Marquez holds off Dovizioso charge to claim Austrian pole
Marc Marquez claimed his fourth pole position of the season at the Austrian Grand Prix as championship rival Valentino Rossi endured qualifying woe.
Marquez took a dominant performance across free practice into Saturday's pole-position shootout and took top spot by two thousandths of a second from Andrea Dovizioso.
Rossi was not even in contention after failing to make it out of Q1, the Italian's troubles in Spielberg continuing as he prepares to start the race in 14th.
That gives Marquez a great chance to extend his 49-point lead, but Dovizioso and future team-mate Jorge Lorenzo are sure to push him all the way.
Lorenzo showed good speed early on and held provisional pole with nine minutes to race, but Marquez was not to be denied as he found enough to edge out his long-time rival.
Last year's winner Dovizioso proved Ducati's pace was not limited to Lorenzo as he came agonisingly close to usurping Marquez.
It was not to be, though, as Marquez and Repsol Honda celebrated his third pole in four races.
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 1:23.241
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:23.243
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) 1:23.376
4. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) 1:23.503
5. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) 1:23.812
6. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) 1:23.887
7. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) 1:23.922
8. Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar) 1:24.091
9. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 1:24.124
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 1:24.227