Marquez secures pole position at Austrian Grand Prix
There was no stopping for Marc Marquez who secured his fourth pole position of the season at Red Bull Ring- Spielberg in Austria. Factory Repsol Honda rider recorded the best lap time of 1.23.241s, just 0.002 seconds better than the Factory Ducati rider and last year's winner at Austrian GP- Andrea Dovisiozo.
Andrea Dovizioso secured the second position on the grid with 1.23.243s. Other Factory Ducati rider and two times world champion-Jorge Lorenzo stood behind Dovizioso at the third position with 1.23.396s.
The qualifying (Q2) started with a few initial blows exchanged between Marquez and Lorenzo at the start. They both kept cutting each others timing scores. But, Marquez proved superior and kept bettering his lap times. He blazed past riders to record the fastest lap time.
In the later laps of the qualifying, Andrea Dovizioso scurried his pace and made few flying laps to ultimately push down Lorenzo at third, who was sitting at the second place till then. It rounded off the top three of the grid for tomorrow's race.
Finishing behind Lorenzo at the fourth place was Ducati Pramac rider- Danilo Petrucci. He was 0.262s behind Marquez. LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow finished at the 5th spot with the lap time of 1.23.812s. Yamaha Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco was quick in his lap timings and secured 6th spot on the grid.
Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat, Factory Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone, and Factory Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa secured 7th, 8th and 9th positions on the grid respectively. Other Factory Suzuki Rider Alex Rins rounded off the top 10 standings at the grid for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Earlier in Q1 and FP4
Marc Marquez was the fastest in FP4. Factory Yamaha rider and the nine-times world champion, Valentino Rossi faired poorly in the pre-qualifying practice session. Due to his feeble lap times in FP4, he underwent Q1. He was not quick enough to sustain the pressure from Alvaro Bautista and Alex Rins and slipped to the fourth spot to occupy the 14th place on the grid.
Earlier, Alvaro Bautista and Alex Rins emerged as the top two racers from the Q1. Though they couldn't manage to better their results significantly in Q2. Alvaro Bautista will start from the 12th position on the grid tomorrow.
Predictions for Race Day
Well, the stage is set for another round of motorcycle spectacle at the Austrian GP. Marc Marquez is yet to win a race at Red Bull Ring- Spielberg. It is the only circuit on the calendar list where Marquez hasn't won a race yet. With good results in the qualifying, he would definitely push for a win here.
Since the return of the circuit in 2016 in MotoGP calendar, Ducati has looked dominant at this circuit. Andrea Iannone(Factory Ducati Rider then) won here in 2016 and Andrea Dovizioso was able to win here in 2017. Dovizioso would surely try to repeat the yesteryear's result and take back to back wins in this season after winning in Brno.
Before 2016, this circuit had hosted MotoGP on the two occasions in 1996 and 1997. The world saw teenage Rossi's first podium finish in 1996 in the 125cc class. In the following year, he bettered his position here and finished second in the race. He later went on winning his first, out of nine championships in the career. He has had a dismal outing in the qualifying but will look to bounce back strongly tomorrow.