SAG||1:30.870|
|27||97. Xavi Vierge||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||1:30.878|
|28||70. Robin Mulhauser||Kalex||CarXpert Interwetten||1:30.884|