Mattia Pasini secured back-to-back pole positions after holding off a late charge from Franco Morbidelli in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix. The Italtrans rider, who had gone almost ten years without a pole position prior to Brno, took his second in as many weekends by one thousandth of a second from championship leader Morbidelli.
In similar circumstances to last weekend, Pasini did all of the hard work at the start of qualifying, clocking a 1:29.394 on his third timed lap of the afternoon. For much of the session, Francesco Bagnaia was leading the chase but try as he might, the Sky VR46 rookie couldn’t get within two tenths of his compatriot’s time.
With a matter of seconds remaining, Morbidelli finally came to life to snatch second and on his final lap, the Marc VDS rider looked on target to steal pole position. However, a tenth of a second went begging in the final two corners, causing Franco to miss out by the tiniest of margins. Alex Marquez had followed his team-mate around on the final laps and the slipstream proved crucial as the Spaniard pipped Bagnaia to third.
Brno winner Thomas Luthi will start fifth, a disappointing result for the Swiss rider who had topped free practice, while Fabio Quartararo qualified an impressive sixth for Pons HP 40. Isaac Vinales lines up seventh with Miguel Oliveira leading KTM’s challenge at their home Grand Prix from eighth.
Xavi Vierge completes the third row in ninth, a sensational result for the Tech 3 rider who missed the first half of the session following a heavy crash.
Moto2 NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Osterreich: Qualifying
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